First it was Noomi Rapace with a severe mohawk and lipstick the shade of tar. Then Rooney Mara, eyebrow-less and gaunt. Now, Claire Foy ( The Crown, First Man) takes on Lisbeth Salander, the pierced and tattooed goth hacker hero of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series. In
this adaptation of the first Salander book written after Larsson’s death, Foy sports a monkish bowl cut. Her hair isn’t the only thing less spikey about the character. Foy dons the costume, but not that infamous persona.
The makers of Spider’s Web assume we’re up on Salander’s history, her cold cunning and righteous violence on behalf of abused women. However, the original trilogy’s focus on Swedish political corruption has been replaced with a laborious and silly nuclear-weapon-hacking plot.
Gone is the intrigue of the original Scandinavian adaptations and David Fincher’s 2011 Dragon Tattoo. Instead, it’s all shuddering fights and technobabble.
Salander’s reasons for hunting cruel men have been reduced to a matter of sibling rivalry from her damaged childhood, robbing her of her most captivating and provocative quality.