A GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB – A Review by Gadi Elkon

Lisbeth Salander, the cult figure and title character of the acclaimed Millennium book series created by Stieg Larsson, will return to the screen in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, a first-time adaptation of the recent global bestseller.
 

Here is my full review of Fede Alvarez' A GIRL IN THE SPIDER WEB: A NEW DRAGON TATTOO STORY.

Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cyber criminals and corrupt government officials.

There are some elements to really love about this film.  Claire Foy is captivating as the computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and she works well off every character whether it's her evil sister, the American NSA agent who may be enemy or asset, her long-time friend Mikael Blomkvist and also a young child with a hell of a knack for math.  Fede Alvarez direction is filled with enough quality action and chase sequences to make any Bond or Mission Impossible fan clap out loud.  Steven Knight's fine touch is obvious in the darker elements of the story shown in more flashback moments or the opening "look back" sequence.  The score is upbeat and still a bit haunting.  

So you ask, what's wrong with the film?  Well the notion that this is a New Dragon Tattoo Story.  Well first of all we never got to see the ending of the original trilogy.  We don't see the full Blomkvist tale mix in with the Lisbeth story by Stieg.  Just gotta question Sony why they would scrap Fincher's dark more mysterious take for this Mission Impossible style replacement?  And you may love Claire for she is truley lovable but is she the real Lisbeth?  Rooney Mara would kick your ass and remind you just how mysterious she was in the original film working off of James Bond himself.  Oh and come on diving into a BATHTUB!?!?  What next Harrison Ford in a fridge?  This action packed thriller doesn't dive into the deep mystery of the Larsson epic and instead adds guns, explosions and of course rogue missile capabilities, but WHY?  The history of the family in the first film was so riveting and the chance to dive into the brutal world of journalism of the darker elements of our world's evil history was enough.  

As much as I like Fede he is no where the equal of the master of darkness Fincher.  I still have nightmares because of Seven!!  I think the casting is fine, but they all could have been in the third film in Fincher's tale.  The new story mold isn't that far off Larsson's ideas it just gets into a cheesy missile tale.  I especially would have loved to have seen Lakeith Stanfield's American NSA super agent somehow mixed into the Lisbeth arc for a final film in the Fincher trilogy.  Sylvia Hoeks is diabolical and her henchman played masterfully by Claes Bang (what a name!) are the perfect foil for any super agent.  In the end the nixing of a mysterious trilogy, that had the capacity to dive into really evil darkness, for a gun battle with limited hacking and the cliche of missile technology…MEH.

Don't get me wrong.  If you see the film it'll be enjoyable but you'll forget it by the time you make it to your car.  Where's Fincher's work buries it's ideas deep into the marrow of your bones and creeps back into your life when it feels like it.  Sony please remember to not mess up something great just for a quick money hit.   There are much more intriguing films out now and besides you should just re-watch The Crown seasons if you need a Claire Foy fix.   But with that all said I'm super glad that Fincher got to dive back into Netflix himself with THE MINDHUNTER (That is a fucking thrilling bone chilling show!!!)

A Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story.         

Directed by Fede Alvarez

Written By Jay Basu, Fede Alvarez & Steven Knight based on book by David Lagercrantz from characters by Stieg Larsson
Rated R
Selig Rating C-
Running Time 1hr 57min
Crime, Drama, Thriller 
Wide Release November 9th
Starring Voices of : Claire Foy, Sylvia Hoeks, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Merchant, Cameron Britton, Vicky Krieps, Sverrir Gudnason, Claes Bang, and Andreja Pejic 
 
The Selig Rating Scale:
 
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.