Written by Films

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

And so we reach the third and final part of the Millennium trilogy. But before I get onto this film, a couple of things that irritated me in the cinema over the weekend. And neither were to do with the actual cinema (Vue in Islington).
Nope, I’m talking about trailers. Because we’re approaching the end of the year, we’re into awards season. And that means a glut of half-decent films – or at least films that Hollywood believes are going to win awards. On the upside, that means that during the cold (or even colder) winter months ahead of us, there are plenty of films to go out and see. On the downside, they come so thick and fast, that you miss some good ones, even though you have good intentions.
The only reason these good films get released at this time of year is because 31st December tends to be the cutoff release date for films to qualify in the Oscars et al. Yes – even though there are 12 months of the year to release films, voters of these awards are so forgetful that they can’t remember anything that was even released before October of the previous year. And that’s despite getting sent “screener” DVDs of the films to remind them (And those DVDs are actually the source of a significant proportion of piracy).
Aside from the actual release schedule, can we please call a halt to a couple of over-used trailer tropes?
1. Fade to black. You know what I mean, you see a snippet followed by fade to black, followed by snippet, followed by fade to black, and so on.
2. “Lost” style titles. Lost famously used a simple 3D-rendered version of the word Lost that came out of focus, into focus, and back out. This seems to be the new favourite technique to draw attention to the film’s name. It was clever when Lost used it, but we’re bored with it now thanks.
But the really dull trailer thing isn’t especially new, it’s just enormously prevalent at this time of year. It’s the habit of alerting viewers that this film doesn’t just star Colin Firth, it’s actually stars Academy Award Nominee Colin Firth, or Golden Globe Winner Coline Farrell, or whoever. Then we get into silly games where there are three stars, but only one is an Academy Award “Winner”, but the others have to have something to appear next to their names, otherwise they’re inferior actors somehow. I imagine that Hollywood agents are arguing over their star’s billing with the film’s producers.
Just because a film stars someone who won an award previously doesn’t actually affect my likelihood of seeing your film.
Anyway, onto the film. When I was visiting Sweden last autumn, this film was just hitting cinemas there (even though, after the first film, the second two were originally designed to form a TV miniseries). We’ve had to wait a year for it to come out here, following the other two.
If you’ve not already seen the first two parts of this film sequence, then you’re not going to want to start here. Again, the film follows the plot of the books closely, kicking off pretty much where we left off at the end of the last film.
Lisbeth Salander is in hospital, along with the man she has tried to kill. Meanwhile Ronald Niedermann is on the run. It’s probably not worth getting into the plot any more than that – especially if you’ve not seen the first couple of films. Suffice to say, that although in many respects this is a lower key film than the ones that have gone before it, the tension is ramped up appropriately.
The denouement, to a large extent, is a courtroom drama, and it’s played out well. Things get wrapped up.
Overall, it’s all very satisfactory conclusion to a series I’ve really enjoyed. So I’m left with a certain amount of trepidation about the Hollywood remake. Like the recent remake of Let The Right One In, I’m not sure why I’d want to go and see it, even though Fincher is a great director. Plus, his star Rooney Mara, is going to have to go someway to do better than Noomi Rapace.
Still – I will admit enjoying both the Swedish and British versions of Wallander – so it’s essentially the same thing happening here.
Finally, another aside: this morning as I was waiting at a cold station, I couldn’t help noticing the paperback editions of the three books being advertised as perfect Christmas gifts. The dragon tattoo of the protagonist seems to creep slowly up and over her shoulder over the course of the three books. See what I mean here: