‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ | Film Review

Sony is back at it again with continuations of their movies without having the original cast involved. Disappointed with the fact that The Girl in the Spider’s Web isn’t following what they brought us seven years ago, should there really be anticipation for this sequel that I’m pretty sure nobody knew was coming out.

What’s the Story: Based on David Lagercrantz’s 2015 novel, computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) is well-known for beating up men who treat women badly and now she’s in this conspiracy with this secret organization as she tries to get a stolen computer program that controls the world’s nuclear codes around the world. With the help from journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason, Borg vs. McEnroe), she must find out who’s behind all of this.

Never seen the Swedish adaptations based on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium novel series, but I have seen David Fincher’s remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and it is great and underrated. But since it didn’t do that well at the box office, the sequel didn’t happen. If you told me a year ago that director Fede Alvarez (2013’s Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe) was gonna be helming the next Dragon Tattoo movie with a new cast, it could wind up sounding like a solid idea. But the underwhelming trailers that Sony released has me leaning somewhere else as looks like every other thriller that feels dry. What’s one word that can perfectly describe The Girl in the Spider’s Web? Bland.

It follows one of those storylines about where there’s somebody who has a device to nukes and it’s up to the hacker to stop everything. It’s a premise that’s been seen many times before and it even feels like a Bond or Bourne film, and not the good kind. This gets needlessly boring after a while when it becomes a basic action-thriller, which is saying something since the first film was over two hours long and that felt fast-paced.

And that’s the thing: the plot is pretty difficult to explain and considerably lacks suspense. There are three writers involved here, including Alvarez, Jay Basu, and Steven Knight, and just wasn’t enough effort to make this story bearable. We have Lakeith Stanfield (solid performance)’s NSA operative Ed Needham trying to track down Lisbeth and her trying with her sister, Camilla (Sylvia Hoeks, Blade Runner 2049), a pretty weak villain for our hero to face. Side note: nothing that she’s the villain isn’t a spoiler since it was shown in the trailers.

Sverrir Gudnason, Claire Foy, Lakeith Stanfield, and Cameron Britton in The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018)
Foy as Lisbeth was fine, but not great. This was nowhere perfect from what Noomi Rapace or Rooney Mara portrayed this character from before. This character is known for her piercings, the dragon tattoo on her back, and spiky hair. But here, she comes off like a superhero in a bad way. Is she trying her best to be this great heroine that we need to root for? Possibly, yes. Yet, she felt prominently miscast for this part and it doesn’t seem like the type of role that was made for her.

With Alvarez’s direction, not the best of the year or anything, but it’s a nice looking movie at best with some pretty good cinematography.

The action sequences aren’t exactly all that memorable when it doesn’t come close to exciting when it eventually happens to actually show anything happening without the characters just talking. But someone please explain to me how a motorcycle can drive through a frozen pond. It’s there just to entertain, but you’ll forget about that scene minutes later.

One of the reasons why I love Fincher’s version is that it was a dark and sinister tone that’s kept throughout the movie. That had moments of anger and power that’s shown in Lisbeth’s personality. Spider’s Web never came close to that since it kind of plays it safes and doesn’t go all out into trying to be the disappointing sibling.

With this follow-up, it needs to be labeled as disappointed by Alvarez. The Girl in the Spider’s Web doesn’t come anywhere close to be outstanding or even watchable since this was a tough sit through when there was nothing mind-blowing about this. Foy was good enough, but aside from her, not really worth full admission to check out.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web felt like a wasted opportunity when it feels pale in comparison to Fincher’s fantastic remake with this every generic and forgettable sequel/reboot lacking an intriguing plot.

Grade: C


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