Stieg Larsson’s second novel in his Millennium trilogy is an improvement on the first, but unfortunately this adaptation is just as tepid as the first film. It’s a stylish effort, with a strong central performance by Noomi Rapace and some nice slick cinematography by Peter Mokrosinski, but the plot is muddled and the characters underworked. Watchable, but like the first film in the series, nothing special.
Indeed, in contrasting this film with its predecessor, the change in style is apparent in the first few minutes of the film. Namely, the lighting is not as dark and the cinematography is not as crisp, lush and thoughtfully presented. [imho]
Yet, overall, I must say I think the film is quite a good watch and furthermore, I find it quite faithful to the narrative initially presented in the series' first installment.
I can't talk about the book, but compared to the first one it seems like this got a little lost: even though the characters got the central attention, it seems like they lost the development they had in the other one.
It's not that it's a bad ride, but perhaps it's slightly disconnected from the first. Had it been more explorative of its characters, this could've achieved a more dramatic and dense tone. I found it somewhat dull up until Zala's identity was learned. And was I the only one who jumped near the end when Lisbeth was looking for Niedermann inside the house?! I was caught off guard.
I knew this one was going to be tough to film. The book is really complex and requires some really good budget to recreate some stuff with perfection as Stieg Larsson used a lot of imagination into this. Even tho, the result was good and the following film should fill up the blanks.
This installment didn't command my attention like the first one did. Still great performances and a fine mystery - and the wringer they put this girl through as the conclusion nears borders on torture porn. (That was a compliment.)