The Girl in the Spi­der’s Web

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - CINEMA -

In Stock­holm, Swe­den, vig­i­lante hacker Lis­beth Sa­lan­der is hired by com­puter pro­gram­mer Frans Balder to re­trieve Fire­fall, a pro­gram ca­pa­ble of ac­cess­ing the world’s nu­clear codes that he de­vel­oped for the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency, as Balder be­lieves it is too dan­ger­ous to ex­ist. Lis­beth suc­cess­fully re­trieves Fire­fall from the NSA’s servers, at­tract­ing the at­ten­tion of agent Ed­win Need­ham, but is un­able to un­lock it, and the pro­gram is later stolen from her by mer­ce­nar­ies led by Jan Holtser, who also at­tempt to kill Lis­beth. When she doesn’t at­tend their sched­ule ren­dezvous, Balder mis­tak­enly be­lieves Lis­beth de­cided to keep Fire­fall for her­self and con­tacts Gabrielle Grane, the deputy di­rec­tor of the Swedish Se­cret Ser­vice, for help. Mean­while, Need­ham ar­rives in Stock­holm in dis­guise to find Lis­beth and Fire­fall.

Lis­beth and her friend Plague ap­proach Lis­beth’s for­mer lover, in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Mikael Blomkvist, for help iden­ti­fy­ing her as­sailants. Blomkvist learns Holtser pre­vi­ously worked for Lis­beth’s late fa­ther, crime lord Alexan­der Zalachenko, and is now af­fil­i­ated with an elu­sive in­ter­na­tional crime syn­di­cate known as “The Spi­ders”. Lis­beth at­tempts to alert Balder, but they are in­ter­cepted by Holtser, who kills Balder and frames Lis­beth, pre­vent­ing her from reach­ing out to the po­lice. She man­ages to escape with Balder’s young son Au­gust, the only one ca­pa­ble of un­lock­ing Fire­fall, and hides him in a safe house. Else­where, Need­ham lo­cates Lis­beth’s girl­friend Maria and per­suades her to ar­range a meet­ing be­tween them, in­tend­ing to lure Lis­beth into a trap, but Lis­beth man­ages to evade him, and Need­ham is later ar­rested by Grane. Lis­beth helps him escape in ex­change for Need­ham safely es­cort­ing Au­gust back to the United States to be re­united with his mother, be­grudg­ingly agree­ing to give him Fire­fall as well.

The Spi­ders at­tack the safe house, and Lis­beth learns that their leader is her twin sis­ter Camilla Sa­lan­der, whom Lis­beth be­lieved to be dead. When they were chil­dren, Lis­beth de­cided to run away from their abu­sive fa­ther, and when Camilla hes­i­tated, Lis­beth left her be­hind. Af­ter years of tor­ture, Camilla faked her sui­cide and went un- der­ground to form the Spi­ders. Grane hired the Spi­ders to re­trieve Fire­fall for her, and in­formed them of Balder’s lo­ca­tion, but Camilla kills her and takes Au­gust to her base of op­er­a­tions at hers and Lis­beth’s child­hood home, where Holtser tor­tures a cap­tive Blomkvist to force Au­gust to un­lock Fire­fall. Armed with a sniper ri­fle and guided by Plague, Need­ham elim­i­nates Camilla’s hench­men, al­low­ing Lis­beth to in­fil­trate the house and kill Holtser, sav­ing Blomkvist. While Need­ham res­cues Au­gust, Lis­beth chases Camilla to a nearby cliff, where Camilla tear­fully asks why Lis­beth never re­turned for her. Lis­beth claims Camilla chose their fa­ther over her the day she did not escape with Lis­beth, and Camilla, re­al­iz­ing the mon­ster she has be­come, com­mits sui­cide by jump­ing off the cliff. Lis­beth then burns down her child­hood home to de­stroy all traces of her fa­ther, while Need­ham at­tempts to ac­cess Fire­fall on his way back to the United States with Au­gust, only to learn Lis­beth has al­ready de­stroyed it as Balder would have wanted.

Clas­si­fi­ca­tion: 15

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