As Lisbeth (Rapace) recovers from her injuries, Michael (Blomkvist) and the Millennium magazine team (Endre, Ericksson and Ledarp) are finalising the special edition about her, which they hope to publish before her trial starts.
But a secret network of spies is doing everything they can to stop them, and Lisbeth's murderous half-brother Ronald (Spreitz) is still on the loose.
Fortunately, Michael is also working with government agents (Turestedt and Alfredson) to blow the lid on this secret society before Lisbeth's vile psychiatrist (Rosendahl) can lock her up again.
The original title refers to an air-castle that bursts, which is perhaps just as apt a metaphor as kicking a hornet's nest. This is a movie about government conspiracies, sinister plots and carefully guarded state secrets, all of which are about to be exposed. And perhaps the main problem with this film is that we are never in doubt that everything is going to come out in the end. The result is that, while there are moments of suspense, there isn't any real tension in the plot.
But after the previous two films we have a lot invested in these characters, and the ongoing connection between Lisbeth and Michael is still thoroughly involving, even if it feels a bit colder now. It helps that Michael's sister (Hallin) takes a more prominent role here as Lisbeth's lawyer, and she gets most of the film's best scenes. And there's also, of course, a satisfyingly epic conclusion to the saga, which resolves in a series of scenes that are surprising and cathartic.
Taken as a single story, this is a sprawling mystery thriller that basically looks at how the law and culture systematically discriminate against women while men ignore any responsibility for justice. It's pretty powerful stuff, packed with telling detail and vivid characters, so it's understandable that the books and films have become a global phenomenon. Whether audiences outside Sweden will realise that this is about them too is anyone's guess.
Box Office Worldwide: $4.7M
Production compaines: Nordisk Film, Yellow Bird Films, Sveriges Television (SVT)
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Producer: Soren Staermose
Screenwriter: Jonas Frykberg, Ulf Ryberg
Starring: Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist, Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander, Lena Endre as Erika Berger, Annika Hallin as Annika Giannini, Jacob Ericksson as Christer Malm, Sofia Ledarp as Malin Erikson, Anders Ahlbom as Peter Teleborian, Micke Spreitz as Ronald Niedermann, Georgi Staykov as Alexander Zalachenko, Mirja Turestedt as Monica Figuerola, Hans Alfredson as Evert Gullberg, Lennart Hjulström as Fredrik Clinton, Niklas Hjulström as Richard Ekström, Johan Kylén as Jan Bublanski, Tanja Lorentzon as Sonja Modig, Magnus Krepper as Hans Faste, Michalis Koutsogiannakis as Dragan Armanskij, Jacob Nordenson as Bertil Wadensjö, Peter Andersson as Nils Bjurman, Tomas Köhler as 'Plague', Per Oscarsson as Holger Palmgren