'Girl In The Spiders Web' is a dark gloomy formula story (Movie Review)
Film: "The Girl In The Spiders Web"; Director: Fede Alvarez; Cast: Claire Foy; Rating: **(2 stars)
God and the godforsaken Crime Thriller genre move in uncertain ways. The uncertainties of the plot in this unwanted excruciatingly self conscious sequel to a film that worked three years ago because its violence addressed itself to a relatable heroine and also because it starred Bond Daniel Craig, are so widespread that by the time we wearily reach the shootout in an abandoned warehouse setting at the climax, we just want some warmth and a cup of coffee.
The Girl In The Spider's Web is an unbearably glum piece of nihilistic cinema. Nature is robbed of all joy and humankind is denuded of any hope. In the beginning we see two adolescent sisters, one of whom is trapped in the clutches of her evil father while the other escapes in a freefall that could have killed Catwoman.
Not our heroine. She grows up with a nose ring and an attitude to match. Calling herself Lisbeth, Claire Foy, an actress I immensely admired as Neil Armstrong's wife in the recent bio-pic, is grievously out of her depth in the part of a wounded abused freelance agent. Making it worse is the actress (Sylvia Hoeks) who plays Foy's sister.
Their confrontation at the snowcapped precipice at the end is maddeningly anti-climactic with both the actresses plunging rather than rising to the occasion.
Then there is a little boy who knows the secret code to crack open a computer programme that could destroy the world and a journalist-friend-lover played by Sverrir Gudnason, a man so stupid he repeatedly risks his life, marriage and reputation for Lisbeth although she is clearly using him for her own purposes. And he doesn't even get sex in return. At least none that we see.
For a film brimming with anxious energy the characters are woefully frigid. The action sequences are laughable in their self importance. Ten minutes into the tale of digital Gothicism Claire Foy's Lisbeth's home blows up. She jumps into the bathtub and is saved.
We couldn't hope for a safer world.
The setting is mostly the snowcapped wilderness that claims to be Stockholm. So far Sweden was always the land of rhapsodic joy, the land of ABBA's songs for me.
That just changed. Do us a favour. Leave the girl with the golden tattoo caught in a spider's web (etc, etc) to her own devices. She is really not interesting enough for us to invest two hours of our time as she cracks some complicated code on her computer . Not when Ralph is breaking the Internet.