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.
In the second installment, our girl is even cooler than before. Since I do not read the book, so most of the plot was cleverly yarn to give continuous surprises in finding whodunnit result. Supported by committed casts, no Hollywood effect is in need to make this film sparks the big fire.