When does a review step over the line between constructive criticism, and become a vitriolic attack?
A condensed version of this review was published in the Saturday edition of the Telegraph.
Friday's version had the simple headline announcing a review, and a sub title 'The Swedish TV adaptation botches the job of compressing the Stieg Larsson book'.
By the Saturday edition the headline had metamorphosed into:
'Larsson sequel that's pure tat'.
For those not familiar with informal English language, 'tat' is defined as tasteless and shoddy usually referring to clothes and jewelry.
The criticisms made of the film were that the book's Caribbean prologue had been omitted, 'Noomi Rapace's bisexual avenging hacker' has less to do than in the first film, and 'the film flunks on all levels of sustained tension, plausible back story or moral depth, but it's luridly violent denouement with shades of bad Thomas Harris leaves the grimmest taste in the mouth'.
Firstly this was a long book, something had to go, and most people who read the book wondered where that prologue fitted in to the whole saga.
The book had two separate plot lines one with Blomqvist's investigations, and the other with Lisbeth Salander on the run from a triple murder charge. Obviously Noomi Rapace could not be in every scene, although her performance warranted that.
In 2001 I watched the film Hannibal [based on the Thomas Harris novel] on cable television, because of the beautiful locations at Asheville, North Carolina and Florence, Italy, both of which we had visited earlier in the year.
In that film there is one character who had been deliberately disfigured and left paralysed by Hanibal Lecter , and who was eaten alive by wild boars. Later in the film Hannibal [Anthony Hopkins] eats brain from a still living Ray Liotta's head after cutting off the top of his skull.
The violence in The Girl Who Played with Fire is certainly nowhere near at that level.
The bad guys in the Larsson trilogy, and this film, are neo-Nazi biker gangs, Eastern European people traffickers, serial abusers of women and rogue Swedish intelligence agents.
Fifty hours community service, six months probation, a discussion of women's rights, or a good telling off, is just not going to work with these people.
Lisbeth Salander's violence towards the bad guys is almost certainly justified in her circumstances, and provides a strong moral depth to this movie.
Are some people evil? Do they need to be stopped?
Or do we go on proclaiming abuse of women, and people trafficking is terrible but.........
The feedback I have had from as far afield as the English Midlands, Denmark and New Mexico is that this was an enthralling film, and an extremely good effort at adapting a complex story for the screen.
I can't wait for The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest.