The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story Movie Review
The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story Movie Review Metadata
In 2009, Noomi Rapace played Lisbeth Salander, a computer enthusiast and hacker with an abusive past. Michael Nyqvist played Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who hires Lisbeth to assist him in reporting and investigating a string of crimes. Three films were produced starring this duo, called the Millennium Trilogy, complete with subtitles. In 2011, David Fincher directed a remake of the first film of the Millennium trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, with Rooney Mara playing Salander and Daniel Craig playing Blomkvist. Mara was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her role.
Now, in 2018, Claire Foy has assumed the role of Salander, and Sverrir Gudnason has taken the Blomkvist role. The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story (2018) is the latest in the Lisbeth Salander legacy. Instead of remaking another established film from the Millennium trilogy, like Dragon Tattoo, a new story was chosen…and with good reason.
Stephen Merchant plays Frans Balder, creator of a program called FireWall that can access nuclear activation codes worldwide. Balder hires Salander to steal the program from his company and keep it safe. When Salander decides to sneak a peak at the program, it flags an NSA agent, Edwin Needham (Lakeith Stanfield from Get Out), who sets out to find the programs source in Stockholm. Vicky Krieps plays detective Erika Berger, who heads a group interested in obtaining FireWall, while attempting to keep Needham away from it. Salander’s safe keeping of FireWall becomes unsafe and she decides to seek out and reunite with Blomkvist to enlist his help. The under-used, yet highly-talented Sylvia Hoeks (Blade Runner 2049 (2017)) plays Camilla, a vital component from Salander’s past and possibly one of the main reasons this story was chosen for a franchise reboot over the remaining two stories from the Millennium trilogy. Cameron Britton plays Plague, Lisbeth’s assistant and ‘guy in the chair’, and Christopher Convery plays Frans Balder‘s son August, a child prodigy.
Spider’s Web is director Fede Alvarez’s third feature film, after Don’t Breathe (2016), and Evil Dead (2013). The film acts as a genre shift for Alvarez, and his first film with a different lead actress (Foy). Compared to 2011’s Dragon Tattoo, Spider’s Web seems to exhibit more action than investigation. Foy’s Salander can serve up punishment as well as she can take a punch, much like the actress’ predecessors in the role, but there’s a much different feel from Foy’s take on the character. Where Rapace and Mara appear thin but solid, and seemingly as if straight from a tattoo and piercing parlor, Foy has a softer and younger appearance, as if she’s still learning to dress for the part. In this installment, Foy’s Salander seems to struggle with physical confrontations, yet appears to have a keen knack for strategic planning and setting traps for her foes.
Crazy as this may sound, the formula for this film is very reminiscent of Goldeneye (1995). Citing this similarity does not make this film any less enjoyable. It may not be better than its predecessors, but The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story is definitely worth the effort.