Film Review: Story Spins Out of Reach for ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’

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CHICAGO – There is nothing wrong with revisiting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. That tattoo has made beaucoup bucks in book and film forms (both foreign language and Americanized versions), and Claire Foy taking over for Rooney Mara in the title role is seamless. So why the totally lackluster story? Is this a narrative source problem? Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

The film, directed by Fede Alvarez (“Don’t Breathe”) is stylish and good looking, the performances are good and the production design works, but it devolves into style-over-substance confusion that meanders to a foregone conclusion. What began as a premise with a mysterious female computer sporting the titular tattoo – who also knows martial arts, weaponry and the chess game of staying one move ahead – has run out of steam as The Girl becomes a wrecking crew, who is invulnerable to being shot, drugged and generally beaten to a pulp. It’s pretty damn easy to stay one chess move ahead when you can drive a car like Jim Rockford after being drugged.

The story begins with a flashback, to when The Girl (Claire Foy) and her sister (Sylvia Hoeks) are children with a bizarre Dad. The Girl escapes, but her sister stays behind and gets corrupted. In the present, The Girl finds herself caught in that past, and her journalist friend Mikael (Sverrir Gudnason) is going to help her out, as he did when they met in the first adventure.

Her father was also involved in a shadowy crime syndicate named “The Spiders” (get it?) who now want to steal a nuclear war computer program named Firewall, invented by Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant). Frans naturally only trusts The Girl, and she must protect the program from the Swedish National Security, The Spiders (which now includes her sister) and an American NSA agent (LaKeith Stanfield).

“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” opens everywhere on November 9th. Featuring Claire Foy, LaKeith Stanfield, Stephen Merchant, Sylvia Hooks, Sverrir Gudnason and Claes Bang. Screenplay adapted by Fede Alvarez, Jay Basu and Steven Knight. Directed by Fede Alvarez. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”

Spinning Into Intrigue: Claire Foy is “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”

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