Friday, October 29, 2010


Written by Jonas Frykberg
Directed by Daniel Alfredson
Starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist

If there is one girl out there who just keeps getting herself into more and more trouble, it is Lisbeth Salander. First she goes and gets a great big dragon tattoo on her back and then, despite many lessons to the contrary, she goes and plays with some fire. Now, I know Lisbeth didn’t have the best of upbringings – her father did try to bury her alive in the last installment after all – but she’s really gone and done it this time around. In the final chapter of the Swedish film interpretations of Steig Larsson’s international publishing phenomenon, this time Lisbeth is THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST.

While dragon tattoos and playing with fire are certainly intriguing notions, kicking a hornet’s nest is really just asking for it. That said, considering the severity of what the title implies, the close to this trilogy is certainly the tamest of the three films. The series started out as a theatrical release but transitioned to television with the second film and has been getting less biting as it has progressed, if you can consider people being lit on fire less biting, that is. The premise of the conclusion finds Lisbeth (played one last time by the fantastic Noomi Rapace) in a hospital to start, a jail to follow and a courtroom after that. Meanwhile, her guardian angel, Mikael Blomkvyst (Michael Nyqvist), is doing his darndest to prove Lisbeth’s innocence but, like the second film, their storylines rarely overlap. With Lisbeth subdued and Blomkvyst elsewhere, the action is left in the hands of a bunch of retired spies and politicians. It would appear as though Lisbeth picked a geriatric hornet’s nest to kick.

The conspiracy that Lisbeth threatens to undo is reasonably convoluted and as it was only introduced in the second film, there is a lot of ground to make up for here. Some of the build required to piece everything together often feels forced, awkward and at times, even unbelievable. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST plays out like it’s rushing through everything to get to the end. As a result, a series that started out with an intense ferocity exits in a fairly conventional fashion. The trouble is the focus on the hornet’s nest when the only thing we ever really cared about was the girl herself.

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