The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Based on Stieg Larrson’s ‘Millennium’ book series, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ spawned three Swedish language movies as well as an American remake. Whilst the death of the original author signalled the series was finished, money-making success has a way of resurrecting franchises. ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ is derived from David Lagercrantz’s continuation novel and serves as a sequel to the American film. Whilst the motivations behind this cinematic resurrection may be suspect, ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ is a different beast with an action focus providing a mostly intense thrill-ride.

Computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) still fights for justice. Aided by journalist Mikael (Sverrir Gudnason), Lisbeth uncovers a new web of deception. Discovering a cabal of corrupt politicians and cyber criminals who are running a campaign of terror against helpless prey, Lisbeth and Mikael are caught in a deadly conspiracy. Events swiftly see them in mortal danger as a sinister net from the past closes in around them.

If fans are looking for the same type of dramatic thrills seen in previous films then ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ may disappoint. It offers a more action-orientated spin with Lisbeth becoming a female James Bond complete with totally over the top stunts. Whilst this may agitate admirers of the movies and books, ‘Spider’s Web’ isn’t without its plus points. Chief among them are Foy’s energetic performance and a screenplay delving into why her character behaves as she does. The film rests firmly on her shoulders as Gudnason makes little impact as Mikael.

Fede Alvarez’s direction moves the plot at brisk pace and avoids any slow moments. The sequences shot in Stockholm provide the same type of foreboding beauty seen in the other films and are used to great effect. The main stars here are the stunt team with a pleasing eye for ‘keeping it real’ instead of relying on CGI to achieve results. Although seeing so much action in a ‘Dragon Tattoo’ film may feel unusual, the production team offer another interesting take on well-worn material.

‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ works as long as one doesn’t expect to see a re-tread on previous versions of the characters. In this respect, it’s commendable the movie offers something new instead of resting on its laurels. Those who haven’t seen any of the movies should still enjoy it as an action caper with another instalment likely as long as the box office tills keep ringing.

Rating out of 10: 6

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