In the Millennium trilogy’s final installment, 2009’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Director Daniel Alfredson continues the style from the second film, but ultimately disappoints. Noomi Rapace continues on as Lisbeth Salander and I wished I could say she was again a highlight in the film, instead, she’s barely given anything to do.
The film begins directly after The Girl Who Played with Fire having Lisbeth in the hospital after her near death fight with her father and brother. Having been shot in the head, and the hip, she’s in pretty rough shape and undergoes an extensive recovery/rehabilitation process, more on that in a minute. Lisbeth is a few doors down from her father, also in the hospital from the fight and he has a lengthy and heated conversation about taking down the group he’s associated with. Ultimately he’s shot and killed and this starts the long journey towards the end of this trilogy and the end of these characters as we know them. Later on in the film we see that Mikael is going to use Millennium as a means to expose this group that Lisbeth’s father was associated with. Lisbeth has been arrested when the film opens and once she’s finally healthy enough, she stands trial for the attempted murder of her father. Mikael uses his and Lisbeth’s connections to uncover the truth behind Lisbeth’s stay in a mental hospital and ultimately frees her of any wrong doing. The film doesn’t end there however, we have the obligatory final boss battle with her brother in a pretty extraneous scene and character. They fight, she of course survives and her and Mikael meet up for a well constructed ending, finishing off the trilogy in style.
First of all, I guess my major complaint with the film is that it is called The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, yet Lisbeth isn’t very active in the film at all until the very end. She’s rehabbing herself after the end of movie #2 and while that makes sense, the focus of the film is really on Millennium and their attempt to break the new on this inner circle. The problem for me, is Lisbeth as a character is much more interesting than this group surrounding Mikael and I would have rather seen her do something in the film besides sit in a hospital and sit in a courtroom. She does get a scene where she eats probably the most disgusting looking pizza I’ve ever seen.
Another issue, and it’s the same with the second film, is the inclusion of this mindless, unfeeling killer of a brother character. The film tries so hard to be realistic and to do things according to laws, and rules and Lisbeth’s lawyer uses lying to get her out of a mental hospital and then we have Jaws from the Bond films and she has to figure a way to stop him before he kills her. It’s the same complaint I had for the second film but I can’t help but complain again and it’s the same problem.
Finally I wished there would have been more stakes associated with the film. Now, I don’t have a particular grasp on the Swedish law system but it seemed to me that Mikael was hoping to expose these people but what was going to happen when he did? Were the people high up enough to cause some kind of social change? What Millennium going to be recognized by this nationally? I understood the end goal but I wished there would have been more of a risk associated with this undertaking. I know they were being targeted and attacked but wouldn’t this then continue as the people associated would look for revenge? In a solid trilogy, I had hoped for a return to the style of the first film, instead we get a continuation of the second movie, and while that’s not entirely bad, I prefer the first film’s style, stakes, and storyline better.