Movie review: ‘Hornet’s Nest’ provides satisfying end to Swedish noir trilogy
Fans of the Swedish art-house pulp that has defined author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy on screen will have come to identify its ferocious, brainiac heroine Lisbeth Salander as a girl of swift, impetuous and violent action.
But in “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” the final, drawn out but ultimately satisfying film in the trio, the dynamic Salander spends much of her time laid up in a hospital bed, having been shot three times at the conclusion of the last film, and later confined to a jail cell awaiting a court date that will seal her fate.
After undergoing ghastly ordeals (torture, rape, gunshot wounds, a bullet in the brain) and facing off against seemingly endless onslaughts of nefarious villains (Nazis, pedophiles, pimps, conniving psychiatrists, assassins, a Frankenstein half-brother), in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” the surly, tattooed Salander – again portrayed with punk brilliance by Noomi Rapace in fierce mohawk – might seem slightly the worse for wear.
But for the third go-around, she proves to be just as resourceful, determined and anti-social as ever, even though the final film feels short on action and far more talky than the first two.
“Hornet’s Nest” (in Swedish with subtitles) takes up the story just minutes after the conclusion of the second film. Salander has been airlifted to a hospital in critical condition from gunshot wounds in a confrontation with her malevolent father (Georgi Staykov). But even as she’s under tight guard in a hospital ward, the “hornet’s nest” she’s stirred up in very high levels of the Swedish intelligence service is buzzing angrily.
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