Well December had arrived and the end of the journey was in sight. The last of the film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium’ trilogy was soon to arrive ... but not at a cinema near me anytime soon. My home town’s multiplex doesn’t do that (at least not for another couple of months). But to my delight there was another in its ‘chain’ of multi screens located an hour’s bus drive away in the land called Milton Keynes. And on a cold morning, I set out.
I arrived at the cinema which is located in a shopping centre/artificial snow slope (no I’m not making it up). At the top of the escalator is the ticket office with its bank of film times including the six screens set aside for Harry Potter 7 pt1 (folks, Harry needs our help to get his money back, please give generously). The reception at first sight was very similar in many ways to my home town’s cinema. So far, so multiplex.
As I entered the wide area that contained the concessions bar, I noticed how clean it was with its comfy seats in the middle and content staff. I wandered down the wood panelled corridor containing the screens thinking surely this subtitled film would be relegated to the smallest screen? But no, it was on a large screen, with large comfy chairs and none were broken, nor the ground sticky. The inner fire door was also shut, so no ice cold winds at this movie cash cow. This seemed to be everything a multiplex should be.
But wait, I said to myself, maybe I was being seduced by the looks of this beauty; surely this copy of Hornet’s Nest would be scratched and the sound faulty; surely the projectionist would revert to multiplex type and show the film in the wrong ratio squashed or stretched. But no … it was a shock, I was about to have my first enjoyable multi screen experience.
And after the disappointment of ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ my hope was that the final instalment would redeem the series. Well it does and it doesn’t. It doesn’t have the pace of the first film which was directed by Niels Arden Oplev. If The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a Bugatti Veyron, then The Hornets' Nest is a Porsche but with the engine and steering capabilities of a Vauxhall Astra.
We find our heroine on trial for the attempted murder of her abusive Russian spy father, and his Swedish co-conspirators are using all their resources to have Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) thrown into a mental institution for ever. Meanwhile the crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist ) and his colleagues at Millennium magazine are gathering the evidence to prove her innocence and destroy the figures behind the rouge secret agency.
This is where the film is at its best as each and every argument brought by the prosecution is brought down by the evidence provided by Mikael and his team. Unfortunately, although the film deals with this part of the story really well, it is to the detriment to what could have been an interesting story arc. The character of Neidermann, the bond style henchman from the second film, could really have been better developed. We find him on the run hunting Lisbeth and leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. Neidermann unfortunately is like a terminator without any of Arnie's tongue in cheek performance and not quite as intelligent as ‘Jaws’ from the Bond films. The main trouble with him is that he’s revealed in the previous film to have a blood connection to Lisbeth and I hoped the final confrontation between the two characters would be more thought provoking and insightful. No such luck I’m afraid. We have a silly chase around a warehouse and Neidermann being caught in the most stupid manner, in fact his final look of confusion reminded me of Richard Kiel. Neidermann is just a physical manifestation of the forces of evil that are dealt with more effectively in the court room scenes.
The film is better than the second film but again not as vibrant and paced as the first. Ultimately it’s a bit of an anti climax. And because of this the bitter pill of actor Michael Nyqvist being replaced by Daniel Craig in the ‘Dragon’s Tattoo’ remake will be harder to swallow. Still I liked the multiplex.