'The Girl in the Spider's Web' review: Where's Rooney Mara when you need her?
Overstuffed, drab tale with Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) returning, this time to steal a program that gives the owner access to the world's nuclear weapons.
There is a mortal sin when it comes to movie reboots. “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” commits it repeatedly.
Namely, while watching the newest adventure featuring Stieg Larsson's punky avenging angel Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist, a thought continually reoccurs: "This would have been a lot more interesting with Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig.”
It’s not that the two stars were the greatest pairing since bacon and eggs playing the characters in 2011’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," but, man, they were so much more engaging and layered than Claire Foy and Sverrir Gudnason. You can't even tell that their two characters were once lovers, because chemistry is so MIA with this duo.
The plot isn't particularly compelling, either, involving the theft of Firefall, a program that can take control of national defense systems around the globe. Lisbeth, who runs like a jaguar and leaps like an acrobat despite chain-smoking like Bette Davis, hacks the program from the computer of an American NSA agent (Lakeith Stanfield, wasted).
She steals Firefall at the request of its creator, then it is stolen from her, leading to a lot of so-so chase sequences and convoluted plot twists. There's family drama, too, in the form of her twin sister, who dresses in blood-red crimson outfits – symbolism alert! – and has some deep-seated sibling rivalry.
There's not much human emotion anywhere, with Mikael sidelined during much of the action and Lisbeth failing to connect with anyone else. Director Fede Alvarez has designed the movie as more of an action thriller, but it's not like we're invested enough in anyone to care about the outcome.
Alvarez (the superior shocker "Don't Breathe"), who also had a hand in writing the screenplay, borrows the chilly atmosphere from the first film, accentuated by a steely blue color scheme that coats everything with ice. Unfortunately, nothing in the film –Foy's performance included – cuts the chill, and you're left trapped in a big, wintry void.
‘The Girl in the Spider's Web,’ 2 stars
Director: Fede Alvarez.
Cast: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield.
Rating: R for violence, language and some sexual content/nudity.
Great ★★★★★ Good ★★★★
Fair ★★★ Bad ★★ Bomb ★
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