Michelle Reynolds, Staff Writer
Released Nov. 9, 2018, “Girl in the Spider’s Web” is a sequel to the 2011 movie “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” It features the same characters, yet has new actors, a new writer and new director. Hollywood was hoping this sequel could double as a reboot and relaunch the series, but did they succeed?
Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) soon finds herself tasked with stealing a program that can hack into any online nuclear system. With the help of an ex-lover, journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason), they find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.
“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” is the fourth novel in the Millennium series. The first three books in the series are “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest” and “The Girl Who Played with Fire.” “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” is the first novel in the series not written by the series’ creator and author of the first three Millennium books, Stieg Larsson, who died in 2004.
The first three books in the series were all made into movies in Sweden and were met with popularity. It was greeted with similar popularity when remade in America. However, the sequel/reboot “Girl in the Spider’s Web” has not been met with the same praise. It lacks something the other movies had . . . originality.
Set in Stockholm, Sweden but filmed in Germany and Berlin, the setting is absolutely fitting for the mood of this story: cold, modern, stylish. But all the artistic screenshots couldn’t make up for its recycled plot. If you want to launch a series, don’t start with something this predictable, and don’t start with a villain who is someone from the main characters past. We need time to get to know the characters and learn about their past so we can be surprised when someone from earlier returns. Audiences can’t be introduced to someone at the beginning and then not expect them to return as the villain, because who else could it be?
At 117 minutes, this movies uses abrupt scene cuts and doesn’t include many fluff scenes, which is appreciated. Salander is a hacker to be messed with, and there were some scenes that featured fun cleverness, yet there was this detached feeling that made it hard for the viewers to get lost in the movie. Maybe it was the abrupt scene changes or the formulaic plot that made audiences remember they were watching a movie and not experiencing it.
This R-rated movie had good action, enough to keep the plot going, but the highlight was the acting. Claire Foy, known for her performance in “The Crown,” absolutely nailed her performance as Lisbeth Salander. She was the perfect balance between strong yet fragile, making her a powerhouse worthy of her Golden Globes winner title. However, Foy could not carry the whole movie by herself. All the other characters were underdeveloped and honestly, remained nameless in the audience’s minds. Just because you add cool explosions and action doesn’t deter from underdeveloped characters. It’s a delicate balance, both plot and characters are important!
With movie reviews titled “‘Girl in the Spider’s Web’ tangles its unique heroine in standard plot” and ratings of 43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, don’t walk into “Girl in the Spider’s Web” with high hopes. “Girl in the Spider’s Web” drew many connections to James Bond, but in no way did it live up. With a boring plot, lackluster side characters and a disappointing ending devoid of action befitting a climax, the latest installment to the Dragon Tattoo series seemed to be missing everything that people loved about the original series.