This film is no way as striking and powerful as the previous, neither in acting nor in photography nor overall direction; it actually retards back into arthouse mediocrity, barring the one beautiful shot of the burning warehouse. The faceoff between Zala and Lisbeth is weak and forgettable; not even revealing the identity of the blonde tank brings anything to the screen.
However, the entire film redeems itself in the final moment of tenderness, when Lisbeth reverses Armansky’s curse, that she doesn’t care about anyone else, and actually lets Blomkvist in. She’s vulnerable, she’s no longer steely-faced, she’s glad to see him.
Look forward to how this is going to be wrapped up in the final film.