Film Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

This is the final instalment in the Swedish film adaptations of the hugely successful Stieg Larsson Millennium trilogy.

The story picks up straight from the end of the second film and continues to follow the uncovering of Lisbeth Salander’s life and Mikael Blomqvist’s determined pursuit of the story that will prove her innocent of any crime.

The familiarity that I now have with the characters ensured that I segued into the story with little need for reminders of how we had reached this point. However, reminders were there and were presented excellently as Salander’s nightmares, so it did not feel as though we were rehashing old ground unnecessarily.

Strangely, the misgivings I had about the second film; that Salander and Blomqvist spent too much of the film apart and I missed their on-screen chemistry; did not bother me this time even though they spend much of this film apart too. I think the difference is that in this film there is much more at stake and much more imminent danger: the government conspirators, the hulking giant Niedermann, Zalechenko and others all out to see to it that Salander does not get out of this one alive.

Although the basic essence of the film is a courtroom drama, there are so many set pieces and unravelling of the conspiracy and it’s protagonists that it feels like a political thriller.

Once again, although her screen time is significantly shorter than the other instalments Noomi Rapace excels in a part that it is almost impossible to imagine anyone else playing (good luck Rooney Mara who is taking on the role in the US remake).

Michael Nyqvist carries the role of Blomqvist like a well worn coat and although he differs from my perception of him from the novels, he does have a screen presence that is the hub of the minor characters that enjoy much more of a key role in the plot progression.

It’s an excellent continuation of the Salander/Blomqvist story and the three films together do offer up a consistent vision of how the novels have been brought to life.

The ending is ambiguous enough to suggest there may be more to this and, considering it has been widely reported that book 4 was in development when Stieg Larsson passed away, it could mean that we have not seen the last of them. And that would be no bad thing.

David Fincher, Daniel Craig et al have a lot to live up to and I feel it will that people who have watched and liked the Swedish versions will also take some winning round. As long as the source novels are utilised fully, as they contain much more depth than has been shown in any of these films, there should be no issues or questions as to why an English speaking version is needed at all.

My Rating: 4/5

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