The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

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The title of this closing chapter to the trio of film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy of rum conspiracy thrillers implies that we should brace ourselves for a manic, two-and-a-half-hour dust-up. Yes, we’ll surely see svelte punk sleuth Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) swinging her studded leather boot towards the nether regions of any pervert in frameless glasses or tweed-clad secret agent who enters her eyeline.

Alas, the grim reality is that we get to look on as our titular firecracker is confined to a hospital bed for hour one, then sent to prison for hour two, before being allowed a cursory run around an abandoned factory with a nail gun for a cheap, concluding coda.

But what of her death-defying paramour and guardian, Mikael ‘Mika’ Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist)? He wins the inauguaral prize for clumsily romantic screen depictions of journalists (pipping Julia Roberts in ‘Eat Pray Love’ to the post), as he splits his time between bashing keys on his omnipresent MacBook, bellowing exposition down the phone and darting around town having fist-fights with Serbian mercenaries.

This is by far the weakest episode in the series, not only because its sole function is tortuously to address and explain all the loose ends from the previous two, but because it does so in the most lazy, artless manner possible: the actors may as well have been sat in a wing-back chair in front of a black backdrop and allowed to recite passages from the book to camera. A more apt title would be ‘The Girl Who Sat Quietly in a Dimly Lit Room’.

By: David Jenkins

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