Flickan som lekte med elden, 2009

The Girl Who Played with Fire or The Girl Who Played with Fire, is the second in the Millenium series of movies and continues where its predecessor left off.  Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), the editor of Millenium magazine is contacted by a researcher and his fiancee who have been examining the links between the Swedish government and the trafficking of women.

Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) has spent a year traveling with the money she stole during the conclusion of The Girl with the Dragon Tattooand is now trying to settle into Swedish life and some degree of normalcy.  When the researcher and his fiancee are found murdered, Lisbeth is the suspect in the killings and must work with Blomkvist to clear her name and attempt to liberate herself from her complicated legal situation.

Terrible secrets about Salander’s past are brought to light in the process of discovering the real killers; the movie doesn’t so much end as it does leave the viewer anticipating the final installment.

Alfredson’s directorial work is just as outstanding  in this installment as it was in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo;  the result is a movie that nearly surpasses the exceptional quality of the first film.  The story is deeply engrossing for the viewer, and loyal to Stieg Larson’s renowned series, a phenomenon uncommon in a flurry of movies that take excessive liberties with the novels that inspire them.  The acting is again superb, and the details included come across as both expansive and effortless.

Following the success of the American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, David Fincher is returning  to direct the next installment, which is currently in the works. This leaves viewers to wonder what changes he will actually make; given the nearly duplicated plot of the first American adaptation, it seems likely the upcoming remake will follow suit, merely changing Swedish actors for English-speaking versions. Perhaps there will also be minor tweaks in an effort to make the film more accessible to a wider audience, but in a series of already phenomenal films the need for such changes seems minimal. The film series is simply extraordinary and an excellent choice for anyone in search of a great story and an intricate, compelling plot: this film has both.