10 sept. 2010

My Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet`s Nest (8/10)

¨It reminds me of Hell in a Greek tragedy. Zalachenko trying to shoot his daughter while her brother helps. Then she returns from the dead to smash an axe into the head of her father.¨

The Millennium trilogy written by the late Stieg Larsson, finally comes to an end with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet`s Nest picking up right where the second one ended. This third installment lives up to expectations and is much better than the second part which served more as a bridge for this movie. I really enjoyed this suspenseful thriller and thought this third part was more up to par with the first one. I still enjoyed The Girl who Played with Fire, but I think that it is very difficult to judge that one on its own because it didn´t have an ending and only served to set up part of the plot for this final third film where we finally get all our questions answered about the secret group that Lisbeth`s father was involved with. The second movie left a lot of inconclusive things, but The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet`s Nest finally gives us all the answers in a little over 2 hours and 20 minutes. The same director (Daniel Alfredson) and screenplay writer (Jonas Frykberg) from the second part of the trilogy are back, but this time they included Ulf Ryberg to help out a little more with the screenplay, and I think that his addition contributed a lot more in order to make this movie flow better (which was one of the weaknesses I found from the previous film). I know that you cannot include everything from the book in a two hour movie, so many people may end up disappointed, but I think the film worked really well on its own. You have to pay close attention to the detailed plot or else you might lose yourself, but that is exactly what makes this such a good, engaging, and smart thriller. The title of this film in Sweden is Luftslottet som Sprängdes, and the exact translation is The Castle of Air that Exploded (just like in the first film the title has been changed in English).

The third part of this trilogy picks up right after the second one ended. Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) is being taken to a hospital on a helicopter after the incident with her father. Mikael (Michael Nyqvist) arrived just in time to save Lisbeth and she begins to be treated in the hospital where they remove the bullets from her hip and brain. She is in a very critical condition, but is still accused for trying to murder her father and will have to face trial once she recovers. Her father, Zalachenko (Georgi Staykov) is alive in the same hospital also in a critical condition. Some members of the clandestine group inside the SAPO, the secret security police which have protected Zalachenko (a former Soviet spy), are worried that he will speak out and therefore try to silence him and Lisbeth. This group was mentioned during the second film, but we now get to know more about them and who they are. Mikael is continuing to gather evidence against this secret organization, which he now calls The Section, and is trying to find the people involved before the trial begins so he can publish it in the Millennium magazine and save Lisbeth from these men who are falsely accusing her. He gets some help from an investigative agency, and together they try to find the evidence they need to bring down the secret group. The Section doesn`t sit still and begin to put pressure on the trial to take place. They kill Zalachenko and get Dr. Peter Teleborian (Anders Ahlbom) to convince the jury that Lisbeth will need to be locked up in his psychiatric institution, St. Stephens, because of her mentally disturbed behavior. In the meantime, Mikael gets his sister Annika (Annika Hallin) to defend Lisbeth during the trial. During the investigation we discover some dark secrets from Lisbeth`s past and meet some dangerous and powerful people. The question is whether they can gather the evidence in time in order to save Lisbeth.

Stieg Larsson passed away before his Millennium trilogy was ever published so he never got to experience the success his novels have had throughout the world. He actually planned to write seven more stories involving Lisbeth and Mikael, but we will never get to read about them. At least we have the three rich books he left us with and that actually give some closure to the series. It would have been a tragedy if we were only left with the second part, but we have the third one and it does conclude everything regarding the existence of the secret group and their conspiracy. It also explains the reason why Lisbeth actually is so withdrawn from society as we discover new things about her past along the way. The third film works really well and Noomi Rapace is once again one of the reasons why this trilogy was so successful. She really played her character to perfection. I think The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is still the best film of the trilogy (a much darker one), but this film also worked really well. I actually enjoyed the parallel action scenes that took place during the trial which reminded me a lot of the famous Godfather baptism scene. I found the ending of the trilogy a very suitable one, and it truly was a remarkable experience to sit through these three movies. Millennium had some great characters, several solved mysteries, good performances, and a lot of thrills. I enjoyed the trilogy very much and recommend it.

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