Rating: 3 out of 5
Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) are back for the concluding chapter of the Millennium trilogy and, much like its depreciating second instalment, this final film fails to recapture the magic of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
That isn’t to say that The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is a bad movie, it isn’t, it just had a lot to live up to.
After being battered and shot in the head by her villainous father Zalachenko (Georgi Staykov) and freakish half-brother Niedermann (Mikael Spreitz), this movie picks up immediately where we left off with Lisbeth barely clinging to life.
As Lisbeth undergoes surgery and extensive rehabilitation, she has other things to worry about besides her physical condition, namely an impending trial for the attempted murder of her father and a shady group of former spies who want nothing more than to silence her.
While the second movie shined the spotlight on Lisbeth’s mangled psyche, here the focus returns to Mikael and his single-minded efforts to clear Lisbeth’s name and unravel the conspiracy that threatens The Girl that he’s grown so ambiguously fond of. To do so, Mikael relentlessly embarks on an expose for his Millennium magazine that may finally turn the odds in their favour.
As with every instalment of this trilogy, its plot threads are puzzle pieces that are far too numerous and complicated to describe. The franchise has always been narrative-driven but while the first movie had a fascinating murder mystery and the second had Lisbeth’s psychotic revenge hijinks to drive the pace, this one lacks such a device.
What we end up with is a talky 148-minute chess game that involves the usual twists and turns but is hindered by a lack of forward momentum and emotional heft. A climatic court room sequence does skilfully put three movies worth of loose ends to bed in fairly thrilling manner – but the awkward positioning leading up to that moment of vindication isn’t graceful in the least.
Actress Rapace is still as enigmatic and magnificent as ever but she unfortunately doesn’t get much to do as Lisbeth spends the majority of the film’s duration in a hospital bed or behind bars. We do however get to see her outwit her persecutors and engage in an enthralling showdown with Niedermann in the third act, but that’s just too little too late.
The relationship between Lisbeth and Mikael is uncommonly fascinating. Yes they did have sex in the first movie but since then their bond has been platonic and, more importantly, they hardly interact in the subsequent two films – yet their loyalty to each other is unflinching.
Perhaps they’re cut from the same cloth (their crusading natures) and that’s what binds them, but we’ll never know for sure. Sure the plot-driven aspects are intoxicating but one wishes more attention could have been paid to the psychology behind Lisbeth’s and Mikael’s unique emotional attachment.
About Hidzir Junaini
Hidzir Junaini is 23-years-old and a wealthy playboy billionaire by day and a caped crusader by night. Only one of those is true. He’s actually a freelance writer, blogger, full-time film buff and some-time socially awkward nerd. He also writes about music, restaurants and nightlife for MetroWize Asia.
Hidzir was the winner of the inaugural inSing Movie Lover contest that garnered over 1,000 participants. The Movie Lover contest is a search for a candidate who possesses outstanding passion for movies and a talent for writing engaging movie reviews.