Monday, November 8, 2010

Movie with Abe: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Directed by Daniel Alfredson
Released October 29, 2010

The third and final chapter in Stieg Larsson’s trilogy centered around Lisbeth Salander, also known as the girl with the dragon tattoo, and fearless journalist Mikael Blomkvist brings the series to a fulfilling and appropriately awesome end. It’s one of those movies that absolutely requires a viewing of the previous two in order to comprehend its events, and a screening of the previous films is also necessary to attain the same sense of appreciation and awe upon viewing the final installment. While “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” can be seen as an action/mystery film and “The Girl Who Played with Fire” as a revenge thriller, it’s harder to put the third film even in a somewhat conveniently stretched box since it straddles the line of different genres and styles.

“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” picks up exactly where the second film left off, much like “The Matrix Revolutions” did, and to make this review readable by those who might not have seen the earlier films, important spoilers will be avoided. Yet it’s still worth pointing out that this film, in stark contrast to its predecessors, does not involve much of Lisbeth in action, taking out and/or striking fear in the hearts of bad guys. Instead, Mikael and the Millenium group are out there taking risks as they prepare to publish Lisbeth’s story in their forthcoming issue. What plays out is a mix of legal and political thriller, as Lisbeth prepares for her own trial and Mikael works with investigators to build a case against all those corrupt officials who caused Lisbeth so much pain over the years.

What “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” lacks in energy and excitement at its start, it makes up for as the film progresses. The thriller becomes increasingly more enthralling as twists unfold and characters come closer both to the truth and to deadly danger. Lisbeth’s inability to participate isn’t too much of a detractor, and the film manages to find its twisted vengeful side elsewhere. The film also provides a spotlight for more innocent, underused characters like Annika, Mikael’s sister, who steps in to be Lisbeth’s lawyer. Including characters like her, blissfully unaware of the extent of actions taken by both the villains and Lisbeth herself, helps to raise the stakes and make all parties’ discoveries all the more intense and shocking. All in all, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” is a perfect companion film and final chapter for a truly terrific Norwegian import. Hopefully David Fincher’s 2012 American remake will be deserving of its source material.


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