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Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, The


Stars: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nykvist, Lena Endre, Mikael Spreitz, Annika Hallin, Jacob Ericksson, Sofia Ledarp

Director: Daniel Alfredson

A continuation of the story from The Girl Who Played with Fire, this is a gruelling, bone-achingly long and rather talky crime drama, in which Lisbeth Salander (Rapace), recovering in hospital after her ordeal at the end of the previous film, faces a court hearing to determine her sanity, followed by a trial for the attempted murder of the big-time crook who turned out to be her father.

The latter, however, is soon dispatched by The Section, an ageing group of subversives who also include the psychiatrist who maltreated Lisbeth as a sub-teen. Now they plan to silence her for good by having her re-committed.

Once again, her knight in shining armour proves to be Micke Blomqvist (Nykvist), who plans to expose her enemies in an upcoming issue of his crusading magazine. But his life, too, is soon in danger.

You can't help thinking this tale could be told in a couple of hours, although things do burst into action at the end, when Lisbeth faces her arch-nemesis, her gargantuan half-brother (Spreitz) in a warehouse duel. It's hard to believe the same man man sired a seven-foot giant and 4ft 10in stick insect, but I suppose it's no less implausible than most of the developments here.

Rapace, though, gives another iconic performance as Lisbeth, and now seems set to take up an international career.

David Quinlan

Sweden/Germany/Norway 2009. UK Distributor: Momentum. Colour.
146 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 20 Nov 2010