No sooner does Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), the goth-inspired, post-modern Pippi Longstocking of the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's "Millennium trilogy," return to Stockholm from her post-Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
exile than she finds herself framed for a triple murder. With the manhunt for Lisbeth afoot, journalist and ex-lover Mikael Blomkist (Michael Nyqvist) begins a parallel search for the real killers. This sequel is hardly a sturdy standalone; a working knowledge of the events in Dragon Tattoo
is required. And, the storyline still concocts plenty of opportunities for Lisbeth to asphyxiate information out of perverts and Taser male attackers in the nuts, although not to the prurient depths of Dragon Tattoo
. But, the series' forte remains Rapace and Nyqvist's performances and the believable affinity they build between Lisbeth and Blomkist, despite the fact that they only share a few minutes of screen time in this film. It is the packaging, acting, and Larsson's Swedish societal symbolism that transform this high-gloss, sometimes tawdry potboiler into a stout serial.