Director: Fede Alvarez
Cast: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield
Release Date: February 5, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Claire Foy (“The Crown”) stars in a new Dragon Tattoo story as Lisbeth Salander, the highly-skilled vigilante from the acclaimed Millennium book series. Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials, as they race to rescue a dangerous program capable of global destruction held by shadowy figures linked to Lisbeth’s past.
Lisbeth Salander (Foy) aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is back in ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ for a new adventure that couldn’t be more personal. Currently using her talents in order to help random women that are victimized by men, Lisbeth finds herself caught up in a terrorist organization’s attempts to get their hands on a device that could mean global catastrophe. Assisted by her old friend, reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Gudnason) Lisbeth soon finds herself in over her head once events being to play out and she discovers that the whole event ties to her in a personal way that she never foresaw. Now she must confront her past and face her fears if she hopes to stop the unthinkable from happening and also save the young boy stuck in the middle of it all.
Directed by the talented Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe, Evil Dead) from a screenplay he additionally co-wrote along with Jay Basu (Monsters: Dark Continent) and Steven Knight (Locke) which was based upon the novel of the same name by David Lagercrantz, which itself features characters first introduced in the “Millennium” series written by Stieg Larsson respectively. Alvarez does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ guiding along the action packed fun and tension while always showcasing the beautiful, snow covered surroundings. The film features a well selected cast that includes Claire Foy (First Man), Sverrir Gudnason (Borg vs. McEnroe), Lakeith Stanfield (Sorry To Bother You), Sylvia Hoeks (Blade Runner 2049), Stephen Merchant (TV’s Hello Ladies), Christopher Convery (TV’s Gotham) and more, with the majority offering more than capable performances in each of their respective roles overall. The real star of this one though is undeniably Claire Foy who makes a magnificent Lisbeth.
‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ is a fast paced, tense and massively enjoyable action thriller set against a gorgeous snowy backdrop and loaded with no shortage of action-packed excitement. It may not quite manage to reach the level of outstanding that David Fincher’s 2011 US adaption of ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ did, and while the latest entry (which is based upon the fourth book in the book series and the first by a new author) isn’t nearly as complex or emotional, it still more than delivers as a cool, fast-paced action flick with a female lead that’s as unforgiving and brutal as they come. It’s guided along beautifully by talented director Fede Alvarez whose capable work in the director’s chair is tremendously complimented by a pretty fantastic Lisbeth Salander in Claire Foy who does an outstanding job transforming into the role and perfectly capturing the character’s tense, calm and uncompromising demeanor. I would strongly encourage fans of the series and/or of director Fede Alvarez to ignore the barrage of bad reviews out there and try to make a point of giving ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ a chance whenever possible in order to make up your own mind. It may not be the year’s most outstanding film by any means, but it certainly delivers one insanely entertaining ride that’s well worth taking.
Overall, ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ is a thoroughly entertaining and action packed thriller filled with gorgeous snow covered scenery and enough tension and excitement to keep viewers effortlessly glued to the screen for its duration. It may not be a perfect film, yet it also isn’t nearly the complete mess so many would lead you to believe. If you go in expecting nothing more than a fun and well done action thriller that largely stays to the basics there’s a pretty great chance you’ll end up enjoying this one quite a bit. ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ is definitely recommended, especially for fans of the book series, director Fede Alvarez and/or of star Claire Foy who makes a great Lisbeth, along with anyone that enjoys a solid action film that never becomes dull.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding overall and delivers a crisp, clean and richly detailed presentation from start to finish. It holds up admirably even during the various fast moving and/or darkly lit sequences, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible along the way. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation that looks consistently great and should easily please fans of the film and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack serves up a clean, crisp and often rather hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes full advantage of all five available channels in order to send bullets, vehicles and other various action effects whipping throughout the various speakers, along with nature elements, crowd chatter and more. All while never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a wonderful 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that effortlessly holds up throughout and perfectly complements the onscreen action and excitement.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ includes some noteworthy extras that fans of the film should appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director/Co-writer Fede Alvarez and screenwriter Jay Basu’, in addition to a collection of ‘Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Fede Alvarez and Jay Basu’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length altogether) and a few Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Claire Foy: Becoming Lisbeth’ (running approximately 10 minutes), ‘All About the Stunts’ (approximately 7 minutes), ‘Creating the World: The Making-Of’ (16 minutes) and ‘Secrets of the Salander Sisters’ (5 minutes).