"Women Can Be Villains Too"
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB is an intense thriller about a female crusader in Sweden, who saves women being physically abused by men, who must protect a little boy from her troubled, evil sister bent on taking over nuclear weapons systems to spread chaos around the world. Based on a sequel to a popular series of novels, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB holds the viewer’s interest throughout its story, but the heroine is unable to repair her broken relationship with her sister, and the movie contains lots of strong foul language, extreme violence, and brief implied references to the heroine’s bisexual proclivities.
The movie opens with a scene revealing that Lisbeth Salander had a beloved younger sister named Camilla. Their father, however, was an evil gangster who decides to start sexually abusing Camilla. Lisbeth escapes her father’s clutches, but Camilla is too intimidated and gullible to join her.
Cut to the present day 16 years later. After lying low for three years, Lisbeth punishes a wealthy young married man on trial for beating two women after he also beats up his wife. Lisbeth transfers the man’s wealth to the woman’s account and helps her escape with her young daughter.
An English computer genius with a young son hires Lisbeth to use her computer hacking skills to break into the NSA computers to steal the father’s satellite software allowing the NSA to control any arsenal around the world, including nuclear missiles. The father wants Lisbeth to return the software to him so he can destroy it.
However, before she can do so, Lisbeth’s attacked by evil henchmen from her wealthy sister, who’s finally taken over their dead father’s corrupt business and wants to sell the software. They steal Lisbeth’s computer and then murder the young boy’s father in an attempt to kidnap the boy. It turns out that only the father and the boy know how to answer the cryptic questions that keep the software locked.
To save the boy, Lisbeth turns to her male hacker friend, the compassionate journalist who befriended her and loves her, and a patriotic NSA agent who’s come to Sweden to take back the software program. However, Lisbeth’s estranged sister, Camilla, is a ruthless enemy who’ll stop at nothing to achieve her goals. Camilla’s also determined to kill Lisbeth for abandoning her. She wonders why Lisbeth never tried to save her own sister after expending so much energy saving other women from abusive men. Good question!
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB is an intense, compelling thriller. Though the story is a little complicated, the plot contains a lot of well-structured energy and excitement throughout its running time. The performances are also pretty good. This isn’t a great thriller like the last MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie, but it’s nicely done.
Also, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB is a little less edgy than the previous movies based on the popular bestselling books from Sweden (of course, this upsets leftist film critics at Rotten Tomatoes and elsewhere). For example, it has a solid moral worldview. The heroine is a resourceful, persistent, clever woman on a mission with a heart for stopping evil and righting wrongs. In that respect, one of the best aspects to this one is that the heroine is trying to save a young boy from evil forces. Thus, the new sequel doesn’t have the strident PC feminist undertones the previous movies had. In addition, though the American NSA agent’s goal is to take back the missing software program, he’s a likeable fellow who agrees to help Lisbeth protect the boy. Happily, he’s not the villain here.
That said, this sequel is marred by lots of strong foul language. It also has some extreme violence, like the previous movies. The movie also contains a brief depicted sex scene between two minor characters in an unnecessary flashback. There are also edgy but implied brief references to the heroine’s multiple lesbian relationships, to her affair three years ago with the good-hearted male journalist, and to the father’s sexual abuse of her sister for 16 years before his death finally set her sister free. In addition, three short scenes contain brief nudity. Finally, though the heroine and her helpers make valiant efforts to save and protect the boy and return him to his mother in San Francisco, she’s unable to repair her broken relationship with her sister. Changing this sad outcome would have made for a better, more inspirational ending. It also could have set the stage for some interesting dramatic dynamics for future sequels. That’s definitely a missed opportunity, despite the fact that the evil sister and her main henchman do some pretty dastardly things that deserve some serious punishment!
MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB.
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB is an intense thriller about a female crusader in Sweden who saves women abused by men. In this sequel to a bestselling series of stories, Lisbeth must protect a young boy from her troubled, evil sister. A math genius, the boy can unlock the encrypted key to his murdered father’s satellite software, which can control any arsenal around the world, including nuclear missiles. However, Lisbeth’s estranged sister is a ruthless enemy who’ll stop at nothing to unlock the program’s secret and sell it or keep it for the company she inherited from their abusive father.
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB delivers compelling thrills. Though the story is complicated, it has well-structured loads of energy and excitement. The performances are good. The movie has a solid moral worldview about protecting an innocent young boy from evil forces. However, the heroine is unable to repair her broken relationship with her sister. Also, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB is marred by lots of strong foul language, some extreme violence, nudity, and some sexual content, including lesbian references.