The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (2010)

I'm going to cheat here and quote our well-known American author Stephen King, regarding one of his must-read picks for the summer of 2010: “Lisbeth Salander is one of the great female characters in fiction, dangerous as hell in spite of her waiflike appearance; she karate-kicks as well as computer-hacks. The best thing about the late Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy is that the three books form one long, interconnected tale. And like Jo Rowling’s Harry Potter series, it’s a relentless, unputdownable narrative.”
And like Steig Larsson's phenomenally best-selling books, these three Swedish movies (English captions) are equally compelling. This one picks up where the last one left off, with a critically wounded Lis being transported to a hospital for medical aid. She has suffered three gunshot wounds, so is fairly well immobilized while many moving pieces of plot ricochet across the screen. No face is so closely scrutinized: we examine her features, searching for tiny hints of emotion. Maybe pain? Maybe relief? Maybe fear? Maybe affection? The teeniest glimmer is savored.

As portrayed by Noomi Rapace however, our Lis is anything but passive. We watch as she painfully sets about regaining mobility, strength and flexibility, using any equipment she can contrive in her heavily guarded hospital room and then later in her prison cell, where she awaits trial for murder.

Her loyal friend Mikael Blomkvist, as played by Michael Nyqvist asks his sister, who is a civil attorney, to take Lis' criminal case. She is heavily pregnant, but she too, is made from pretty stern stuff. In addition, Mikael is smart enough to enlist Plague, her brilliant hacker friend, so we see much more of his essential character in this exciting conclusion.

Special mention should go to the screenwriter Jonas Frykberg for his brilliant adaptation of all three books. Loyal readers will note some items that have been judiciously eliminated or combined with others, but the changes are needed to avoid long running times. Moviegoers who have not read the books won't suspect a thing!

Don't leave early. Just when you think the movie is over, there is one more exciting episode, which serves to wrap up the rest of the loose ends. By the way, this film works better if you are familiar with the other two, because as Mr. King says, "...the three...form one long, inter-connected tale...."