Stieg Larsson once again pairs fictional Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist in an adventure in which they are actually apart for most of the movie. This sequel to Larsson’s first book of the trilogy called The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is just as exciting with its twisted plot, frightening characters and funereal music. It is a tad disconcerting though that English subtitles must be added to this Swedish movie; the first installment had the actors speaking in English.
When Lisbeth Salander is considered a prime suspect in two, possibly three murders, Mikael Blomkvist sets out to clear her name by finding the real killer. Although he has not seen Lisbeth since she has left the country, he knows instinctively that she did not commit the murders. They do not have a scene together until the end of the movie; each works separately to come to a similar conclusion.
We are treated to flashbacks from the first installment of the trilogy which helps to illuminate much that was not revealed to us before. Tying the two stories together seems to be necessary to provide continuity for the viewer who may not have seen the earlier film.
Most of the exhilarating action concentrates on Lisbeth. We are able to follow her through her stealthy break-ins, a car chase, her blond disguise, and her confrontation with a powerfully built muscle man who beats her and leaves her for dead. Long-held secrets are revealed concerning her father and her unknown half-brother.
Meanwhile, Mikael pursues his own course, trying to locate Lisbeth while uncovering the perpetrator of the crimes of which Lisbeth is accused. It is unfortunate that the two friends have no opportunity to further their relationship as we spy from a distance. When Mikael is finally able to rescue Lisbeth from her captors, her bloodied face and hideous appearance are not conducive to romance.
When the last scene depicts a helicopter taking Lisbeth to receive medical care, we are left to wonder if Lisbeth will live after what she has endured. Then, the thought of the third episode of the trilogy without Lisbeth gives us our answer. Lisbeth will live.
We look forward to part 3 of the Millennium Trilogy which is entitled The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. It is sad to realize that Stieg Larssen did not live to continue the odyssey of Mikael and Lisbeth. We were just beginning to know and understand them.
See my review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first installment of the trilogy, bu clicking here.
Movie – The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)