And now, your friendly neighborhood “Spider” pan.
A disappointing follow-up to 2011’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” is a slow trudge devoid of suspense and adrenaline.
Without Oscar-nominated star Rooney Mara and director David Fincher of “Dragon,” the new movie doesn’t feel like a sequel, but rather a reboot that nobody asked for.
We first get reacquainted with Swedish hacker Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy, the queen of “The Crown”) as she uses her formidable fighting and digital skills to help women prevail over dirtbag men. In the movie’s only good scene, she cleverly frees a wife from an abusive rich husband.
But she soon gets to flex her superagent muscles when she’s asked to hack into, and steal, a program from the agency that controls all the world’s nukes. Too bad it’s then swiped from her by a far more nefarious bunch of baddies. Lisbeth must pursue both the missing program and a kidnapped autistic child savant — a tedious cliche — who is the only person who knows the password.
Foy chops off a couple of syllables from Queen Elizabeth to take the reins as Lisbeth, the fearless heroine of Stieg Larsson’s best sellers. She’s also snipped whatever threads of emotion the icy Swede had to begin with: Next to Foy’s robotic Lisbeth, her queen looks like Adele.
Still, you can’t blame an actor for the ho-hum story, which somehow manages to be confusing and obvious all at once. At times, figuring out who is good and bad is a struggle, and yet you can see every plot twist coming 1.6 kilometers away. That Foy’s co-stars — Lakeith Stanfield, a reformed hacker, and Sverrir Gudnason, a reporter — are so forgettable doesn’t help. Neither does the film’s finale, which is a ripoff of “Skyfall.”
“Spider’s Web” could be called “50 Shades of Gray” — not because its Lisbeth acts like a particularly nasty dominatrix, but because gray is the movie’s only color scheme. While it’s fun to watch happy Stockholm, where the film takes place, turned into a gloomy, crime-infested hellscape, the lack of color drags down the intensity.
For a movie in which the threat of global nuclear destruction constantly looms, the stakes are shockingly low.
If you want to really get your blood pumping, try a far better film — like “Charlotte’s Web.”
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