Sometimes a movie is what it is. It’s fun while you’re there, but if you’re looking for something that will have you gnawing cinematically well after you’ve left the theater you’re not seeing the right film.
That is the case in The Girl In the Spider’s Web. I really enjoyed this movie. It was fun, the action was good, the acting was good to above average. But sitting down to write it up, I realized it was like the stereotype of a Chinese dinner: I was satisfied when I left the theater, but an hour later I realized I wasn’t that filled up.
That said, we don’t have a lot to write here, and that’s not because I’m going into a food coma after a piece of chocolate peanut butter cake and two glasses of wine!
This is the long-awaited (in America) sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Claire Foy is a worthy successor to the ink. A clear and distinct break from her EMMY winning role as HMH Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, she is great taking over from Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander.
This film reconnects her with her long-lost family. A connection Lisbeth likely wishes would have stayed severed. The story is okay, but not particularly well fleshed out.
We never gain any real connection with the pawns of the film, or the new characters that are, supposedly, key to the film.
The writer assumes we know (or remember) all about Lisbeth and forces us to dive right in. And don’t get me wrong, this movie is a stand alone film. You can easily enjoy this without seeing Dragon or any of the european sequels. But people who are fans of the Millennium franchise will get a lot more out of this than first time viewers.
This film is well paced with a relatable protagonist. And that’s saying something when the protagonist goes around avenging women who’ve been wronged.
But the plot is simple. So-called ‘twists’ are visible a mile away. But you still love Lisbeth and are kinda bummed when her famous tattoo gets maimed.
But overall, this movie doesn’t really advance the story, leave you feeling any connection or love or hatred to any of the characters. It is simply filling space in an already crowded holiday field, and would have been better released in October or this coming February.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Whisky Neat. It is perfect for disinfecting bullet and knife wounds, as well as for taking a swig before you remove a bullet from your body, like Lisbeth must in the film.
Skál! (That’s Swedish for ‘Cheers!’)