Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Let me begin by saying how impressed I am by the opportunity to watch all three parts of a trilogy at the cinema in less than six months. That’s the way it should be. And, in this case, all three films were well worth watching, not least because they were so different from each other. Dragon Tattoo was a brilliant drama couched in a thriller about a serial killer. Played with Fire was an action revenge flick. Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is a slow-moving conspiracy thriller. All three films were intelligent, well-written, well-acted and well-directed (the last two by Daniel Alfredson). Even the action flick had the kind of adult European feel that lifts it well above whatever Hollywood is likely to do with it. Nevertheless, the two sequels could not live up to the first film in the trilogy and both left me sighing with disappointment.

Moving away from action and serial killers to a slow-moving conspiracy film would normally be a huge step in the right direction for me. I’m a fan of suspenseful, intelligent slow-moving conspiracy films. And when the film involves people we have already come to care about (Hornet’s Nest focuses more on Mikael Blomqvist, played by Michael Nykvist, and less on Lisbeth Salander, the ‘girl’ of the title), we should definitely be verging on four-star territory. But the story just didn’t work for me. More to the point, the whole last half of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest felt anti-climactic. The conspiracy, and the way it was exposed, left me wanting much more. It simply wasn’t worth the suspense. And the ending in particular left me cold and wondering how this smart 'girl' could possibly be so stupid.

As I said, Hornet’s Nest was still well worth watching. It just could have been a lot better. Like the second film, it gets a very solid ***, verging on ***+. My mug is still up, but the contents are too bland.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could remember this film better to provide some more helpful feedback. I remember liking the second two better for some reason. Partly because I enjoy conspiracy movies more than serial killer movies, and partly because the graphic sexual violence of the first was a bit more disturbing than necessary (but at least it was clearly portrayed as disgusting and helped one to understand the main character).