Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is the third film in the “Millennium” trilogy, a series of movies based on novels by Stig Larsson. The first movie was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The films are harsh thrillers that deal with journalism, hacking, family secrets, and violence against women. The latest movie is a fine addition to the previous films.
Hornet’s Nest picks up directly where the previous movie, Girl Who Played With Fire left off. Lisbeth is taken to the hospital due to the extensive wounds she suffered at the climax of the last film. She will later be tried for attempted murder of her father the man who abused her and her mother. Mysterious men in the government want silence Lisbeth because they don’t want their connection to Lisbeth’s father discovered. Lisbeth’s friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist is trying to clear her name. Meanwhile, Niedermann, an hulking brute of a man (incidentally Lisbeth’s half brother) is intent on his own revenge against Lisbeth.
I thought this was a fine film. I enjoyed it even more Girl Who Played With Fire, although it lacks the shocking impact of the first movie Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It had a nice even pace and told in a rather straight forward manner. Although it helps to have seen the former films, it isn’t obligatory. I had a few minor quibbles, along the lines of “Wait, couldn’t character A have done that sooner?” or “Would the authorities really let character B have that?” But nothing serious enough to take me out of the story.
Another aspect of the film I liked was the complex portrayal of Lisbeth and Mikael’s personalities. The actors, Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist do a brilliant job. Lisbeth, while strong and aggressive, is clearly emotionally damaged. Mikael, of course is righteous and kind, but also stubborn and slightly arrogant. This shown not only through the interaction between the two leads, but also through their relationships with other people in the their who are trying to help them. Lisbeth who is defiant and clever in her dealings with authority figures literally has no clue how to react when people treat her with genuine kindness. Mikael seems to forget that other people are affected by his relentless pursuit of the truth. Difficult moments seem to just hang in the air during certain scenes. This might be the most realistic part of the movie. There are several scenes where characters have awkward exchanges with each other. Either not knowing what is the right thing to say or knowing, but being too prideful to say it. This is my biggest concern about the American remake. That they may tone down some of the lead’s personality flaws in order to make the protagonists more “likable”. But we’ll see…
All in all, Girl Who Kicked the Hornest’s Nest is a great final film a fine film trilogy.