It would be fair to say unless you know the books by Stieg Larsson or have seen the original Swedish films or heaven, even the American adaptation starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, The Girl In The Spider’s Web will most likely make no sense. And sadly because of that, this will get lost in the group of great films that no one will watch.
It could also be debated that because it is so confident of itself, it should have known better and maybe been a bit more clever in how it approaches its very in depth backstory.
The Girl In The Spider’s Web follows Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) a computer hacker and activist for the unfairly treated.
Lisbeth is sent on a mission to take back a computer program that in the wrong hands could wreak havoc.
In an attempt to get the program back to the person who created it, Lisbeth runs into some trouble. Being hunted and hunting she manages to play a dangerous game of cat and mouse to make sure the program doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
But to make matters worse, her work gets a little complicated when family becomes involved and she has to make some tough decisions.
Claire Foy (The Crown, First Man, Unsane) takes on the damaged character of Lisbeth Salander. Foy manages to pull off the image of the lost, against the system, strong independent woman look, but fails in having the quirky sense of humour the books are known for. There’s also a struggle to not hear her speak like the Queen despite having a Swedish accent.
The story line is the classic one person takes on an army of baddies. However there are so many small parts that don’t quite make sense unless people know the back story. For example, why is the Journalist Mikael Blomkvist so interested in Lisbeth? Who does Lisbeth work for? And why is Lisbeth an activist for the unfortunate and poorly treated?
For any true fan, they will appreciate what this story delves into. Much like the books it’s not as gritty and far from the dark The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It tends to focus more on the action than that of the hacking and uncovering of truths.
Overall this film skirts over anything substantial. It feels like it’s testing the waters to see if audiences will be interested in this story some 7 years after the last one. However, it very much comes across as a confused wishy washy film that has no idea where it’s meant to sit in the franchise. All that aside, for anyone who knows the story and has any interest in Lisbeth and her escapades, it’s a rather enjoyable film.
Review by Jay Cook