All contents, unless mentioned, are written by me.

Even if the Millennium trilogy was created back-to-back-to-back, with actors returning, the screenwriter and director for the films are different. And it shows. If I commend the first film, I was surprised that the second film is a far cry of what the first film had been. I had thought that given the material, the second book would be easier to adapt because if the first book is a slow-burning thriller, the second book is more action-packed than the first. But I was apparently wrong. Even if taken by itself, the film is flawed. It doesn’t do Lisbeth Salander’s character justice by underplaying many of her resourcefulness and the motive for her pursuer was more or less implausible. Not to mention the way the film rolls from one set-piece to another. Weak. All in all, with third book’s event takes immediately after the second book, I have lost interest in watching it and choosing to finish the book instead.

Noomi Rapace returns as Lisbeth Salander. She has disappeared for more than a year after the events in “Dragon Tattoo.” Michael Nyqvist also returns as Mikael Blomkvist. He was dumbfounded because Lisbeth disappears and trying persistently to look for her whereabouts. When Lisbeth finally returns to Stockholm, events brewing. Not only Blomkvist, Armansky, or Mimmi who had look for Lisbeth but also a man, a blonde giant, who worked with some mysterious gangster named Zala who wanted to see her file as held by the advokat Nils Bjurman. Her guardian.

This review would be about the film. Which left more to desire. First, the motive. Weak. Why now? The way the film explains, this Zala dude has been around in Sweden for at least a couple of decades. Why the sudden interest on Salander? The drug business in decline? Bored? No, not even the twist could justify the motive. It’s still too weak. Second, Salander’s resourcefulness were underplayed. She should be one step ahead of everybody. Sure, she still is one step ahead, and that shows how incompetent the rest of the investigation team (well the police and Armansky’s role in the film was almost stripped bare, anyway) but the way she scrambles toward newspaper headlines, suggesting that she was ever late to the party and her methods in acquiring informations doesn’t do her morality a justice. Gone was the feeling of Salander as wounded heroine and replaced by a mere rogue that I was asking myself whether I made the right choice in coming to her side.

Actually, there’s one more but since it related to the puzzle piece of the film, I’d let you know by yourself. I had forgiven it because I had read the book but if taken by itself, I’m not seeing anything plausible on the event related to the whole plot.

Noomi Rapace is still a superb choice for the role, though. Her fierce eyes, taut jaw, small figures, and feisty demeanor put more and more burdening task to Rooney Mara as her replacement in the next American remake version. The rest of the casts were okay, they weren’t around in front of the camera long enough to be more interesting but Noomi Rapace is still the spotlight.

My Rating: * / **** – Understandably, there are compromises made when you’re adapting the book into a film and perhaps the compromises made to this film is not in line with what I had wanted to compromise from the book. The events rolls too fast underplayed many of the book’s strengths, including Lisbeth Salander’s. If you hadn’t read the book, chances are you’ll enjoy it more than I do.