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Hornet's Nest not for newcomers

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. Contributed

ONLY existing fans of the Millenium trilogy of books or films should see the third instalment, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.

Not because the film fails to be immensely satisfying, dramatic or lacking the intelligence of the previous films, it’s just that there’s too much history.

The pulpy mess of Lisbeth Salander, the bisexual, punk-haired outlaw who barely survived her beating in the previous film at the hands of her father and half-brother, is a difficult movie opening.

However, those familiar with the tale, (30 million books of the Swedish series were sold worldwide), need the cathartic release of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.

While Hollywood’s first remake of Stieg Larsson’s intriguing Millenium series is due out later this year, it cannot be as rooted in the Swedish soil as this production and will not have Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander.

Salander is a startingly different female heroine – slight-framed, covered in piercings, punk hair styles and wearing metal-trimmed leather, her expertise is in computer hacking – a talent which gains her incredible access.

An outsider who stood up to an abusive father and then spent the remainder of her youth abused in psychiatric institutions, Salander is damaged and dangerous – particularly to the men who crossed her.

Noomi Rapace conveys emotion with a vulnerability and intensity, playing a withdrawn character who could easily lose our sympathy in her violent and often hate-filled path.

Working feverishly to defend her from attempted murder charges is her loyal friend, Mikael Blomkvist, a middle aged leftist journalist who is campaigning against a patriarchial establishment shielding corrupt businessmen and bureaucrats.

Stylistically, the three instalments of Salander and Blomkvist’s adventures are quite different.

First was a classic gothic murder mystery with a side order of the skewering of a corrupt businessman.

Next up was a fast-paced and wide-ranging conspiracy thriller with a bizarre giant who feels no pain and the last is a taut courtroom drama where Salander learns to trust the system that previously failed her.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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