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“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” High Energy





Review by John Delia

If you have seen the American made trilogy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, then you will be familiar with the characters in the fourth release called The Girl in the Spider’s Web. The actors may be different than in the previous three, but the names and their descriptions are the same. For newbies of the stories, they all take place in Sweden and the plots reach out into other countries as the crime drama plays out. It’s like watching Bourne Ultimatum with Jason Bourne, but with a women in the lead role. If you like high energy movies than this quick paced film is your Swedish cup of Filmjolk.

Claire Foy as Lisbeh Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web from Columbia Pictures

The film opens with young girls, Camilla and Lisbeth Salander, playing chess in a mansion on a cliff high above a frozen river in Sweden. Their father wants them to come into his room and Lisbeth declines when she sees Camilla beckoned to sit on his bed. She leaves the room and exits out the window. Years later we see Lisbeth (Claire Foy) being called in to handle another impossible job for her boss. She’s to steal the computer program for a nuclear weapon project called “Fire Fall” from Washington D.C.’s National Security Agency. But, it’s all a set up that will have Lisbeth traveling across Europe to evade eminent death while trying to save August Balder (Christopher Convery) a young boy who knows the code that will save mankind from being incinerated.

Lakeith Stanfield as Ed Needham with US National Security Agency in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. From Columbia Pictures

The film plays out at a very fast pace, so fast that it may boggle your mind at times. If Lisbeth isn’t cracking into a building with death waiting at every turn, she’s speeding down a highway and across a frozen lake evading authorities on a motor bike. She has one thing in mind and that’s to save herself so she can change the events she started that would lead to a catastrophe. Her only help is news writer Mikael Blopmkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) who believes in what she does to stop mega crimes.

Claire Foy as Lisbeth in The Girl in the Spider’s Web from Columbia Pictures

Holding back nothing to make his film a winner, Director Fede Alvarez adds a lot of chase scenes, special effects, stunts, explosions, gun play and combat. His fight coordinator Cha-Lee Yoon has Claire Foy putting some very cool close combat moves on aggressors. With Foy (or stunt people) dodging punches and using a lot of mixed martial arts to defend or kill, she’s a one woman army. In some scenes you’ll even cheer as Lisbeth (or stunt drivers) does some very creative driving on her cycle and a Lambrigini. My jaw dropped many a time, especially during the bridge scene and her attempt to escape an exploding building.

Mikael Blopmkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) in The Girl in the Spider’s Web from Columbia Pictures

As for Foy, she’s a dynamo of action. Even when she’s standing still you can read her intended next move through her expressions. Others may have played the part before her, but never with such intensity. If they were to give an award to the best female action actor, Foy would win it hands down with this performance. Even though I like Noomei Rapace as Lisbeth Salandar in the Swedish trilogy, with Alverez in control of this fourth edition, Foy as the character in Spider Web seems to melt into the role and become a better protagonist on a rode of reprisal. Of course many will say that Rooney Mara should have continued as Lisbeth, but that’s a long story of wanting to take the role and it not being offered to her.

The Girl in the Spider Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story has been rated R by the MPAA for violence, language and some sexual content/nudity. Since the film champions a lady, one that has a roguish look, women may want to watch this performance for a very sexy rendition of a James Bond. Anyone for a movie with a character called “Jamesy” Bond?

FINAL ANALYSIS: An excellent action film that out shines previous American sequels. (4.5 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Claes Bang, Christopher Convery, Vicki Krieps, Cameron Britton, Synnøve Macody Lund, Beau Gadsdon, Carlotta von Falkenhayn, Hendrik Heutmann, Sonja Chan
Directed by: Fede Alvarez
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R for violence, language and some sexual content/nudity
Running Time: 1 hr 57 min.
Opening Date: November 9, 2018
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Released in: Standard

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