Our good friend, Roneel Rama, recently attended the New Zealand Premiere of The Girl in the Spider’s Web on our behalf. Here’s his review.
Having never read any of the books, nor watched any of the previous films in the franchise, I entered into this experience free of any preconceptions. To me, it’s always a gamble to go unprepared but as I watched The Girl in the Spider’s Web, I did not feel like I had missed much. The whole film felt like its own story, a standalone from other films in the franchise.
The film was quick to introduce the protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, a gifted woman but with a troubled background; the kind of dark character that has lots of potential and an extensive skill set.
The story began with Lisbeth doing a job for someone, and as expected and rather predictably, the job goes terribly wrong. The film tells an intriguing narrative about Lisbeth’s struggle to deal with her past and her current issues. This goes hand in hand with interesting moments full of existential questions about the balance of power in the world.
This type of scenario is a perfect canvas to showcase beautifully shot action scenes. Director Fede Alvarez picks his moments to create some striking visual cues, with the gas-mask scene being especially stark. The films vistas are filmed beautifully with some very nice shots displaying the splendor of Sweden, which I truly appreciated and believe many others who enjoy stunning visuals will as well.
To a large extent, I did enjoy the film, however, there were some moments that seemed like potentially large plot holes. The film is a nice introduction to the franchise, so much so that I’m not tempted to delve further and watch the other films in order to compare how this iteration fairs in comparison.