I’m gonna sound biased, but the truth is that I am. David Fincher come back! I miss his take of “Millennium”, which was brilliantly engaging. But we gotta accept the fact that the whole trilogy couldn’t be adapted because of the first film not being financially successful enough. The fourth book was also the first in the series to not be written by Stieg Larsson, but instead by David Lagercrantz. Must have been a daunting task following in the footsteps of the world-wide bestsellers. I remember that my dad recognised him in a store once. So he went up to Lagercrantz, said hello and then left him in peace. My dad said he didn’t wanna say anything else because he was being criticised and under pressure for taking over the series. That’s when I first heard about it – and yes, I was sceptic as well. The trailers had me worried. The direction was gonna be faster, more action oriented and appeal to an even wider audience. I get that, sure. But the brilliance of “Dragon Tattoo” is its investigate dark mystery. Look how the story is told and how the audience is always interested in finding the answers to the questions. Was “Spider’s Web” any good? Well… Better than I expected.
Fede Alvarez is not a bad director choice. I underestimated him. He knows how to get the stylish imagery. There’s a good eye here since many creative ideas are being used for the shots. It gets points for that. He uses some shaky cam in the intense scenes. Thankfully there’s a good balance of steady and hand-held camera use. I’ve seen Claire Foy getting much work recently. My bets where that she would portray Lisbeth Salander being hysterical or explosive. I was wrong because she lands a solid performance. Subtle when she needs to be, and even showing the emotion that’s underneath Lisbeth’s tough exterior. Surprisingly she’s even funny. Sverrir Gudnason shows a warm interpretation of Mikael Blomkvist. He comes across as a friendly person who’s presence lightens the mood. Not a bad take either. I would in all honesty have been ecstatic if Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig had returned. Then again Fede Alvarez felt he wouldn’t had done 50% of his job if he took Fincher’s cast. I don’t really agree, but I understand what he means. The first act of the film was pretty alright. The look, the pacing and the introduction of the story worked. You can tell by the beginning that the style direction will be something else: An action-thriller. Salander has become a vigilante. That’s something I feel kind of “Eh..” about. Clearly not the original intention. If you look at it as a James Bond type film, you’ll enjoy it quite a lot. Don’t go in expecting a moody crime mystery. That’s not what you’ll get. The story is not as isolated but more expanded involving Nato or Swedish Special Forces and people running after computer programs. Seemed more far-fetched than what it needed to be.
The experience of watching “Spider’s Web” was enjoyable. You can have fun with the action and your suspenseful scenes. As a typical action movie, it does the job. The villain in the piece stood out to me. Sylvia Hoeks (who we saw in “Blade Runner 2049”) delivers an eerie enemy for Salander. I get the feeling she’s not gonna get enough credit for this role since her entire character doesn’t fit the “supposed” realistic tone. It’s a person straight out of a James Bond movie. And there I go again with that comparison, but it’s actually got more in common with that now that I think of it. The villain is acted well – The issue is just that she belongs in another film entirely. I went in afraid of what the film would turn out to be, and it wasn’t bad. Although it doesn’t capture the greatness of “Dragon Tattoo”. Stick to the originals for real grittiness. But if you want a fast thrill-ride, then this is decent. Biggest take away: Nice to see Stockholm depicted this nicely in american production again.
Review by paulijcalderon