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However, Fincher directed it with such elegance and precision—without tamping down any of the edgier elements in order to make things more palatable to the masses—that it also resulted in a film that was much better than it had any real right to be. However, she is still a hacker first and foremost and when she is offered a seemingly impossible job to do by former NSA employee Frans Balder Stephen Merchantshe cannot resist the urge to take it. It seems that Balder invented a computer program named Firefall that gives the person using it the power to hack virtually any nuclear missile system in the world.
After getting it up and running, however, it dawns on him that this was probably not a good idea and so he wants Lisbeth to steal it away from the NSA computers and hide it. This proves to be easy enough but someone else is on the trail as well and steals her computer before blowing up her apartment with her in it. She survives but is sufficiently distracted to miss her meeting with Balder and his young son, August Christopher Convery and Balder, deciding he has made another mistake, throws himself on the mercy of the Swedish Secret Service, whose deputy director Synnove Macody Lund hides them away in a safe house.
Having learned from her one-time ally, crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist Sevrrir Gudnasonthat those responsible for the bombing are connected to the Russians, Lisbeth begins her own surveillance of the safe house and when Swedish security proves to be less than it is cracked up to be, she ends up rescuing August and, with super web girl aid of Blomkvist and Edwin Needham Lakeith Stanfieldanother NSA agent trying to retrieve Firefall, trying to figure out who is behind it super web girl. When that person turns up played by Sylvia Hoeksher identity turns out to hit Lisbeth a lot closer to home than expected.
On the bright side, they do serve as distractions for the genuinely terrible story that is dribbled out in between them. This is the kind of tension-free thriller that requires even the most seemingly intelligent of characters to act like absolute morons in order to get from one clumsy plot point to the next. When they cringe here, it's the result of yet more ham-handed super web girl.
Once a character who refused to be reduced by her multiple sexual traumas and who became a feminist icon for her continuing battles against all aspects of a misogynistic society, Lisbeth has now been reduced to a nondescript female action hero. Her rage, feminism and sexuality have all been dialed way down the latter to practically nothingand so she becomes a non-entity in her own story—this is bad enough on its own but when you consider that this is the first Salander film to emerge in the MeToo era, it somehow feels even more offensive. For her part, Foy throws herself into the part but since she has virtually nothing to play with, her efforts are in vain.
Seemingly made only so that it can one day wind up in constant rotation on basic cable, it is the kind of meaningless product that may win a weekend or two at the box office but which will barely be remembered by most people only a few weeks from now.
Of course, there is always the hope that both the character and franchise can one day resurrect themselves as the Bond films have done repeatedly over the years. Peter Sobczynski is a contributor to eFilmcritic. Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander. Sverrir Gudnason as Mikael Blomkvist. Sylvia Hoeks as Camilla Salander. LaKeith Stanfield as Edwin Needham. Stephen Merchant as Frans Balder. Vicky Krieps as Erika Berger.
Christopher Convery as August Balder. Claes Bang as Jan Holster. Reviews The Girl in the Spider's Web. Peter Sobczynski November 09, Now streaming on:.
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