I found the film less well-plotted and harder to follow than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (reviewed Monday). It takes some conscious effort for the viewer to keep things straight. But we learn more about the fascinating Lisbeth Salander, and Noomi Rapace is every bit as good in the role as in the first film. Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is back as well, and while not as memorable as Lisbeth, he’s interesting in his own right.
One of the characters in the novel is the real-life boxer Paolo Roberto, and Roberto does an excellent job playing himself in the movie. The Internet Movie Database suggests this may be only the fourth time a real person has appeared as a character in a novel and then played himself in the film adaptation. (The other three were Richard Kiley as the tour guide voice in Jurassic Park, Lady Chablis in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and the painter Kimmo Kaivanto in the Finnish film Jäähyväiset presidentille. How’s that for cinematic trivia?)
I watched this in Swedish with English subtitles, but a dubbed English soundtrack is an option for those who don’t want to read subtitles. The original Swedish name of the novel and film is Flickan som lekte med elden, making this the only instance in the trilogy in which the English title is a direct, literal translation of the Swedish.