Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest

The original Swedish "Millennium Trilogy" films have reached their conclusion. What started out in "Dragon Tattoo" as a enthralling mystery, continued in "Played with Fire" as an action thriller, now concludes with "Hornet's Nest" as a "talking head" thriller designed to wrap up all the loose ends.

The screenplay once again trims much of the book down to the central story, eliminating sub-plots and details. There is also some tweaking of story elements as cinematic timesavers. Reduced to the basic plot, it still provides closure for the fans and star Noomi Rapace never falters in her perfect performance as Lisbeth Salander.

If you haven't read the books or seen the first two films, "Hornet's Nest" will hold no interest for you even though there is much exposition to bring the audience up to speed. The political tone of the book tries to be replicated but everything about "The Section" is sliced thin to save time. What does remain, is the regrettable first half that find Lisbeth confined to a hospital bed, switching much of the story to Blomkvist and his quest to clear her name and expose "The Section". This read well in the book but slows things to a crawl in the film. The action picks up in the final act during Lisbeth's trial and even just sitting in the courtroom, Ms. Rapace lets her minimal facial expressions do all her necessary acting.

It will be interesting to see how David Fincher will reinterpret the story in his English versions which are filming now with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. But for those fans who can't wait, the original Swedish films are now complete and it will be hard to imagine anyone else as perfect as Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist than Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist.

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