Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

So, one of the reasons I think I enjoyed HP and the DH part 1 is because it had been quite a while since I read the book, and so I'd forgotten a good deal of it (not that it stopped me being a bit critical of it). However, I had only finished reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest the day before I saw the film! "Muppet!" I hear you say; "What a colossal mistake!" Fair enough. However, I had enjoyed the first two films, my wife had read all the books, I had already read the first two books, and I wanted to read at least one without knowing how it was going to end! This didn't ruin the film for me, I still enjoyed it, it just lacked the depth of the novel (not unusual).

Noomi Rapace is still perfect as the sullen, introvert Lisbeth Salander (though her character is less upwardly mobile in this outing, as she is confined to a hospital bed for a lot of the film), and Michael Nyqvist is good as Blomqvist (though he just doesn't come across as being quite right for the part, he's meant to be a handsome ladies man!).

The story continues directly from the previous film, with Lisbeth being helicoptered into hospital having been shot, buried alive, and having whacked her Dad on the head with an axe! The ins an outs of the plot are far too detailed to go into here (for a detailed description see The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson!). Suffice to say the climax (well the first one) is a court case where all the people who have messed up Salander over the years get their comeuppance (turns out there was a government conspiracy to keep a defected Russian spy out of trouble (Lisbeth's Dad!)).

Finally, having been acquitted of attempted murder of her father, Salander confronts Niedermann (the psycho who doesn't feel pain who tried to shoot her at the end of The Girl who Played with Fire (actually Salander's half brother (seriously, read the books!))). The action is maybe a bit clumsy, but it is entertaining to see Salander shoot several nails from a nail gun to fix Niedermann to the floor!

There was some messing around with the order of events around the court case, and the spurious appearance of a character who is only ever present online in the book, but I guess this was to add to the drama of the court case, which still works well. Then there was the incident of Erika Berger (Editor in Chief of Millennium magazine, played by Lena Endre), who doesn't move to a rival newspaper, as in the book, but still receives crank offensive emails. Who from? No-one knows in the film, as it is never resolved! Sloppy.

The other mildly irritating thing are the subtitles! No, not like that. Subtitles are fine with me, I'd much rather watch a film in its original language and read, than have awful dubbing. No, in this case, as is the case with the first two films, the subtitles are white with no background or shadow. This hardly seems a crime; except that there are surprisingly numerous scenes that are white or very bright at the bottom of the screen, at which point the subtitles are illegible! Duh!

Overall, good film, great series, great books.