The girl with the dragon tattoo returns to the big screen with a new face, and despite boasting an always-committed Claire Foy and superb cinematography, is near instantly forgettable.
Firefall is a computer program which allows access to whoever possesses it to the entire world’s nuclear complexes. Lisbeth Salander marks her return by aiding Frans Balder, the man who developed Firefall, in stealing it back from the NSA and keeping the program out of the wrong hands. When a deadly group known as the Spiders enter the frame, the mission becomes a whole lot dangerous as Lisbeth must now face down someone from her dark past.
From the film’s opening credits onwards, it feels and plays out like a bleak James Bond film. Salander is depicted as having multiple partners, is the clear good guy (the ethics of her actions scarcely ever in question), and she has to stop some secret villainous group from acquiring nuclear codes and possibly setting them off or selling them to the highest bidder. In one scene, Lisbeth drives her motorcycle on a frozen lake, where is the realism in that? America has Jason Bourne, Britain has James Bond, and Sweden has…Lisbeth Salander? Anybody looking for that woman vigilante “who punishes bad men” film will be disappointed.
Despite the movie’s slick visuals and skillfully executed fight sequences, I couldn’t get past the film’s tangled plotline. There are several characters, all with different intentions, most of them hardly explored. Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) is only in the film because he is obligated to be, Vicky Krieps goes sorely underused, and the buildup to Camilla (Slyvia Hoeks) and Lisbeth’s final confrontation has minimal tension; I wish the film spent more time in developing this storyline and the Spiders. At least LaKieth Stanfield is amusing to watch as the NSA agent looking to reacquire which is his, budding into the middle of everything. Claire Foy tries her best to match the look and sound of the girl with the dragon tattoo but lost in the mist of it all is any spirit. Salander seems bored, tired, or both most of the time; what happened to that fire Foy displayed in First Man?
The action scenes are solid but are all revealed in the trailer. Lisbeth Salander has become an invincible hero. I got to see the little things I was hoping for heading into the film, but hardly anything else. Girl in the Spider’s Web is too gray for its own good, and where there could’ve been a provocative tale of revenge we get something more from the Hollywood recycle bin. 6.5/10