(Music Box Films) All good things must come to an end, and the final chapter of the Millennium trilogy is ready to present itself to American audiences, as The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet‘s Nest releases in the United States on October 29th. With Daniel Alfredson returning as director for the final installment, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest ties all the loose ends involving the street-wise Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist). Presented by Music Box Films with a screenplay written by Jonas Frykberg, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is essentially a summation, a cinematic closing argument, if you will, of the dark tale initially presented to us in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and perpetuated by The Girl Who Played With Fire.
Just like The Girl Who Played With Fire, this third chapter of the Millennium trilogy is a tamer follow-up of the introductory film presented by Niels Arden Oplev. Such a calmer yet still deliberate, story-telling approach seems to be the norm of Alfredson, who essentially minimized his risks in this final segment. Just as in his first venture in the second chapter of the three-part production, Alfredson, to no fault of his own, does not make any bold statements or take risky actions in sharing with audiences how the Millennium trilogy comes to end.
With that, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest just does not leave the same impact on audiences as Oplev’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. As stated above, Alfredson’s second and final venture in the trilogy merely regurgitated what happened in the previous two films, and predictably shared with the audience the expected outcome. At film’s end, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest tells us everything we already knew.
It is here where The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest stands apart from its two predecessors. There was no element of surprise. The suspense was not nearly as gripping. The depths of darkness seemed, at times, shallow. As each climax reached its peak, it appeared as if the ultimate outcome was readily evident.
So what makes this film worth watching?
For starters, watching Rapace portray Lisbeth never gets old, and no doubt the award-winning Swedish actress maintains her epic performance as the perfect antihero.
Equally as compelling was Nyqvist’s rendition as Mikael, who appears as emotionally invested as ever in Lisbeth’s fate. The two stars combined were as powerful in Hornet’s Nest as they were in Dragon Tattoo.
While the third installment of the trilogy was by far the easiest to forecast, the predictability still unfolded in a manner that was neither over-the-top nor controversial. Each of the film’s revealing plot points were exactly what they needed to be and never gave us a reason to question their place or purpose in the story arc.
Also unlike the previous two chapters, the supporting cast is more involved in this film, all of whom played their roles about as satisfactorily as they could have.
Ultimately, there is nothing shocking, revealing, or even thrilling about Hornet’s Nest. Oddly enough, perhaps such is to be expected after two great chapters preceded it in Dragon Tattoo and Played With Fire. Indeed, the bar was substantially raised and, unlike the first film, we all knew what we were getting into by the time Hornet’s Nest picked up steam.
With all that, the storytelling in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is still as qualitative as ever, not to mention a necessary (and pleasantly satisfying) finish to what is one of the better trilogies of this generation. The qualitative acting and solid storytelling make The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest a satisfying closure to a gripping tale.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is Rated R and opens in theaters October 29th, 2010.