Movie Review: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

It’s been close to a year since I was introduced to the seduction that is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I was taken over with intrigue ever since my first moments in the world of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist and now 9 months and 2 films later the conclusion is here. After seeing The Girl That Played With Fire‘s bitter sweet conclusion I thought that the last film in the trilogy was going to have a lot to live up to. It was either going to be a major success or and epic failure, there would be no in between. There is nothing more satisfying to the fact that The final film in The Tattoo series is everything I wanted  and more.

If you haven’t been keeping  up with this fantastic trilogy I strongly urge you to do so. Don’t wait until David Fincher gives it his American dub track due to your fears of reading. Saying that if you haven’t seen the first two films I suggest you stop reading this review as it will spoil some of the film’s better moments. The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest takes off right where The Girl Who Played with Fire left off and doesn’t give up an extremely dramatic pace right up to the final scene. We find Lisbeth recovering from the wounds bestowed on her by her father and staring down attempted murder charges for trying to implant and axe in his head. While Lisbeth recovers, Mikael scrambles to find the evidence she needs to be free.

While Mikael’s scramble for evidence helps uncover more pieces to the mystery that is Lisbeth, that’s not the main draw. All the major mysteries have been unveiled in the first two films and now comes time for some closure. You get this closure through Lisbeth’s trial and it’s just as satisfying as the rapist tattooing from the first film. I won’t go into specifics as not to ruin the film, but it had me running the gambit of emotions.

The thing that sets this series apart from everything else is it’s emotion. While it’s covered in mystery and intrigue by the third film it’s your attachment to the characters that makes the film what it is. This is mostly due to the fantastic acting in the film. For Noomi Rapace it would prove to be the most challenging, as Lisbeth has a decent into silence requiring all of her emotion to come from the eyes. Rapace still performs beautifully. Over the course of these films I have become a huge fan of Rapace’s acting ability and she will forever be the definitive Lisbeth. While she was great in the first two films, Hornet’s Nest is where she really shines. Rapace’s ability to move the view with nothing more than her expression is remarkable. I look forward to seeing her in many films to come.

While the direction in any of the Tattoo films leaves a little to be desired; there were key decisions made in Hornet’s Nest that I thoroughly enjoyed, namely, the lack of things shown. There is this ongoing trend in Hollywood to give visual ques to help. Films shouldn’t be framed like Dora The Explorer, I think by this point an adult can remember where the damn monkey is. This is one of the aspects of foreign film that I applaud shamelessly, they have a respect for their viewers. Maybe I can forgive films like Iron Man, due to their grip on a childhood audience but, If I’m watching a political thriller I don’t need clasps of lightning and flashes of a marriage lost to know why the head is in the box. OK, off my soap box now, lets just say it’s more than refreshing.

While I was sad to see this franchise leave me I was completely satisfied with it’s conclusion. Saying that, I do think there is still room for growth with this story and look cautiously forward to what David Fincher will do with the films. This is not to say that they are bad by any means I absolutely loved every minute of my time with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

I give The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest 4 “You couldn’t give me one hug!” out of 5.

By Ryan Davis

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About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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