‘Girl in the Spider’s Web’ gets tangled in tropes The Girl In The Spider’s Web: A Dragon Tattoo Story
Tribune News Service
What can’t Claire Foy do? She’s Queen of England (on Netflix’s “The Crown”), Mrs. Neil Armstrong (“First Man”) and for her next trick, she’s slipped into the cyber-goth trappings and jet black bowl cut of the girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, in “The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story.”
Her Lisbeth doesn’t have the fierce fragility of Rooney Mara in David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” or the Nordic flintiness of Noomi Rapace, who played the character in the Swedish film trilogy. Foy’s Lisbeth is passionate and compassionate, despite her severe styling and frosty demeanor. Early on, her famed dragon tattoo is sliced open in an attack, and for the rest of the film, despite superglue and staples, it seeps blood. It’s the perfect encapsulation of this Lisbeth Salander, a bleeding heart whose wounds have never closed.
“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” is the fourth book in the Millennium series.
The plot is a classic “thingamajig” story, which bedevils the “Mission: Impossible” films and most superhero movies. Lisbeth has to keep a (insert world-ending device here) out of the hands of (insert nefarious criminal organization).
The twist is the criminal organization has a deeply personal connection to Lisbeth’s past, and her quest rips open old emotional wounds. Lisbeth’s status as a survivor of sexual assault has always been a huge part of her story, and in “Spider’s Web,” that is brought to the forefront, asserting Cast: that rape is what makes women bitter and violent.
The film’s shortcomings include an overly complicated, uninteresting plot, baffling fight scenes shot from insane angles and the complete waste of Vicky Krieps and Claes Bang. But Foy is truly doing the work. She’s the kind of hero we need now. It’s a shame this story sends her skittering off chasing encrypted laptops.