Entertainment » Movies

The Girl In The Spider's Web

by Derek Deskins
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Feb 5, 2019
The Girl In The Spider's Web

It hasn't even been ten years since David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (or, really, the first cinematic outing of Lisbeth Salander in her original Swedish form), but here we are. In less than a decade, three actresses have gotten to play the role and, as time is wont to do, she has become exceedingly polished - that is to say, her corners have been rounded. The most recent adventure of our illustrated heroine, "The Girl in the Spider's Web," turns her into a generic Bond knockoff.

Lisbeth Salander hasn't missed a beat in her life of off-the-grid dealings. She takes a job from computer programmer Frans Balder to obtain "Firefall," a program of Balder's design capable of accessing the entire world's nuclear codes. Balder has decided that Firefall is too much power for any one person to possess and that it instead must be destroyed. Unfortunately, Salander isn't the only one after "Firefall."

There is something very odd about Fede Álvarez's "The Girl in the Spider's Web." It's assembled as if only from the idea of a character. This may be appropriate, as it is a movie adapted from the first book of the Millenium series not written by its creator Stieg Larsson. In her previous incarnations, Salander has been a character of little compare. Her bold styling often overshadowing her fractured psyche and finer details. Both Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara attacked the character with gusto, with Mara notably altering her appearance to an unrecognizable degree. They felt like dramatic portrayals that emerged organically, for the material demanded it. Yet this time around, Claire Foy's smoother incarnation feels stuck in a different world.

The taut nature of previous installments is somewhat sapped by the proceedings. Perhaps that's because with the addition of a large crime syndicate (that ends up having deep familial roots), a perfunctory return of Mikael Blomkvist, and an American character that comes across as little more than pandering, this feels less like a Salander story and more like any old spy thriller. Álvarez does a fine job, although he tends to include shots that serve no other obvious purpose than "this might look cool," but the film struggles to feel like anything we'd actually like to keep around.

The Blu-ray release has the average amount of featurettes, of a quality of similar ordinary quality, and a satisfactory number of deleted scenes. It does boast a commentary with Álvarez and screenwriter Jay Basu, but you'll struggle to find the drive to watch the film again to listen to it. None of this is to say that "The Girl in the Spider's Web" is atrocious or unwatchable. It is white bread: Completely fine, even good in the right situation, but absolutely devoid of any kind of true value.

"The Girl in the Spider's Web"
Blu-ray + DVD + Digital


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