The Girl in the Spider’s Web
A hacker returns to save the world.
“Call it a spectacular failure to read the room,” said Joshua Rothkopf in Time Out New York. Lisbeth Salander, the hacker vigilante of Stieg Larsson’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo novels, could have been a warrior idol of the #MeToo era, having punished her rapist and hunted down a misogynist serial killer in the first film adaptation. But this second installment “strips its hero of everything that made her spiky and singular.” Now played by Claire Foy instead of Rooney Mara, Salander has become “a bland videogame avatar” given the generic big-screen task of stopping a nuclear-armed madman. A bid to position Salander as a franchise-worthy action hero is “by no means a bad thing,” said Benjamin Lee in TheGuardian.com. “But forcing Salander into Bond’s shoes feels like a misstep.” Though Foy is a “commanding presence,” the character’s intellect and survivalist mentality are wasted by the unimaginative screenplay. Spider’s Web at least succeeds as “an absorbing airplane novel of a movie,” said William Bibbiani in TheWrap.com. Full of inventive fight scenes and high-speed car chases, “it’s not insightful—it’s just really, really cool.”