Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ten Statements About....THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST (2009)

Yes...Noomi Rapace remembers 1980's movie punk fashion.
1) Unlike with the previous film in this trilogy, the gimmick of keeping our hero and heroine separated save for two instances works--the film gives us concrete reasons why Lisbeth and Mikael are on their own here.

2) I do like the way that, over the course of these three movies, the roles established for our heroes are flipped until, by this film, Mikael is the leg man--he even interacts with Plague, just as Lisbeth did.

3) Was there really a point to keeping Neidermann around? He wasn't a compelling character in ...Played With Fire, and helped move the film away from the harder, harsher realism of the first film. Every time he shows his lumpen face, I wanted to fast forward through the scene, and his ultimate fate came as an anticlimax.

4) I am relieved that Rapace got back in touch with the intensity she has in ...Dragon Tattoo. Even though she does little in the movie--she barely talks through long stretches of it--we know what's going on in her head. And even though we begin to see a softening of her (there comes to be almost a flitatious air towards her interactions with Dr. Jonassen), we never lose sight of what Lisbeth is at her core.

5) Even though we still get that international thriller flavor of ...Hornet's Nest (Hell, the last two films pretty much make up one long story), the tone works a bit better, mainly because the sex trafficking angle is nowhere to be seen.

6) I was a little startled by how little screen time Bublanski got given how he was built up in ....Hornet's Nest. But then, I rather liked the pair of investigators who take the place of Bublanski (particularly the female half, who I almost suspected had a thing for Mikael).

"Mess with me, and I'll legal your ass..."
7) On the other hand, this is the most we see of the other Millenium cast--and we finally get some flesh on that bare bones storyline about Mikael's romance with Erika, thus making her into a living, breathing human being for the first time. And I love how Mikael's sister is almost as much a hero in this movie as Mikael and Lisbeth.

8) Even though the international thriller aspect is here to stay with the whole Section storyline, I like the fact that this case is cracked open by good ol' fashioned detective work. Even though there are some arbitrary action sequences, it's obvious they're there as a sop.

"...and then I was the bassist for A Flock of Seagulls..."

9) I'm even somewhat surprised that I don't find That Damned Sequence from ...Dragon Tattoo as much. It's a key part of the resolution to the trial, and it's not gone over nearly as much as in ...Hornet's Nest.

10) The ending is just so...non-commital. But then, that might be the point, that life isn't so neat and tidy, and not everything is resolved. And trust me, I know exactly how that very last scene would work when the third film is made. much better than that messed-up, all over the place second film that gives me renewed hope for Rapace's career.

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