From cin­ema to home view­ing, your en­ter­tain­ment wrap for the week

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Contents - De­clan Burke

OH what a tan­gled web, etc. The girl with the dragon tat­too, aka the Swedish com­puter hacker Lis­beth Sa­lan­der (Claire Foy), re­turns in

The Girl in the Spi­der’s Web (15A), which opens in Stock­holm with Lis­beth met­ing out some ap­pro­pri­ately harsh jus­tice to a man who abuses women. Soon, how­ever, Lis­beth is caught up in an in­ter­na­tional spy in­trigue when Frans Balder (Stephen Mer­chant) com­mis­sions her to hack into Amer­ica’s Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency and steal the com­puter pro­gramme he has de­vised, which gives its user con­trol of the world’s nu­clear arse­nal. Pur­sued by the NSA’s Spe­cial Agent Need­ham (Lakeith Stan­field) and a gang of Rus­sian crim­i­nals known as ‘the Spi­ders’, Lis­beth finds her­self on the run and pro­tect­ing Balder’s young son Au­gust (Christo­pher Convery), who pos­sesses the com­puter pro­gram’s pass­word. Adapted from the fourth novel in the ‘Mil­len­nium’ se­ries of nov­els, al­beit one writ­ten by David Lager­crantz in the wake of Stieg Lars­son’s death, The Girl in the Spi­der’s Web is a dour re­hash of spy movie clichés en­livened only by a cou­ple of set-pieces in which Lis­beth Sa­lan­der dis­plays her un­canny abil­ity to res­cue des­per­ate sit­u­a­tions by em­ploy­ing state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy, al­though even there the sce­nar­ios are so pre­pos­ter­ous as to verge on self-par­ody. Claire Foy, so bril­liantly ex­pres­sive in First Man, is given lit­tle to work with here: Lis­beth Sa­lan­der is so sullen she re­sem­bles an in­ge­nious ex­per­i­ment in ono­matopoeic per­for­mance art, in which the cen­tral char­ac­ter so em­bod­ies the bleak land­scape she moves through that she threat­ens to blend into the back­ground.

Robin Hood (12A) opens with Robin of Lox­ley (Taron Eger­ton) romp­ing around his plush manor with his so­cially con­scious beloved Mar­ian (Eve Hew­son) be­fore be­ing drafted into the Cru­sades and dis­patched to Ara­bia by the fiendish Sher­iff of Not­ting­ham (Ben Men­del­sohn), where­upon Robin, sick­ened by war, re­turns home to dis­cover that his lands have been con­fis­cated and Mar­ian is mar­ried to lo­cal rab­ble-rouser Will Scar­lett (Jamie Dor­nan). When Lit­tle John (Jamie Foxx) — a Moor­ish war­rior who has fol­lowed Robin home to Not­ting­ham — ex­horts him to steal from the rich in or­der to sab­o­tage the Cru­sades, Robin sets out to plun­der the Sher­iff’s war chest. Writ­ten by Ben Chan­dler and David James Kelly, and di­rected by Otto Bathurst, this out­ing of Robin Hood is at pains to stress its

con­tem­po­rary rel­e­vance: Robin, a war vet­eran re­turn­ing from a con­flict in the Mid­dle East, shoots ar­rows as if his bow were set to semi-au­to­matic; Not­ting­ham’s poor are the dupes of a de­vi­ous rul­ing class ma­nip­u­lat­ing them with fear-mon­ger­ing speeches about an im­mi­nent Moor­ish in­va­sion. It pro­ceeds with a wil­ful dis­re­gard for both plau­si­bil­ity and the Robin Hood le­gend. There’s hardly a leaf of Sher­wood For­est to be glimpsed, the he­roes and hero­ines all ap­pear to be stu­dents of Marx­ism 101, char­ac­ters such as Guy of Gis­borne and Will Scar­lett are ascribed mo­ti­va­tions en­tirely at odds with their myth­i­cal ori­gins, and Not­ting­ham is, ap­par­ently, the politico-re­li­gious heart of Olde Eng­land. It might all have been ter­rific fun, in fact, if the mak­ers had sim­ply aban­doned the Robin Hood brand and opted for an orig­i­nal tale, but Taron Eger­ton, al­though pro­fi­cient in the ac­tion hero stakes, is woe­fully lack­ing in the charisma that might per­suade us he could in­spire a down­trod­den peo­ple to rise in re­volt. Filmed over three years, The Camino

Voy­age (PG) is a doc­u­men­tary by Donal O Ceil­leachair which fol­lows a group of Ir­ish artists who sail from Ire­land to Gali­cia to make the Camino pil­grim­age. Led by the writer and poet Danny Sheehy, the quar­tet — com­pleted by Liam Holden, Bre­an­ndán Ó Beaglaoich, and Bre­an­ndán Pháid Ó Muirc­heartaigh — don’t make things easy for them­selves. The craft they choose to sail in — or row, rather — is a neamhóg, a kind of large cur­rach, which is ren­dered a very frail craft in­deed dur­ing the long cross­ings of the Ir­ish Sea and the English Chan­nel. “It’s an en­durance test,” Danny tells us, both phys­i­cally and psy­cho­log­i­cally, al­though the strength-sap­ping bat­tles against the re­lent­less waves are fre­quently in­ter­spersed by uplift­ing so­journs ashore, the four­some hav­ing packed the es­sen­tials on leav­ing home — ac­cor­dion, bodhran, poitín. Like the row­ers them­selves, the film takes a lit­tle while to set­tle into its rhythm, but as the neamhóg pro­gresses from Corn­wall to Brit­tany, and fur­ther south to the Basque Coun­try, the group be­gin to re­veal their true per­son­al­i­ties and the se­cret mo­ti­va­tions that led them to pay homage to such voy­agers as St Bren­dan and Tim Sev­erin. Joined by Glen Hansard for the fi­nal leg, and with plenty of ceol agus craic to leaven the ar­du­ous jour­ney, the film is a unique ac­count of a sin­gu­lar pil­grim­age, and a fas­ci­nat­ing tale of faith and brother­hood.

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