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Movie:The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
In Theaters: Oct. 29, 2010
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Runtime: 147 min.
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, some sexual material, and brief language
Gecko Rating: 5 Geckos

hornets-nest-poster This weekend, I finally saw ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,’ the third film in Stieg Larsson’s ‘Dragon Tattoo’ trilogy. What a great film. What a great series. Everything was superb.

As a film critic, I see a lot of really bad movies, and this franchise gives me hope that the industry can still deliver thoughtful, complex films – and that people will go out to the theater to see them. These are certainly some of the most talked-about films in the past year.

‘Hornet’s Nest’ picks up right where ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ – the second film – left off. After taking a bullet to the head during her encounter with her father and half-brother, Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is recovering in a hospital and awaiting trial for murder when she’s released. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and his researchers at Millennium magazine are working to prove her innocence, while at the same time building a case to bring down a massive conspiracy of political corruption.

There are several subplots, including a romance between Mikael and Erika (Lena Endre), a show of faith from Lisbeth’s hospital doctor (Aksel Morisse) and attorney (Annika Hallin), continuing threats from the organization and Lisbeth’s half-brother, and the efforts of her hacker buddy Plague (Tomas Kohler) working behind the scenes to help prove her innocence. By the way, never doubt that anything on your desktop computer or laptop is secure. It isn’t.

I love how the story unfolds slowly over the course of the three films, and there’s never a wasted moment anywhere. You could watch each film individually as a stand-alone, but I don’t recommend it. There are too many nuances and events that play out over the course of all three films.

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The acting is brilliant, especially Rapace, who plays the part of Lisbeth so well that you’d swear she’s actually playing herself. I’ve got to get my hands on the six-part Swedish miniseries, ‘Millennium,’ which includes all of the main players from the film. Anyone seen it?

I also love that ‘Hornet’s Nest’ doesn’t feature a flashy Hollywood ending like you might find in a John Grisham movie. Lisbeth and Mikael don’t end up sipping Mai Tais on a Caribbean beach. The ending is subtle, reserved, true to life.

Please check out these films and tell me what you think. They’re rated R and not without some disturbing graphic content, but it’s not gratuitous or salacious in any way. It’s necessary to the story and comes back around to play out in the end.

Images: Music Box Films

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