“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” is the third in a trilogy of movies based on the three novels written by Swedish novelist Steig Larsson; the first two being “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Girl Who Played With Fire.” All three novels, were written by Larsson before being shown to a publisher and were released after his death. As, of course, were the three movies.
Right off the bat, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” which was directed by Daniel Alfredson, is different from the first two movies, because in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” the bisexual/hacker/punk-rock heroine (or anti-hero if you like) Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Repace) had a huge dragon tattoo on her back, and in “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” Salander, does in fact, set her wicked father Alexander Steigercentrum rolsteiger carbon Zalachenko on fire, scaring him for life. But in the “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” there is no hornet’s nest, not did I hear any reference to a hornet’s nest, or even a single hornet. I didn’t read the novels, so there may have been a reference made to a hornet’s nest there, which doesn’t help, or explain the reason for the title of the movie, except that the producers must have felt the need to be true to the written trilogy.
So much for the nitpicking about the title. The movie is even more confusing.
“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” is by far the least interesting and least exciting of the three movies. In the first two movies, Lizbeth Salander is a piece-of-work, scheming, fighting and sometimes even torturing people. But in “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” Salander spends the first half of the movie under arrest in a hospital bed, recovering from the injuries she received at the end of “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” caused by her father, who she finally managed to kill, and her half brother Ronald Niedermann, who looks like Ivan Drago from the “Rocky IV. The thread that kept the first two movies flowing was the bond between Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist). Yet in “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” the two don’t even meet until the last five minutes of the movie.
The movie starts with Salander in the hospital, recuperating from her wounds, while a group of evil old men, led by a lying son-of-a-cockroach doctor, try to have her either jailed for the murder of her father, or committed to a mental institution for the rest of her life. While Salander wallows in bed, Blomkvist and his sister (who is Salander’s lawyer) try to figure out a way to save Salander and put the cranky old men out of business, whatever that business may be, because it certainly isn’t clear in the movie. Then there’s Salander’s trial, where she goes from wearing drab hospital garb, to donning a weird punk/rock leather costume, with her hair piled up in the middle of her head, looking like a female version of Edward Scissorhands on steroids.
The only excitement in the entire movie is when Salander catches up with her menacing half- brother Niedermann. After escaping his death clutches in a warehouse, Salander somehow manages to acquire a nail gun, from thin air no less, and from behind, nail Niedermann’s feet to the floor. This scene, which is supposed to be frightful, is actually funny, because Niedermann has an affliction where is his incapable of feeling pain. So instead of screaming, writhing and trying desperately to extricate his feet from the wooden floor, Niedermann looks mildly quizzical and greatly confused, as he shuffles his feet slowly, and not too desperately. Salander then phones a biker gang, who have a score to settle with Niedermann. They supposedly finish him off, which we don’t actually see. That was very disappointing, because seeing Niedermann whacked would have added some excitement and finality to a very dull movie.
I gave “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” 5 out of 5 stars. And I gave “The Girl Who Played With Fire” 4 ½ out of five stars. The best I can do for “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” is a very weak 2 stars, and only because Noomi Repace is a riveting actress, who deserved a better screenplay than she was given in this thoroughly disappointing movie.
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