2307. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (2009)

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7.1 Strong, but missing something new
  • Acting 7.5
  • Directing 7.1
  • Story 6.8
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Mikael Nyqvist, Lena Endre

Director: Daniel Alfredson

Running Time: 147 mins


The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Luftslottet som sprängdes) is a Swedish film and the third in the Millennium Trilogy. After recovering from her injuries, Lisbeth Salander finds herself charged with three murders, and as Mikael Blomkvist attempts to prove her innocence, she must reveal some of her darkest and longest-kept secrets.

Once again, this film doesn’t quite live up to the brilliance of the first of the series. While the finale of the Millennium Trilogy features intrigue throughout, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest is a far cry from the dramatic intensity of the original, suffering from similar problems to The Girl Who Played With Fire, but also dragging on a little too much over the course of a story that just doesn’t reveal enough to really enthrall you.

Let’s start on the plus side first, however, with Noomi Rapace’s performance. She was excellent in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, with a vague and tense performance that made Lisbeth Salander a riveting character throughout, and while I can’t say she was able to do quite the same in the second film, she’s back with a vengeance in the finale, with a performance that brings back a good degree of intensity that shines as this film’s most impressive element.

As we see Salander come under increased scrutiny from all sides, Rapace’s performance turns her into an even more radical character, with a further drastic change of image working brilliantly alongside a performance that shows Salander as aggressive and mysterious as ever, particularly as she comes face to face with lawmakers and her legal opposition who don’t expect anything that’s coming their way.

Much like The Girl Who Played With Fire, we don’t get quite as much insight or depth into Mikael Blomkvist’s character, and that means that Mikael Nyqvist doesn’t have all that much to show in his performance, being further relegated from the fascinating co-central role he held so brilliantly in the first film, and ending up with very little to do.

Now, I saw the change of director in the second film to Daniel Alfredson as a bit of a downturn for the series, and although he does bring in some more striking and dark elements to the film for the final entry in the trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest once again feels a little too light and formulaic, failing to really get into the crux of what makes the characters so fascinating, and playing the story out in rather predictable thriller fashion.

And when it comes to that story, I can’t say I was immensely impressed with the finale to the trilogy. On the one hand, it ties up some loose ends from the previous two films, but on the other, the majority of the movie is just somewhat of a reassessment of the events from the last two, as we see Lisbeth Salander struggle to reveal some of her dark secrets – most of which we as the audience already know – while lawyers and judges go over the events of the past two films and serve a legal judgment.

For me, two and a half hours of what felt like mostly recapping is not the ideal plot for a thrilling watch, and it’s something that makes this film really rather dull to watch throughout, as there just isn’t enough that adds to the series as a whole, which really frustrated me throughout.

Overall, while The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest does indeed have intrigue and drama throughout, it’s an overlong courtroom drama that fails to realise the true depth and intensity of the characters that we came to understand so deeply in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I found it somewhat of an unsatisfying conclusion to the trilogy, and although Noomi Rapace once again puts in a strong performance, there really isn’t all that much else to rave about, which is why I’m giving it a 7.1.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com

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