On a mission to save the world
With an opening that feels vaguely like a vigilantestyle Bond movie, The Girl in the Spider’s Web is both a sequel and a reboot of 2011 American production The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
New casting and directors have brought a fresh take on the multi-layered character of computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and her unique personal brand, unfurling past secrets intent on dragging Lisbeth down.
When Lisbeth is contacted to help steal back a highly valuable computer program from the American National Security Agency, her reservations are soon overcome by the sheer threat that it presents.
Allowing the owner to access all nuclear systems remotely from a computer device, the program is best returned to its creator to be destroyed.
But after Lisbeth recovers the program and her computer is stolen, and her apartment is burned to the ground, she realises there is something bigger in the works and the people who are trying to frame her have a personal connection to her past.
Racing against time, and up against Russian ‘Spiders’, Lisbeth enlists the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist to help her uncover the truth.
Claire Foy, surprisingly, is not entirely out of place in the role of Lisbeth, one that has been dominated by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace and American Rooney Mara in previous incarnations, and is a far cry from Foy’s turn as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown. Embracing the layers of Lisbeth is something Foy seems particularly tuned into, and she also brings a new sense of vulnerability and humanity to the character.
But, despite Foy’s immense skill, the Film presents its own challenges in that to understand some of the larger backstory you need to be familiar with the book series (or the original Swedish films) and the opening scene not only sets up the major antagonist but removes any kind of surprise of her character reveal later in the story.
Despite it all, The Girl in the Spider’s Web is a good action film, albeit one that leans into predictability and relies on prior knowledge of the series and characters. But it is not a bad film, and is one that fans have perhaps been waiting to see in the long years since the previous instalment.