The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story is Fede Alvarez’s new movie installment based on Steig Larson’s Millenium series. This film is based on the fourth novel written by David Lagercrantz who took over the series after Larson’s sudden death in 2004. Many have claimed the later installments from Lagercrantz lost the essence of what Larson brought to the series in an effort to turn the series into an action franchise. After viewing The Girl in the Spider’s Web last night I would, unfortunately, would have to say the same for the film.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web tasks Lisbeth (Claire Foy) with the job of stealing a file called Firefall from the Americans, more specifically from Agent Edwin Needham who is portrayed by Lakeith Stanfield. As Lisbeth completes her task, it is quickly stolen from her which unfolds subplot after subplot as the movie tries too hard to become an action thriller instead of focusing on how the character’s backstories have led them all to the hunt for Firefall. I have to say Claire Foy completely transforms for the role of Lisbeth and commits to the material but due to poor writing, I left wondering why Alvarez would waste such a brilliant talent. Another talent wasted would have to be Lakeith Stanfield. As the Special Division agent for the American government, Stanfield is reduced to a few funny one-liners as we never understand why it is necessary for him alone to retrieve Firefall. Stanfield does, however, provide some amazing sniping skills towards the third act of the film which for a moment relieved me of the films’ monotony.
What I loved about David Fincher’s 2011 take on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was his investment on the character development of Lisbeth then portrayed by Rooney Mara. As the audience learned more about the assault and trauma that Lisbeth had to endure from an early age into adulthood we understood her gravitation to her life as a vigilante. Instead for The Girl in the Spider’s Web, we are given an empty story of a sister’s betrayal between Lisbeth (Claire Foy) and Camilla (Sylvia Hoeks) which leads us to nowhere until the final moments of the film.
Overall, I was bored to death while watching this film. However, this is no fault to the incredible talents of Foy and Stanfield, who do their best with the material given to them. Where The Girl in the Spider’s Web goes wrong is the intense need to turn this thriller into an action franchise instead of getting the audience invested in its characters. By the end of the film, moviegoers will be left wanting their time back instead of caring where Lisbeth Salander’s next job leads her. My recommendation is you WAIT to see this film in theaters.
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