Netflix UK film review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Ivan Radford | On 16, Nov 2017
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace
Watch The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest online in the UK: Netflix UK
It’s not easy trying to bury an axe in your dad’s brain. Especially when he’s a defected Russian agent and your brother’s a psycho who feels no pain. Not to mention the fact that you’re the country’s most wanted murder suspect. Which is why Lisbeth Salander (Rapace) is now in hospital. It sounds like a TV movie and it is. Just not a great one.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest starts with Lisbeth recovering from her violent familial encounter at the end of the second film in the Millennium Trilogy (The Girl Who Played with Fire). She’s stuck in bed for an hour awaiting her trial (hour number two), where she hopes to clear her name using a very tall haircut. It’s basically an episode of Casualty and Kavanagh QC back-to-back.
Hewing down Stieg Larsson’s hefty 700-page novel, there’s a lot of plot missing in this adaptation, but the main problem is the style. Daniel Alfredson stays at the helm after the satisfactory second outing, and he sticks to what he knows. Namely, getting the job done without blowing the small-screen budget.
The locations and performances are impressive (Michael Nyqvist is now perfectly at home as sleepy-faced journalist Blomkvist) but there’s a certain spark missing. The plot plods along, as a conspiracy against our hacker heroine is exposed, but events don’t have the novel’s energy.]; the movie shoots itself in the foot before the enigmatic Rapace is even let out of hospital.
Thank goodness, then, that her character is still captivating. If it weren’t for the girl with the dragon tattoo, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest would be worth watching only for the downfall of sleazy Dr. Teleborian. It’s a shame given the excellent Scandi cinema we’re currently seeing reach our shores. This courtroom thriller should grip as much as Grisham. It doesn’t. And Grisham doesn’t have such a cool protagonist to work with.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.