The Girl Who Played With Fire (2010)

They did it again! With "Flickan som lekte med elden" (English captions) they took a fairly complicated and very exciting mystery, added two of our favorite, most likeable characters, mixed them up with some truly despicable villains and kept it all straight and relatable!

Our Goth hacker heroine Lisbeth Salander is back, perfectly depicted by Noomi Rapace; Michael Nyqvist brings his investigative journalist Mikael Blomqvist back to appealing life and we are once again enthralled by vengeance, violence and villainy. All of the characters in author Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy come complete with fully developed back stories so we understand the how and the why of events.

This time we are dealing with sex trafficking. Not only the crooks behind the industry, but the prominent johns who have a LOT to lose if word gets out about their predilection for abusing underage girls. Naturally Millennium magazine is on the front lines with its meticulously researched exposé ready for the printers.

Our shadowy Lis and our steady Mikael are pulled inexorably into the eye of the storm. She is accused of three murders and he is convinced she didn't do it. This film is tense, bloody and violent. However, unlike standard action movies, when a character is clobbered, it hurts, disabling him or her. No leaping back up and wading back into the fray when we KNOW how unrealistic THAT would be! In fact, by the time one character approaches a muddy, bloody heap of misery and murmurs, "I'm here..." I practically swooned.

Whew! THAT was sexy!