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Reviews For The Easily Distracted:
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

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Title: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Aren't They Making An American Version Of These? Yep. David Fincher's version of the first movie, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, comes out in 2011.

So Why Should We Watch This? Oh, I don't know. Maybe to prove that all Americans aren't too stupid/lazy to watch a movie with subtitles?

Cast/Crew: Noomi Rapace is back as badass hacker Lisbeth Salander, Michael Nyqvist returns as journalist Mikael Blomkvist, and Daniel Alfredson once again directs (he also helmed The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Rating Using Random Objects Relevant to the Film: Three Niedermanns digging a shallow grave out of five.

Tagline: "Everything will be revealed."

Better Tagline: "Maybe you should reconsider that Swedish vacation."

Brief Synopsis: Hospitalized after being shot by dear old dad at the end of The Girl Who Played With Fire, Lisbeth Salander not only has to recover from her wounds, but must also contend with murder charges and attempts to put her back in the same mental hospital she was committed to as a girl.

Not So Brief Synopsis: While Lisbeth is in the hospital, her journalist friend Mikael is also trying to coordinate her defense at the court hearing (enlisting the help of his sister Annika, who just happens to be a lawyer) and get to the bottom of the conspiracy involving Lisbeth that reaches to the top of the Swedish government. Oh, and the freaky blond guy who doesn't feel pain is still causing problems.

Is There A Happy Ending For Lisbeth? To the extent that anyone subjected to a lifetime of neglect, abuse, and rape can have one, I guess.

"Critical" Analysis: How much you enjoy this, the final chapter of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, will depend on how much you've become accustomed to the violence and action of the first two movies. Lisbeth spends 90% of the film in either a hospital bed, a holding cell, our a courtroom, while Mikael and the intrepid staff at the magazine spend a lot of time looking over their shoulders and looking at their laptops.

So if the idea of Law & Order: Stockholm isn't your bag, you may not want to sit through all of this (well, plus a fight in a restaurant and a few murders) to get to the more or less inevitable climax where a fully recovered Lisbeth finally gets her final revenge.

Then again, the climax itself is somewhat anti-climactic. Dad (Zalachenko) is in the same hospital as Lisbeth, until the sinister Section decides they'd be better off without him. Bjurman, the "sadistic pig and rapist" we got to know so well from the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was killed by Niedermann in the second movie (a murder Lisbeth is being framed for), although we get to relive that particular bit of unpleasantness -- again -- when she lets Mikael give the DVD of her rape to Annika. All that's left is Niedermann, who she quite frankly can't beat in a stand-up fight.

Though she finds a pretty amusing way around that.

The trilogy has really been anchored by the performances of Rapace and Nyqvist, and that helps to overcome some of the Hornet's Nest's flaws. Namely, the relative ease with which Liseth and her colleage "Plague" are able to obtain secret files (note to self: when masterminding an evil conspiracy with connections to high government offices, store incriminating documents on a laptop without a wireless modem) and the stupidity of the protagonists. Most significant in this regard: the psychologist who wants to re-commit Lisbeth. Dude, I understand addition to child pornography is a sickness, but try not to bring your stash with you to court.

Ultimately, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is the weakest of the trilogy, and comes across much of the time like Larsson was trying to meet a deadline without much concern for niceties like closing plot holes. It's still a decent flick, but unfortunately diminishes some of what has come before.

See It/Rent It/Skip It: Rent it. Nothing about the movie screams "big screen," and if you have a region-free player you can already get the DVD.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is in theaters today. See it with your therapist.

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