HOLLYWOOD—Many were wowed by the first adaptation of the 2011 film “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig. The success of that film would ultimately lead to the next chapter in the franchise, “The Girl in the Spider’s Web.” Hmm, how can I best say this, the Lisbeth Salander from the previous flick is not the same one who appears in this movie.
That is not only because Mara is absent, and “The Crown’s” Claire Foy has taken over, it’s the fact that the film seems flighty; it struggles to tell a story that is cohesive and actually captures the audience’s attention. That could be the result of many factors, new actors in the role, a script by a different writer, and a new director helming the franchise.
Unfortunately, for the viewers, we experience all of that here. I will indeed praise Foy’s attempt to make this character her own, because honestly I had no idea Foy was able of capturing such a dark character. The actress completely immerses herself in the role and I have to give high praise for that. The counter to that assessment is that Foy alone cannot save the movie.
Director Fede Alvarez, who has shown great promise behind the camera with his reinterpretation of Sam Raimi’s classic “Evil Dead” doesn’t put the same magic touch that director David Fincher put on the predecessor. Fincher had a bit more patience with telling the narrative and building up the characters, where Alvarez seems to deliver the movie as an action-thriller, which as a viewer I simply did not buy.
Another issue the film falters on is the chemistry between its lead characters, Craig and Mara clicked, and you never get that same electric energy with Foy and Sverrir Gudnason. That could be a result of bad casting, a weak script or both. “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” has elements of espionage, action, and some fun fight and chase sequences, but those things alone cannot save this movie.
Entering the theater with the expectation that the flick might exceed the predecessor will leave many moviegoers greatly disappointed. Does “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” find a way to entertain, somewhat, but not enough to hold your attention its entire time span.