“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” book and film series is one of the most popular suspense thrillers of contemporary times.
I am a fan of the original Stieg Larsson books, the Swedish film adaptions, as well as the 2011 American adaptation starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.
The latest adaptation, “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” starring Claire Foy as the new Lisbeth Salander, is a continuation of the series based on the book by David Lagercrantz, who continued the book series after Larsson’s death in 2004.
I have never read the book and so I cannot attest to it if it is either a good or flimsy adaptation.
However, after seeing the film, it is clear that this is a decent action thriller.
On the other hand, it did not succeed in comparison to the 2011 adaptation.
It is lacking two aspects that made David Fincher’s film impactful: Character and plot development.
It supports itself with the cyberpunk-noir vibe that is typical of the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” film series, and Claire Foy did a good job playing the lead character, though she ranks below both Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace (Swedish version) in playing Lisbeth.
It is a film that has to deal with governmental conspiracy and nuclear weapons, so instead of just any ordinary crime thriller that is in accordance with the original trilogy, it is more of a Jason Bourne-like production that is mostly all about car chases, shady government officials, airport terminal pursuits and ill-attempted assassinations.
This seems to be a pretty good blend but it has been done before in both the Jason Bourne and James Bond film series.
The film, more or less, fails to make this anything special in its plot development, and yet these action aspects are focused on so extensively to where there is very little room for character.
As the main villain, Lisbeth Salander has an evil twin sister (Sylvia Hoeks) that is indeed her counter-opposite. The two share a dramatic past, but the relationship was of little value in tone despite its supposed intimacy.
In the end, Lisbeth Salander was just another villain plotting world destruction.
The main disappointment was the huge lack of the ‘investigative’ aspects that is a favorite facet of the book and film series. There were few scenes with Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) and Lisbeth Salander embarking on dense investigative endeavors in order to solve the conflict within the film. There was no mystery to it.
Instead, again, it was all rather about action, and thus, there was not a lot of specialty about the characters within the film, not even so much with the evil sister relationship that was given in the runtime because it felt to have little value. There is not much to value as far as relationally speaking.
When watching films, many people search for a personal connection with the character’s experiences. Walking with the characters through their journey is often times desired. With this film, the connection fell short.
It is a good action thriller, but nothing more.