The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

To shortcut things, if you loved or liked the first two, your feelings will remain … assuming you don’t expect the same ol’ same ol’.

When we last left revenge-hungry punk hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) in “Fire,” she was left for dead after taking a bullet to the head — thanks, Dad! — ending in quite the cliffhanger. “Nest” opens with her recovering in the hospital and awaiting trial on multiple murder charges.

She needs assistance from her journalist pal — and one-time lover — Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) in proving the conspiracy against her, but contacting and conversing with him proves difficult under her heavily guarded situation. Worse, even a hospital room with 24/7 security isn’t enough to keep Lisbeth’s dangerous enemies at bay, who’ll do anything to keep her from testifying in court.

Whereas “Tattoo” was a mystery and “Fire” a thriller, “Nest” is more a courtroom drama. I’ve heard rumblings from some moviegoers that they found it disappointing, but frankly, it’s a natural end to the overall story — as Steig Larsson’s source novels played out — and that drama is as intense as any action-oriented set piece.

While still an important figure in the plot, Mikael cedes the spotlight to Lisbeth, to the point where her real sidekick is her lawyer (Annika Hallin). It’s Lisbeth’s story, and as great as Rapace was in the first two chapters of the trilogy, she is flat-out amazing in this one, particularly in the courtroom scenes. I think she was robbed of an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. She disappears into this character; you’ll gladly follow her every move. —Rod Lott

Rod Lott

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