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Action -Spies

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018)

Duration1h 55m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Spain: 12.
Source of storyBased on a novel of the same name by David Lagercrantz using characters developed by Stieg Larsson
DirectorFede Alvarez
Writers/ScriptJay Basu, Fede Alvarez, Steven Knight
StarringClaire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, LaKeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Covvery, and a lot of Nordic actors.
RatingsIMDb: 6.1 by 40,839 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 39% by 237 critics.

Elevator Pitch: Lisbeth Salander is a talented computer hacker, capable of controlling systems and sufficiently well trained in firearms and combat to hold her own. She is contacted by a scientist, Frans Balder, who had developed a system capable of accessing all the missile launch systems in the world,  who asks her to recover it from the US security service. She is successful but finds that the only means of unlocking it is Balder’s son who has a super brain. The various communications set the “Spider” organisation on the trail, led by Lisbeth’s long lost sister, putting the boy, Lisbeth and her former lover Mikael at risk.

Content: There is no sex or nudity although it is implied that Lisbeth has had a sexual relationship with another woman. It seems to have been intentional that she be unattractive, whereas previous incumbents of the role were stunning. A lot of smoking and maybe a bit of drinking. She rides about on a motor cycle a lot often being chased by police cars. Quite a clever set piece on a Stockholm river bridge. We are dazzled by her ability to take over cars and buildings. There is one extremely unpleasant scene when a minor character removes prosthetics from his face, to reveal much of it is missing.

A View: Apparently after the failure of previous Millennium films the budget for this outing was drastically reduced, but it still did not make any money. I put it down to the complexity of the plot, and the absolute lack of empathy we might feel for the main character. Indeed it is something I grapple with as an aspiring author, how do you make you characters likable, no matter how short their appearance. It can be done with only a few words, but not done in this case. Nevertheless if you enjoy baffling action films this one will work for you.

Additional Info: I did like the moment when Lisbeth is escaping with the boy, and he looks longingly at a Lambo – we might as well steal it, she  thinks. 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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