(director: Daniel Alfredson; screenwriter: Jonas Frykberg/based on the book by Stieg Larsson; cinematographer: Peter Mokrosinski; editor: Mattias Morheden; music: Jacob Groth; cast: Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander), Michael Nyqvist (Mikael Blomkvist), Annika Hallin (Annika Giannini), Per Oscarsson (Holger Palmgren), Lena Endre (Erika Berger), Peter Andersson (Nils Bjurman), Georgi Staykov (Lisbeth’s Dad), Mikael Spreitz (Ronald Niedermann), Yasmine Garbi (Miriam Wu), Johan Kylen (Jan Bublanski), Paolo Roberto (Paolo Roberto, Boxer), Hans-Christian Thulin (Dag Svensson); Runtime: 129; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Soren Staermose; Music Box Films; 2009-Sweden-in Swedish with English subtitles)

It’s less interesting than the first film.  

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Directed by Daniel Alfredson (“Wolf”) with ambitions to be film noir and have something pertinent to say about police procedural work, corruption in Stockholm and those institutions that supervise juvenile offenders. Though clocking in at a lengthy 129 minutes, it never gets to say much that’s worthwhile about topics it raised (even though shorter than the first film, it felt longer) Alfredson takes over from Niels Arden Oplev, the first film’s director. The series is based on the best selling three books of the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson—The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, collectively known as the Millennium trilogy. Jonas Frykberg supplies the overbaked screenplay based on the second book. It continues the tale of woe of Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), the troubled pint-sized young adult with the tattoo on her back of a dragon and two nose rings. She was saddled with pervert lawyer legal guardian (Peter Andersson),who she blackmails with a video tape after he rapes her. It’s less interesting than the first film, more drawn out, flatter and with too many undeveloped characters to keep track of.

Muckraking journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) of the crusading Millennium Magazine hires a young couple who are amateur reporters doing an expose on a sex-trafficking ring. When Lisbeth’s legal guardian is murdered followed by the gangland execution style murder of the young reporters, the bungling police suspect Lisbeth of all three murders because her fingerprints are found on the recovered murder weapon. Mikael is convinced she was not the killer and gets involved in tracking down Lisbeth and the real killers, as the compassionate reporter has formed a strong bond with Lisbeth in the first film and feels her pain so much that he’s moved to help her any way he can.

The story is a mess to follow, the banal plot line is made worse because it’s hardly believable, Nyqvist’s sympathetic character is pushed into the background with too little to do, kickboxing computer hacker and bisexual Rapace takes the role to ridiculous heights as she turns it into one of an action-hero and doesn’t get to her character’s guts as she did in the prior film, and the suspense can’t be sustained because by mid-point it was predictable where we were going with this very busy story that lost track of its lucidity–there were too many subplots that led to dead-ends, such as the boxer (Paolo Roberto), Lisbeth’s lesbian lover (Yasmine Garbi), the motorcycle drug-traffickers and the squabbles between the inept police and the concerned magazine editor. The sequel failed to keep my attention, as things never caught fire as easily as Lisbeth’s evil dad (Georgi Staykov) did when as a child she splashed his face with gasoline and got entangled in Sweden’s flawed court system. The film’s title is derived from that incident.The serviceable crime drama is limited in its entertainment value.