Don Reviews "The Girl In The Spider's Web"
If you have been with us for any amount of time, you know how well documented my dislike for sequels overall is. The exception to this rule tends to be those that are from a series of books like “The Hunger Games” or “Harry Potter” because there is source material to work with other than a bunch of comic books put together to make a quick buck or even just another script that is not based on anything. With “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” the fourth book in the “Millennium” series has been brought to the big screen from director Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe).
From the series that started with “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Claire Foy stars as Lisbeth Salander in a story that takes place three years after the first book as she is still working against men who have wronged women, outside of the law. She is approached by Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant), who wants a piece of software he has written taken away from the American government, as it has the ability to give a single user access to all of the nuclear weapons in the world. When the operation goes wrong, she enlists the help of the only true friend she has in Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) as she tries to stay away from American NSA agent Edwin Needham (Lakeith Stanfield) as well as a group of terrorists who want it for themselves. Once this gets going, the game of cat and mouse is on.
I really liked the visual style here, showcasing Europe (and Sweden specifically) well. Alvarez’s style really fits the mood of the story, accompanied by some very good CGI work. Unfortunately, Foy and Gudnason do not match the work of the American version of “Dragon Tattoo” with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, which hurt the film for me. It was like Foy really tried but fell short and Gudnason simply gives a flat performance. I am not sure what it would have taken to get Craig and Mara back (although I have read that Mara was willing), but they should have opened the checkbook here. The only comparison I could make here is like Daniel Radcliffe or Jennifer Lawrence were replaced in their successful franchises.
At just under two hours long, I really felt the length of “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”. It doesn’t necessarily drag, but it just seems longer than it should. There is a high level of predictability here and lacks the depth in story that “Dragon Tattoo” had for me. There is some pretty good action here, but it did not live up to my expectations, so I will recommend it as a viewing in second run at best.