‘Girl In The Spider’s Web’ Well-Spun Tale

By Rick Bentley
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Lisbeth is BACK! Kicking ass and taking names. Get ready…

Tribune News Service

There’s no arguing that Lisbeth Salander, the central figure in the Millennium book series created by Stieg Larsson, is one of the most intriguing and complicated characters to grace the big screen. She’s driven to avenge wrongdoings with the kind of passion traditionally reserved for men and accomplishes her missions with a brutal and unrelenting honesty that would never be shown by any male character.

Some of the qualities that have made Lisbeth so fascinating and compelling in books and the 2011 feature film release, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” have been slightly watered down for “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” because the film’s based on the writings of David Lagercrantz, who took over the series after Larsson’s death. As so often happens when a new writer takes over a book series, the tendency to put an original spin on the work often ends up shifting tone and texture.

Even a slightly lighter version of the character is compelling to watch, particularly because of the standout performance by Claire Foy in the title role (played in “Dragon Tattoo” by Rooney Mara). Director Fede Alvarez (“Don’t Breathe”) amplifies Foy’s performance with a beautifully stylized look to the production that embraces the dark and gloomy with great ferocity.

“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” starts with a reminder of what has been the dark heart of the series. Lisbeth has again used her impressive skills as a hacker to help a brutalized woman escape from the man who has caused her so much pain and agony. Fans of the book will understand the vigilante work is fed by Lisbeth’s own brutal past, an element that has been toned down for this tale.

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