The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018)

girl in the spiders web poster 2017 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting : 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Decent cast

Lifeless action film with generic story

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Studio: Columbia Pictures/MGM/New Regency Productions

Genre(s): Drama/Action/Adventure/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  October 18, 2018 (Premiere)/November 9, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

girl in the spiders web claire foy vacuum bag

What people do to avoid shipping cost

Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) is back and being hunted by her past.  Lisbeth walks into a trap while trying to retrieve a nuclear weapons control called Firefall for Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant), and she’s forced to call in her hacker friend Plague (Cameron Britton) and Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) to help her stop the growing danger…and a return of a sister named Camilla (Sylvia Hoeks).

Directed by Fede Álvarez, The Girl in the Spider’s Web is a Lisbeth Salander suspense thriller.  The film is an adaptation of the David Lagercrantz 2015 novel which picked up the characters following the death of Stieg Larsson in 2004.  The movie wasn’t very well received and was a box-office failure.

I’ve seen the original Swedish versions of the Dragon Tattoo (or Millennium) films and the American remake.  The first film was ok (both versions), but it did have flaws.  The second and third films took the mystique out of the Lisbeth Salander character and turned her into an uninteresting broken action star.  This film continues the trend of the second and third films by trying hard to turn Salander into an action character, but it doesn’t give a story worth watching.

girl in the spiders web boy lisbeth salander claire foy

I used to be the “Woman Who Hates Men”…but now I’m also the “Woman Who Hates Kids”

The film really struggles to create a story.  It feels like a Cold War story without the classic elements, and the gangster aspect of the film is very basic.  The original story was a mystery and this film trades it for action.  Unfortunately, everything but the Lisbeth Salander character isn’t very original or compelling.  The sister relationship between Lisbeth and Camilla feels like the heart of the story, but it develops far too late (and it also reminds me of DC Comics’ Batwoman character).

Claire Foy is now actress #3 to play Salander behind Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara.  Foy is fine but has little to work with and is the stoic, stone-faced Salander through most of the film.  I’ve always found the Mikael Blomkvist character really dull, and Sverrir Gudnason feels like a minor part of this story.  Cameron Britton has the Lone Gunmen role of the hacker Plague, but like Gudnason, he doesn’t have much to do.  Stephen Merchant, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, and others are crammed into the script but are let down by it.

girl in the spiders web ending fire lisbeth salander claire foy

This girl does like to play with fire…

Both Niels Arden Oplev and David Fincher both really put their mark on the series.  They were dark and broody films.  Fede Álvarez might have the talent, but once again, the failures of the story don’t give him the opportunity to make a compellingly visual film.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web is a skippable film.  It is too bad because a nice, taut thriller is always entertaining (or at least it should be).  I don’t know if the film rise of Lisbeth Salander will ever rise to the level of her first outing in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but Hollywood and others might keep trying.

Related Links:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

The Girl Who Played With Fire (2009)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (2009)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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