2018 has been a brilliant year for rising star Claire Foy - appearing in Steven Soderberg's critically acclaimed psychological-thriller Unsane and most recently as Janet Armstrong in Damien Chazelle's First Man. Although neither of those films are particularly ground-breaking, it's evident that the industry has fantastic new talent on their hands. And It's pretty much the same case with The Girl in the Spiders Web - Foy stars as the crafty young hacker Lisbeth Salander, aka the girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In this second reboot - following the original and David Fincher's 2011 remake - Salander is hired by an ex National Security Agent to steal Firewall - a computer program that can access codes for worldwide nuclear weapons.
Foy is entangled in the web of a conventional though fairly watchable crime thriller. Even if you weren't aware before hand, it's blatantly obvious that this is the third construction of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This reboot - like a vast number of Sony remakes - is somewhat aimless and inconsequential, but in difference to something like Flatliners (2017) - The Girl in the Spider's Web is easily accessible and not a complete a waste of time. By the time the rudimentary plot and substandard action begins to knock your interest, there's still a range of somewhat intriguing establishing shots and dutch tilts to keep you wrapped up in Lisbeth's off kilter world of espionage and deception.
Most if not all your engagement with the film will be down to Foy's performance. For the third time running Foy demonstrates her versatility as a serious on screen presence. Though there is, yet again, little artistic brilliance to work with - even more so than First Man - Foy does a great job of making an iconic film and literature character her own. She captures the distanced essence and nimble mindedness of the crafty computer hacker Lisbeth. Despite her film lacking in quality, this interpretation of the character would look great if you were to compare her to Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace - previous girls who have worn the same dragon tattoo.
Logic is not on the table for this crime romp. The Girl in the Spider's Web incorporates some of the silliest, glossy Hollywood action set pieces. One sequence follows Lisbeth dive into a bath tub for protection from a colossal explosion in her apartment. Moreover she later escapes on a motorbike and rides off across a frozen lake. The execution is nothing if not in the spirit of Bond and the camera work becomes particularly goofy - then again, it's hard to tell what level of seriousness The Girl in the Spider's Web is trying to reach.
At the end of the day, this crime thriller isn't as bad as people have claimed it to be. In contrast to an extensive number of mediocre films released this year, The Girl in the Spider's Web is "meh" but amusing. You certainly won't be won over by the simplicity of the film's story telling - nuclear weapons, as relevant current subject, aren't explored here any differently to anything before. Then again, if Sony are itching for an extra cash grab and Foy's game for a sequel, then I'm game too.
The Girl in the Spider's Web :
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.