One can’t help but admire the length and breath of influence Sir Conan Arthur Doyle’s most famous creation, Sherlock Holmes, has had over the years.
There are so may works featuring oddball/quirky detectives solving bizarre crimes while accompanied by their more “normal” sidekicks/partners and almost every one of them owes gratitude to Mr. Doyle’s Holmes.
So too it is with the late Stieg Larsson’s original Milennium Trilogy of novels, the most famous of which was the first titled The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and which has already been filmed twice featuring both Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara in what is the most provocative role of the books, that of punk hacker -and oddball- extraordinaire Lisbeth Salander. Salander’s Watson is journalist Mikael Blomkvist and their setting is the cold environs of Sweden.
The Girl in the Spider Web, based on a “new” Dragon Tattoo novel by David Lagercrantz, features Claire Foy as Salander and Sverrir Gudnasson as Blomkvist.
The movie takes place a few years after the original trilogy of stories and we find Salander hired by a skittish American techno genius who created a program capable of linking up and taking over every nuclear missile in the world.
He fears he made a very big mistake in both creating and giving the program to the U.S. government and wants it back so he can get rid of it. He asks Salander to get the one and only copy of it from a Pentagon computer and she agrees (plot hole #1: Do you really think such a powerful program would somehow be limited to one copy only?).
Anyway, what Salander doesn’t realize is that there are already eyes on her employer and, after she manages to get the program, the evil schenannigans start and, soon enough, Salander is on the run for her life. After her apartment is torched with her in it (plot hole #2: Do the villains want to kill Salander or frame her? Truly this is the most irritating bit in the film and reminds me of the same problem with the last James Bond film Spectre. The villain seems to want the protagonist to live so that they can personally take them out, yet their henchmen sure do seem intent on killing the protagonist anyway!), Salander enlists the aid of journalist Mikael Blumpkist and the game of cat and mouse formally begins.
Despite those two very irritating plot points that I mentioned above, The Girl in the Spider’s Web is a decent enough film which, sadly, winds up being its main problem.
Apart from those two irritations, there is nothing in the film that will make you howl or shake your head or scream at the screen. Alas, neither is there anything in this film that will blow your proverbial socks off. You’ve seen most of this stuff before, and at times far better, in other works.
While the film is handsomely constructed, well directed, well acted, and the scenery is pretty, the plot and story provide little punch and, ultimately, are rather weak tea.
I suspect over time this is one of those films that will drift out of my mind and soon be forgotten.
Neither terribly good nor genuinely bad, The Girl in the Spider’s Web just is.