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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest (Luftslottet som sprängdes)



The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest brings the sordid, lurid saga of hacker extraordinaire Lisbeth Salander to its inevitable conclusion. Picking up directly where The Girl Who Played With Fire left off, Lisbeth has been hospitalized from her near-death experience of being shot several times and buried alive before exacting vengeance on her evil crimelord father.  Unlike the more propulsive, almost Bourne-like Girl Who Played With Fire, which was driven by Lisbeth's actions to find out who framed her for murder and why, Hornet's Nest is a sprawling, endlessly-talky game of Keep Away - Keep Lisbeth Away From These Evil Scumbag Swedes Who Want Her Dead. As Lisbeth recovers from her wounds, even more shady forces - a secret cabal of sinister, old and frail scumbag Swedish men dubbed The Section - rally to finish her off once and for all. The Section even enlist the sinister old scumbag psychiatrist who had 12 year old Lisbeth committed, abused her while she was in his care, and then had her declared legally incompetent. Plus Lisbeth's hulking, mute, and murderous half brother continues to skulk around Stockholm. Fortunately, Lisbeth is again aided by her knight in journalistic armor, Mikail Blomkvist.  Although the Berlin Wall of Silence Lisbeth imposed in the previous film had fallen by its end, Blomkvist still spends most of Hornet's Nest away from her; he assigns his pregnant attorney sister Annika as her legal counsel while he moves into Lisbeth's apartment, sleeps in her bed, and uses her wifi. Meanwhile, as Blomkvist engages his magazine Millennium to publicly reveal the massive conspiracy aimed against this one girl with the dragon tattoo, he and his co-workers are besieged by death threats. This leads to one of the few and welcome bursts of action in the film as Blomkvist and a would-be assassin brawl in a restaurant. While hospitalized, Lisbeth composes her autobiography - No doubt if she published it in three volumes, they would become international best sellers and would have both Swedish and Hollywood films made of them. The performances are again very fine from leads Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyquist, though they've got these characters down to a T. His performance almost skirts the edge of perfunctory. It's unfortunate also that Rapace, who cleaned up so nicely in the previous film, reverts back to her offputting 1980's goth look, complete with mohawk and combat boots by the end. The DVD of the rape of Lisbeth in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - the most important and pivotal rape ever committed in Sweden - once again is referenced, as if any of us who saw it could ever forget it.