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movie review by David Blackwell

117 minutes, Rated R
STUDIO: Sony/ Columbia Pictures/ MGM/ Regency Enterprises/ Yellow Bird/ Pascal Pictures
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 11-9-2018
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB is very loosely based on the novel of the same name (the first novel written years after author Stieg Larsson died after writing the first three novels). This is Sony's attempt to do a sequel and semi-reboot without adapting the two novels in-between the first novel and this one. Director David Fincher, the writer of the English movie adaptation of THE GIRL OF THE DRAGON TATTOO, and stars Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are out after the development for THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE languished in development hell for a variety of reasons of the movie not making enough money back to what it cost to make, not wanting to pay Daniel Craig more to come back, and even trying to write the sequel without Daniel Craig in it. Fast forward to today and a new director steps in (Fede Alvarez) who wants to cast new people because he feels having people like Mara would be like having David Fincher's vision around (and he can't have that over his ego).

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB works as a good thriller with great action scenes and mostly a great cast except they cast the wrong guy as Mikael Blomkvist (Sevrrir Gudnason who is woefully miscast like they just pulled an actor off the street to do the role). Claire Foy is good as Lisbeth Salander even though the movie makes the character too much like a superhero vigilante type compared to the books and the other movies. The script dumbs down the plot of the movie and changes so many things including the macguffin getting switched from a quantum computer to a NSA nuclear missile hacking program known as FireFall. Lisbeth tangles with her sister Camilla (Sylvia Hoeks) who has taken over their father's criminal empire after he died. Yet the movie doesn't get Camilla Salander quite as ruthless as she is in the book instead of the evil woman who blames Lisbeth not coming back to rescue her. Frans Balder who created it gets his motivations in the novel mostly thrown to the side for the movie version, his son isn't a big autistic savant as he was in the book, and the whole Lisbeth Salander/ Blomkvist dynamic is all wrong including the writers getting the character of Blomkvist totally wrong for the movie. They change so many things from book to movie that it gets so many things so wrong compared to how the other books for adapted for film got the adaptations so right. It is another misfire spearheaded by Amy Pascal who also green lighted the woefully terrible Ghostbusters reboot. I wish she leave adaptations, remakes, and sequels to someone else who respects the characters and material more instead of something THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB that isn't nowhere the classic THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Something got lost with too many cooks in the kitchen and Lisbeth Salander got a little lost in this semi-reboot and sequel.

If you want to see THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB, I suggest you watch Fincher's adaptation of THE GIRL OF THE DRAGON TATTOO and watch the wonderful Swedish adaptations of the first three books in addition to reading the five books in the book series (three written by Larsson and two written by David Lagercrantz). If you still insist on watching a movie that isn't as much of a train wreck as last year's movie of THE SNOWMAN, I suggest you wait to rent it and skip the theater.

This review is (c)11-14-2018 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com and look for additional content/ news at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com

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