No, “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” isn’t a Spiderman spinoff about a young woman ensnarled by Peter Parker. But you’d be forgiven for thinking the latest, revamped iteration of Stieg Larsson’s thrillers has some superhero DNA.
This, Lisbeth Salander’s third big-screen incarnation in nine years, has morphed the avenging Stockholm hacker into a blander action hero, complete with a Batman-and-Robin-like band of white across her eyes. Following the spikier Swedish trilogy, with Noomi Rapace, and David Fincher’s menacing and murky “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” with Rooney Mara, we can almost palpably feel Lisbeth (Claire Foy this time) being lured out of the shadows and toward a more mainstream movie realm. In this latest chapter, Lisbeth strives, like a Scandinavian 007, to keep a world-threatening atomic weapons program dubbed “Firefall” out of the wrong hands. (Are there any right ones?)
“The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” directed by Uruguayan-born Fede Alvarez (“Don’t Breathe,” 2013’s “Evil Dead” reboot), smooths away some of the rough edges of a saga predicated on them, resulting in a competent but indistinguishable thriller. Lisbeth, a volatile cyberpunk vigilante propelled by her own demons of abuse, remains a great character in search of a decent plot.
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November 18, 2018