After the abject disaster that was the Nicolas Cage vehicle Next, I am surprised to report that Once Were Warriors director Lee Tamahori has made another film. And even more surprised to report that it looks quite interesting.
The irony of watching a film in which shadowy figures from the Swedish government lie, steal and murder in order to discredit a journalist trying to reveal embarrassing secrets, in the same week that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was accused of rape by a Swedish prosecutor wasn’t lost on this reviewer. Sadly, that was the only pleasure to be found watching The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, number three in the Millenium trilogy that started in 2009 with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
This film picks up almost immediately after the previous episode finished and you may be surprised to discover that pretty much everyone you thought was dead turns out to be still alive and making mischief. Feisty Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is stuck in hospital recovering from her injuries while dour journalist Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and his mates do their investigatin’.
Hilary Swank’s new twin-hanky romance P.S., I Love You is a remarkable achievement. In all my years of cinema-going I don’t think I have ever seen a film get more wrong. From the clunky premise to the ghastly costume design; through awkward reverses in tone plus no small amount of self-indulgence on the part of Swank; it is as if everyone involved (when faced with a choice between the right way and the wrong way) simply flipped a coin and it came up “wrong” every time.
Swank plays New York widow Holly Kennedy, whose Irish husband Gerry (300’s Gerard Butler) dies of a brain tumour following a scene demonstrating how powerful and tempestuous their romance is. Shortly after the wake, Holly starts receiving letters from Gerry, written before he died in order to coach her through the grief and help her start again. As if.
One of the letters includes tickets to Ireland for Holly and her best friends so she can revisit the scene of their first meeting (prompting an intolerably banal flashback scene). Meanwhile supporting cast Gina Gershon and Lisa Kudrow can enjoy the natives tooraloo-ing in that way that only the Hollywood Irish can.