Yesterday I saw The Girl Who Played with Fire, starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist.
Anyone who has read the novel this film was based on cannot help but compare the two, so I'll start by saying the filmmakers again did a good job of paring down the author's too-wordy text into simpler dialog, but I wish they hadn't changed certain details for the screen.
To explain them would be to spoil plot points for those who haven't yet seen the film, so I won't go into detail, but I will say that unless they payoff their changes in the third installment, I don't understand why they did it.
I also thought Lisbeth (Rapace) appeared less intelligent in this film, and that's something that could've easily been fixed by letting the camera linger on her smirks or having other characters reference her brilliance (as they do many times in the book).
My final complaint would be that Zala (Georgi Staykov) wasn't menacing enough for the monster that he is supposed to be. I was neither afraid nor repelled by his film version and felt that I should've been. Perhaps the director could've treated us to a few flashbacks with Liseth's mom?
On the good side: the casting again is superb. There isn't one person who doesn't fit the image of their literary likeness and act with conviction.
I also enjoyed the chemistry between Liseth and her girfriend Mimmi (Yasmine Garbi) and the tension between Blomkvist (Nyqvist) and Berger (Lena Andre).
In addition, as someone who is admittedly squeamish, I appreciated that the bloody scenes were not at all gratuitous and the violence true-to-life instead of ridiculous.
All in all, a satisfying middle to this thrilling trilogy.