Following the successful fraudulent gains of Hans Erik Wennerstrom, Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is living the high life. She returns to Sweden to catch up with her old acquaintances, but later finds she is wanted for the murders of a journalist and his girlfriend - who were investigating sex trafficking - along with her guardian, Nils Bjurman.
As she keeps a low profile, her friend and celebrity journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) attempts to use evidence gained in the sex trafficking investigation for proving Salander's innocence.
Meanwhile, Salander uses her hacking expertise to dig into her past, which seems to be where the crime originates.
I don't usually watch films on a Monday, what with having the complete weekend to do so, and I usually enjoy a break afterwards. But, with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo leaving unanswered questions for my family I was practically begged to shove in the DVD. It must have been serious; even Coronation Street was missed.
After being introduced to the bizarre Salander character in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Plays With Fire begins a completely different story in the Millennium trilogy. Because it is a sequel, it also had free license to change genre (à la Alien/Aliens) and switches from being a locked room murder/mystery to one that has far more political connotations from the roots of author Stieg Larrson's journalism background.
With the change of genre comes the inevitable change of pace. Rather than featuring action in stop/start bouts whenever a clue is uncovered, the action ties in closely with the storyline. The fight scenes are more violent (although very wooden) but character development is, unfortunately correctly, mostly ignored in place of telling the story.
It is neither the fault of the actors (Rapace especially is still excellent), director Daniel Alfredson or the scriptwriters for why the second film fails to live up to the glory of the first. As with its predecessor, The Girl Who Played With Fire leaves questions unanswered that desperately require an answer in its sequel. Unlike its predecessor, however, I was expecting this because the book also finished right in the middle of the action.
A typical film in the middle of a trilogy really. Cannot start a story, cannot finish a story. It just trundles along doing very little wrong but, unlike Salander, it doesn't set the world alight.