The Girl in the Spider's Web - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Girl in the Spider's Web Reviews

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November 19, 2018
Thought story and Claire Foy excellent - action did not overpower.
November 19, 2018
When I saw this movie I was prepared to be very disappointed because of all the negative reviews. I am a big Claire Foy fan and assumed that even her talents would not be able to save this movie. But, I ended up being enthusiastically surprised and found that most of the reviews were highly exaggerated. For example, it was often compared to a James Bond movie when the only Bond-ish looking thing in the movie were the opening credits. There was a good balance of action and drama. I read the book and was very disappointed by it and was so relieved to find that this movie did not really follow the book. It ended up being much better. The biggest confirmation to me that this was a good movie is that I went to see it with two friends who typically fall asleep within 10 minutes of a movie starting. With this movie, they were wide-eyed and engaged throughout the entire thing. See it...ignore the laughably exaggerated negative reviews. I have seen the original Swedish movies and loved them, as well. But, the Spiders Web was really good. It definitely solidified Claire Foys talent in her ability to play a wide range of characters.
½ November 19, 2018
Adapted from the popular Stieg Larsson books the second English speaking version of the same name since studios did not believe they would be able to earn enough to repay actor, Danial Craig's asking price of 25 million in which the previous film barely broke even. In the second version the journalist to whom Daniel used to play in the first The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo as Mikael Blomkvist presence was almost mild at best. With a brand new cast, the second installment is self explanatory starring Claire Foy of "The Crown" as anti-hero cyber hacker Lisbeth Salander employed to hack in to the systems of NSA in Washington. Unbeknownst she was only set up by another group with the spider tattoo becoming the only identification or lead. The movie consists of "The Dark Knight" theme some may be able able to recognize.
½ November 19, 2018
It had some good action but I just didn't like the overall dark place this movie came from.
½ November 19, 2018
Just another Spider film that doesn't add anything to the typical steal some government file and try and get it back.
November 19, 2018
I really liked this movie. First and foremost, it does not have the 'Hollywood mass-produced movie' feeling, which I enjoyed. The acting was decent and Claire Foy I thought suited the role. The car choices in this movie are very enjoyable. The movie is visually stunning and the characters are dressed properly. Overall I enjoyed it more than the previous installment and therefore I am giving this movie 4/5 stars. I recommend it to the audience.
November 19, 2018
Claire Foy is the only one who is watchable, the script , casting totally wasting of a time.
I wish Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig could be back, but know, is too late.
Sverrir Gidnason as Mikael is one the worse acting I ever seen.
Score 4.6 because of Claire Foy
November 18, 2018
This movie was terrible. She was like batman only worse ï¿ 1/2~,ï¿ 1/2~, she got beat up the entire movie. Sloppy story line. I love action movies but this I could have went my entire life without viewing. What a waste.
November 18, 2018
No. Just no. Waste of time, money and film. How does this make it to the screen?
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2018
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was an international best-selling trilogy that gave way to three hit Swedish movies, one Hollywood remake that netted a Best Actress nomination, and millions in worldwide revenue. The problem was that its author, Stieg Larsson, died of a heart attack in 2004, before the publication of any of the original novels. The property was too valuable to simply collect dust and thus a new author came aboard to tell further adventures of Lisbeth Salander, the pint-sized Gothic avenger. A new set of novels began being published in 2015, and after David Fincher's 2011 version underperformed at the box-office, it seemed expected to reboot the franchise with a new big screen story that had yet to be adapted. In steps a new director, a new dragon-tattooed lady for The Girl in the Spider's Web. Unfortunately, my fears have come true and the eventual reckoning has happened: they have made Lisbeth Salander boring.

Lisbeth (Claire Foy) is thrown into another criminal conspiracy with shadowy forces at play. A network of high-powered assassins, known as "spiders," has stolen a dangerous technology that will allow the user control of nuclear arsenals. Lisbeth is hired to retrieve this tech, betrayed, and then on the run from Swedish authorities, professional killers, a dogged NSA operative (Laketih Stanfield), and the head of this cabal, Camilla Salander (Sylvia Hoeks, Blade Runner 2049), her long lost sister Lisbeth left behind years ago.

In her first 2010 outing, Salander was presented as a complex, emotionally withdrawn figure, eminently capable but flawed, hurt, and looking to punish others from her fraught history with terrible men. Strip away all the Gothic trinkets and camouflage, her assertions of identity, and she's still a deeply intriguing human being. However, even the latter Swedish films started veering in this more derivative direction. As I wrote presciently with the second Swedish Dragon Tattoo movie back in 2010: "We project the interest we felt for her from the first film to the Salander stand-in represented in the second film. She's still a resourceful, loyal, and cavalier presence, but the plot corners her into being a creature of action. She becomes the fantasy bisexual ass-kicking protagonist that was merely hinted at previously. That sounds like a good thing, but trust me, it does the audience a disservice to box in such a fascinating character." With Spider's Web, Lisbeth Salander has become a Gothic Jason Bourne spy figure, and as anyone who has seen the Bourne movies can attest, he's the most boring character in his own movies, which is why he needs to be kept constantly on the move and hunted. He's only interesting when he's getting out of jams, and Lisbeth is now sadly in that realm.

Lisbeth has been reduced to her most essential, and most superficial, characteristics, which also go for the film as a whole. The Dragon Tattoo series began as a twisty investigative procedural with a litany of suspects and dark secrets worth killing over. From there, the Swedish films turned Lisbeth into an indestructible Terminator capable of getting the drop on anyone and axe-fighting oversized men. The Swedish series began more grounded as a mystery/thriller and suddenly, and regrettably, transformed into a preposterous Hollywood-style action-thriller, following the edict of bigger being better. That same mentality has carried over past Larsson's contributions, and now Lisbeth has become an action superhero and the series has become trashy fun, high-calorie junk food, a safe excursion to a seedy underbelly. The Girl in the Spider's Web still provides a consistent degree of entertainment, but it's not playing at a higher level, content to hand-wave away its story for cool chases and fights. It's the kind of movie where, to escape an encroaching fireball, Lisbeth dives into a bathtub of water. It makes for a visually interesting shot but it's pretty cliché 90s action movie stuff. Director Fede Alvarez has a slick handle with visuals and evidenced real talent at sustaining and developing tension with 2016's Don't Breathe. He has obvious visual talent. There are some engaging fights, like a close-quarter struggle in a bathroom, and some nifty chase scenes, like a motorcycle chase over a frozen lake. I would have liked even more action if Spider's Web was going to brush aside narrative and moral complexity for stylish set pieces.

The story of The Girl in the Spider's Web feels like a lukewarm repackaging of spy clichés, and the film does little to make any of it feel important or relevant. There's a super powerful technology that everyone wants, which falls into the wrong hands, and now it's about retrieving this device and saving the world. That's like the plot of just about every James Bond movie. It's a formula, but where Spider's Web missteps are that it doesn't add anything else to this staid foundation. There are scenes but it's usually about this group going after this group, or this group now going after this group, and without wider relevance it becomes redundant plot placeholders, something meant to distract long enough to get our characters from Point A to Point B. With a mystery, there's a natural momentum that builds as the case builds coherency and the investigation focuses the direction. With action thriller mode, Spider's Web just has a bunch of guys that occasionally interact until the movie needs some of them dead. This model by itself can work but it requires concerted effort, and that just isn't present here.

The most interesting aspect of Spider's Web is the further examination on Salander's troubled upbringing, this time introducing a sister that has been plotting vengeance. Salander is, first and foremost, the selling point of this franchise; she is, after all, the titular girl with that particular tattoo. She is what separates this from any other paperback thriller. The Swedish sequels opened up her past traumas with her Soviet-defected father. He was the Big Bad Man behind the scenes trying to institutionalize and neutralize her. While skirting into the above-stated dangerous territory, the Swedish sequels still knew that Lisbeth Salander's complicated history was the real mystery the audience craved, and it set up a series of antagonists ready to be foiled for years-in-the-making payback. I don't really know how the events of Spider's Web gibe with the overall series. I had to look up whether the evil father in the opening was the same evil father in the other films (both are listed as Alexander Zalachenko, so I think so). But the established history has Lisbeth committed after trying to set dear old dad on fire to save her abused mother. I don't see how any of that is likely if she escapes her father's clutches as a pre-teen and is supposedly on the run. The secret Salander sister revelation also impacts little. She was the one left behind, whose continued abuse and degradation are strongly referenced. It doesn't feel like Lisbeth harbors great guilt over leaving her sister behind. During their final face-to-face, Camilla actually poses a worthy question: "Why did the woman who hurts men who hurt women never come back and save her own abused sister?" Because this storyline is flagrantly underdeveloped, the evil sister angle is a cheap twist. There's nothing to the Camilla character, so she serves as a symbol of shame, and yet the movie doesn't seem to capitalize on this in the slightest, which is a puzzling disservice.

Foy (Netflix's The Crown, First Man) is having a big year for herself but feels slightly miscast. She never really gets an opportunity to show off her range, which is a byproduct of the streamlined, reductionist screenplay emphasizing bare plot mechanics. She is missing the intensity or fire that we've seen in prior Salanders, breakout-star Noomi Rapace and the Oscar-nominated Rooney Mara. When Foy tries for glower you see the effort. She's more grumpy than tortured, like maybe she skipped a meal. Even with the requisite piercings, tattoos, and black leather wardrobe, Foy seems a bit too clean-cut for the part. Personal admission: Foy with her sharp bangs, saucer-eyes, facial shape, and Gothic accessories, looks remarkably like an ex-girlfriend of mine from the early 2000s. That was something that kept sneaking into my mind throughout the film, which made the experience a tad stranger as if I was imagining an ex engaged in action heroics. Even excusing that personal connection, Foy ranks a distant third place for the Girls With.

The new Dragon Tattoo movie will likely also be its last. I can't imagine fans getting too much pleasure out of a streamlined, underdeveloped spy thriller that sands away the edge and complexity of its characters for rote action movie chases. It's not a bad movie and it does carry moments of excitement and entertainment, but it's also become a standard Hollywood thriller, no different than a dozen other high-tech, junky hacker thrillers. The Girl in the Spider's Web gets caught in its own formulaic web. If Lisbeth Salander has been transformed into a standard action hero, then we don't deserve more adventures.

Nate's Grade: C
½ November 18, 2018
the worst movie i've watched for years really ..sonny pictures just destroyed a masterpiece by removing fincher
November 18, 2018
Not really a review but a comment...It amazes me that some actors will go to great lengths to embody a character, losing/gaining weight, language and dialect training but when it comes to smoking, a non-smoking actor frequently looks like they're pretending to smoke. This is the case with Clair Foy, she looks awkward and Its distracting every time she lights up.
½ November 18, 2018
What is this??? No relation to the book what so ever. Do not see.
November 18, 2018
Since I never saw any other film of the franchise, I really enjoyed trust movie. The intrigue is not too complicated and serve its purpose as a support for the underlying story of evolution, rebirth and Cain and Adam eternal conflict. Visually perfect with directing that doesn't show off but serves the acting and the sleek feeling. Casting is almost perfect and the acting is amazing. Claire Foy is a rare talent.
I definitely recommend it especially as a stand alone him.
November 18, 2018
Nowhere near as good as the prior English one by Fincher in any regard, being more of an action film than a brooding and tense meditation on violent misogyny (though, of course, still touching on such subject matter), but thoroughly entertaining in itself.
November 17, 2018
Too many comparisons to the original series, "not enough drama.." blah blah blah, this is a high tech action movie, thank you for that! Keep making them!
½ November 17, 2018
The best comparison I have for this film is a 70's James Bond film but with a female lead. Too many coincidences, too many ex machinas, too implausible.
November 17, 2018
Kind of James Bond feel with an interesting story and characters that have history.
November 17, 2018
Lisbeth sleep with women, not Michal anymore. That's the most I get from this latest of Salander series. I'm not against homosexual, but it's mystery to me that Hollywood writers think that'd juice thing up? Stupid libbies.

Nothing in this movie is outstanding. The actress has no appeal, sexual or acting, to talk about (she actually smiles when finally pointing gun at her own sister. Humans must be always happy before shooting their siblings). Not recommend to anyone.

By the way, AMC theaters are becoming restaurants now. Movie experience is dead. Netflix rule.
November 16, 2018
it was nice to revisit the character but there was something missing from the first the movies.
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