The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (2009) – Daniel Alfredon

The third installment in the Millennium Trilogy, based on the novels by Stieg Larsson delivers a white knuckle ending to the film series that is just as engaging and character driven as the books on which they are based.

Noomi Rapace returns as Lisbeth Salander, who is in the hospital, and then arrested following the events of the previous film, which began to dig up some of her past and how it ties into a larger tapestry of government cover-up. While Lisbeth is working to restore her mobility, Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) the co-owner and lead journalist on the news journal, Millennium, begins to work to bolster her case and prove how the system, and those who run it, screwed her over all to protect their own secrets.

And all of the secrets tie into a former Soviet agent who defected, and helped run a trafficking ring… Lisbeth’s father.

The story leads Lisbeth to a final confrontation with her homicidal half-brother, Ronald (Micke Spreitz), as well as a court case that will out the truth, even as the Swedish police swoop in to make arrests and Blomkvist gets Lisbeth’s story out.

Clocking in at two and a half hours there’s lots of story, lots of character work, and lots of beats that just make everything feels like it is paying off. Threads get tied up, characters have grown, and it’s interesting to see that by film’s end, Lisbeth is opening up a little to those around them, and thanking them (in her way) for the work they’ve done in helping her.

The films like the books are involved, filled with detail, and requires paying attention. One can’t simply wander in and out of this story, there is lots going on, and lots of things and people to keep track of.

Both Rapace and Nyqvist are wonderfully cast, but so are the actors around them. Everyone in the film looks exactly how I imagined them when I was reading the books. In fact so many of the scenes played out exactly the way I had shot them in the cinema of my mind.

I remember fondly when these books were everywhere. It seemed everyone was reading them, and while the North American adaptation of the first book, directed by David Fincher, was solid, the original films, are definitely my prefered format of the story.

I love how it looks, how it’s performed, and how it all plays out. It’s feels like a number of years since I delved into this series, and it was a real joy to watch them again, back to back to back. It’s a great thriller, fantastic characters, and so much fun to watch, even with the darker subject matter.

Revisit it today, or check it out for the first time!

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