It’s always concerning walking into a successful film’s sequel, that has been completely re-casted. It’s mainly the thought that the flow and experiences from the original won’t be carried over, especially if it’s left in the hands of actors and actresses that the public are not familiar with. However, as a wise man once said, “It’s the new guy, he brings a box of new things. Give him a chance, everyone deserves a chance? You can’t fully judge him, until all the items in his box are displayed on the table.” – Anonymous
The Girl in the Spider’s Web continues several months after the events of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). Leaving Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) in the past for now, Lisbeth Slander (Clair Foy) now dedicates her time to helping battered and helpless woman. She is contacted by Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant) the author of a nuclear weapons program known as “Firefall”. Frans asks Lisbeth to steal “Firefall” back from the N.S.A (National Security Agency) as he feels it would be safer out of the hands of the Americans.
Successfully doing so Balder’s life is lost, his son August (Christopher Convery) and the “Firefall” program is taken by a group of ruthless cyber criminals known as “The Spiders”, which are affiliated with Lisbeth’s sister Camilla. Not only must Lisbeth retrieve the stolen program, but she must also save Balder’s son (who knows the password to Firefall), evade the N.S.A, which appears in the form of Agent Edwin Needham (Lakeith Stanfield) and prevent her deranged sister from launching Firefall on the globe. Lisbeth rekindles her partnership with Mikael Blomkvist to help her find August and bring down Camilla and The Spiders.
The flow from the first film definitely doesn’t continue into the sequel, the tone felt rushed, story progression could have been explored more, as well it lacked character chemistry and relationship exploration. There was definitely a lot of telling rather than showing, in a sense that important facts were simply told when it would have benefited the film if that dialogue was portrayed as scenes in the movie, in particular Camilla’s backstory.
I felt she needed to be explored further and having the films focus more on her and Lisbeth would have been beneficial. The focus bounced around to establish every character that it felt that the film consumed too much time doing so and quickly cut back to providing a conclusion to the problem at hand.
Character chemistry was very stale, there wasn’t any real connection between any of the characters especially between Mikael and Lisbeth. I didn’t feel the close chemistry these two characters had in the original, which took a lot away from the film. Neither was there a real resolution to the events that took place at the end of the first film. There was hardly any chemistry between Lisbeth and Camilla, which was disappointing as she felt like a real interesting character, yet by the end of it I just felt she was unimportant and just one of the bad guys. I think the only mentionable character chemistry was between Lisbeth and August. The conclusion was the most disappointing part of film! It was left unfinished and didn’t tie things up very well. It was quickly thrown together, and wasn’t a satisfying way to end the second chapter.
The action scenes were engaging but were your normal shooter and intense car chases. I was particularly drawn to the scenes that explored the hacking potentials of Lisbeth, it was really intriguing to see her hack into the car electronics as well as the camera feeds, the thought of Ubisoft’s hacker game, Watch Dogs came to mind.
The performance delivered by Clair Foy was spot on! The fierceness in action sequences and the emotional side of Lisbeth was definitely the bread winner of the film.
The Girl in the Spiders Web is a lot more action driven, but still lightly packs suspense, complication as well as twists, which is good! However the storytelling, relationship exploration, character chemistry and conclusion could have been done a lot better. If you’ve already made the effort of watching the first, might as well see it through to the end, or not?