(On DVD, August 2010) This third and (presumably) last entry in the Millennium trilogy is best appreciated by fans of the lead characters: Picking up moments after the events of the second film, the narrative depends almost entirely on character quirks, plot follow-ups and existing tensions established during the second movie. It’s not quite as slow to begin this time around, but it’s just as “carefully paced” (which quickly becomes “long and repetitive” if you’re not a fan) as the two previous films in the series, something which, in turn, can be traced back to Stieg Larsson’s procedural novels serving as source material. For fans of the series, though, this marks an effective entry in the series as prickly protagonist Lisbeth Salander goes up against powerful renegade groups within the Swedish state’s security establishment while undergoing a trial that will determine her independence. No fear, though: Sweet justice is measured onto those who deserve it, and Mikael Blomkvist even gets a chance to fight back in an action scene of his own. The film itself in directed unspectacularly, which isn’t as disappointing as you may think given how it allows the actors, particularly Noomi Rapace as Salander and Michael Nyqvist as Blomkvist, to underplay their roles in typical Scandinavian fashion. There’s even an interesting moral point made at the end, as a competent democratic government takes care of its renegade elements without any typical American-style cynicism or overblown violence. For a series cut down abruptly by the author’s untimely death, this third volume ends on a satisfying note that allow viewers to let go and imagine Blomkvist and Salander’s next adventures without anxiety. Reflecting upon the entire trilogy, there’s no doubt that the first volume is quite a bit better, more unusual and more rewarding than the last two. Still, it’s not a bad series, and the sheer magnetic power of Rapace as Salander makes it a recommendation. Who knows what the Americans will do with their remake? DVD-wise, the R1-Quebec release regrettably has no extra features whatsoever.