DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (2010) dir. Daniel Alfredson
Starring: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace and Lena Endre


By Alan Bacchus

Instead of ramping up for a thrilling intense finale to the now-revered Millenium Trilogy the series fizzles out with barely a whimper. Daniel Alfredsson is back as director, a considerable step down in vision from Niels Arden Oplev’s stylishly cool The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Like the second film Alfredsson’s direction so annoyingly pedestrian it feels more like a television miniseries than a feature film.

But who knows, perhaps Dragon Tattoo went over budget and the producer’s felt they needed to keep the production at a minimum. After all, by then the American remake rights had been sold, they knew a far superior version would be made, with considerable higher budget and prestige. So what’s the point in spending an arm a leg on these second. With the fan base firmly established from the books and the first film, why not just coast on these successes crank out two more movies at minimal cost, rake in the money and wait for the royalties on the Fincher versions. In interviews Orplev has said the schedule constraints of the second and third movies was the deciding factor not to continue with the series, so between the lines this theory might have some truth.

Well for what it’s worth, Hornet’s Nest is better than The Girl Who Played With Fire.FThis story starts immediately after Fire and continues the story like one film split into two. With Lisbeth Salander in custody after attempting to kill her father, Michael Blomquist and the gang at Millenium Magazine scramble to gather evidence to help in the prosecution against her. We become privy to the secret government agency which brought her father Zalachenko over from Russia and arranged Salander’s incarceration in the mental hospital in her youth. All the details of Salander’s past come to light in adequate though uninspired fashion both in the trial and in the investigation leading up to it.

It’s mostly undramatic as there’s very little to reveal than we already knew or deduced. The only scene to take home is Blomquist’s fight with the Serbian assassins sent to kill him in the restaurant. If anything I couldn’t help imagine what Fincher will do with this scene. Same with the offish Ronald Niedermann, the half brother of Salander who is invisible to any pain. His final confrontation with Salander is a Ridley Scott -stytle cat and mouse chase in an abandoned factory, an action scene which could have been embellished with verve by a director with even a hint of panache.

So with the Swedish version complete, it’s time for the Americans to do it better. It’s a shame the Swedes gave up trying after such a valiant and successful first attempt.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from Alliance Films in Canada.

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