REVIEW: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

3 08 2011

Had I not read the whole of Stieg Larsson’s fascinatingly intriguing Millenium trilogy, I probably would have given up on Niels Arden Oplev’s lackluster film adaptations back whenever “The Girl Who Played With Fire” stunk it up like a skunk.  “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest,” the final installment of the Swedish-produced trilogy, turns the series around in a positive direction but not nearly drastically or radically enough to make it all that worthwhile of a moviegoing experience.  The faithful adage “read the book first” still rings true, although I won’t be as harsh to say it has never rang truer.

The series does a pretty intense tonal shift in the third segment, becoming less of an intensely violent thriller and more of an Aaron Sorkin-esque courtroom drama.  (Hey, that’s actually a great idea – let’s start an Internet petition to bring together “The Social Network” dream team for the American version of this movie!)  Because of this, it’s almost unfair to compare it to the previous two movies in the series.  It has to rely on the Larsson’s plot for the suspense, which is actually a really good thing.  As its predecessor showed us, the late author knows best.

Rapace’s performance is sharp again as her Lisbeth Salander, a unique cinematic creation, endures the crucible of a lifetime in her confrontation of the vast injustices that have plagued her life.  She is, once again, the highlight of the movie and perhaps the only reason I can give to watch the movie instead of read the book.  Larsson’s prose is infinitely more exciting on a page than watching Oplev’s attempt at translating its zing.  If you really can’t keep from biting your nails until David Fincher gets his hands on the series, this will help you bide your time – but won’t really do much else.  B- /