Claire Foy may not be a household name yet, but she’s definitely making a name for herself in Hollywood. Born on April 16th 1984 in Stockport, England, she led a fairly normal childhood up until her parents divorced with she was only eight. Throughout the years she gained a fondness for theater and decided to focus on drama and screen studies at Liverpool John Moores University and the Oxford School of Drama. She got her start as an actress by appearing on numerous BBC television shows up until she garnered critical acclaim for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in the series The Crown. At the same time she’s played smaller roles in well-known films such as: Vampire Academy, Rosewater, and Unsane. Now she’s continuing the book-to-film adaptation of the character Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
Taking place several years after the events of the previous film, Lisbeth (Claire Foy) is now a savior for mistreated women. While tackling that new hobby, she still retains the role of a notorious computer hacker with expert skills. One day a man named Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant) contacts Lisbeth and asks her to steal a computer program that he created which has the ability to take control of nuclear weapons. She accepts the task and upon completion, she’s hunted down by a group of cybercriminals intent on harnessing the program for their own evil intentions.
If you know me, then you know that my favorite director is David Fincher. He directed the previous film which I absolutely adore. So when this sequel was announced with a completely new cast and director, I had a lot of mixed feelings. On one hand, I’m a big fan of director Fede Álvarez’s previous work. On the other hand, for me, Claire Foy and Sverrir Gudnason are no substitute for the acting prowess of Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig.
After seeing The Girl in the Spider’s Web, I’ll say that my initial reaction was pretty on-point. This sequel is utterly terrible and feels as if it’s in a completely different universe when compared to the previous film. While Rooney Mara’s portrayal of Lisbeth was subdued, creepy, and methodical; Claire Foy’s version is an exaggerated, ostentatious brawler with a mind-boggling ability to hack literally anything and everything. Quite basically, Lisbeth is now a cartoon version of her former self equipped with Jason Bourne-esque fighting abilities.
Apart from the hideous new take on the main character, the story is also a far departure from the distinctive and thought-proving tale that David Fincher graced us with. The Girl in the Spider’s Web has an incredibly straight-forward story filled with overused trope after overused trope. Due to this structure, I never felt a hint of tension or anxiety throughout the entirety film. I even had to remind myself that this was the same director as Don’t Breathe; one of the most edge-of-my-seat films I’ve ever experienced.
Unfortunately the only positive spotlight I can shine on the film is for its cinematography. It’s very well-shot with several uniquely-composed scenes that make it stand apart from the stereotypical action drab seen in theaters nowadays. However it’s a very small segment that doesn’t increase the overall value of the film in any considerable way. So if you felt that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was an intellectual bore and needed more action then you may actually enjoy The Girl in the Spider’s Web. For me it’s just a complete and utter disappointment instead.
About The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Synopsis: Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals, and corrupt government officials.
Director: Fede Alvarez
Writers: Jay Basu, Fede Alvarez, Steven Knight
Stars: Claire Foy, Lakeith Stanfield, Sverrir Gudnason, Stephen Merchant
Runtime: 1 Hour, 57 Minutes