- 19 Nov 10
I never thought I’d say this, but bring on the American remake...
The final novel in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy was always going to have a tricky transition to the big screen. Its predecessor, The Girl Who Played With Fire ended just as Lisbeth Salander (the ever-impressive Noomi Rapace) was shot by her father Zalachenko and indestructible half-brother Niedermann. A dramatic climax indeed, but unfortunately it means that our enigmatic and engaging heroine now spends the majority of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest lying in a hospital bed, while outside the ward, government conspiracies and court cases are discussed in confusingly intricate and painfully lengthy detail.
To be fair, the details are a necessary evil, as there’s a hell of a lot to cover. Lisbeth is up for the attempted murder of Zalachenko, so her former lover Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) convinces his sister to defend her. He, meanwhile, is busy finding evidence to bring down Dr. Teleborian (Anders Ahlbom), Lisbeth’s cartoonishly sadistic psychiatrist who wants her committed, while also uncovering a layered political conspiracy involving ‘The Section,’ a corrupt branch of the Secret Police. There may have been another plotline concerning Blomkvist’s journalist colleagues, but the information overload caused me to have a mild aneurysm, and I blacked out. That, or I dozed off. I can’t be sure.
While the complexities of Larsson’s plot may have made for an engaging read, the truth is that in a cinema, watching a bunch of unattractive, interchangeable middle-aged white guys have serious conversations in grey rooms was never going to be as enjoyable as watching a mercurial goth kick some ass. Though theoretically director Daniel Alfredson should be commended for condensing an incredibly lengthy and complex novel into a two and a half hour film, the poor script, infrequent action scenes and unforgivably anti-climactic conclusion make it feel like its taking place in real time.
I never thought I’d say this, but bring on the American remake.