THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST nest When we first see bisexual computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, the final adaptation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, she is being transported to a hospital in Gothenburg, bloodied almost beyond recognition, the result of a bullet put in her brain by Zalachenko, her barbaric father, at the very end of part two, The Girl Who Played With Fire. Her pummeled, gore-covered body was a recurring image in Hornet's Nest predecessors, but this installment quickly dispenses with the obligatory scenes of its tiny heroine's traumatized body. Instead, it's filled up by a convoluted procedural whose plot hinges on an abundance of indistinguishable old and middle-aged evil, pale patriarchs in ties and sweater vests. Remanded to a prison cell in Stockholm after her recovery, Lisbeth awaits trial for the attempted murder of Zalachenko, while her infatuated savior, journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), uncovers the vast conspiracy that led to her repeated abuse by the state. That malevolent network committed Lisbeth to a mental institution at age 12 and would like to return her there for good so its functionaries can continue raping, sex-trafficking and consuming child pornography with impunity. Having never read a page of Larsson's books, I can make no claims to Hornet's Nest's fealty to its original source. But, like the first two Millennium movies, this final installment feels thoughtlessly put together, its script unpruned and rushed through, all to capitalize on the staggering worldwide popularity of its dead author. (Melissa Anderson) (Monica, Playhouse, Town Center)
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