From Jay Weissberg’s Rome Film Festival review of The Girl in the Spider’s Web: “It was probably inevitable that Hollywood would neuter the best elements of Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium’ franchise, but did the producers really need to shift it into a commonplace cross between a superhero flick and James Bond?
“David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo tried hard to balance the Swedish films’ sensitivity to protagonist Lisbeth Salander’s severe psychological trauma with broad box office appeal, but The Girl in the Spider’s Web –— based on the novel by Larsson’s successor David Lagercrantz — is more vested in fiery external explosions than internal pain, reducing Salander to a quirky Batgirl-like figure, soft-pedaling her feminism, practically eliminating her queerness, and tossing in an American so the U.S. can save the world.
“Director Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe) delivers some big-bang thrills in a slick production that will do hefty business, but for Salander fans, this entry feels like a betrayal.
“Presumably this is the way the remaining films of the franchise will play out, with Salander just another superhero with a stuck-on psychological profile rather than a three-dimensional young woman dealing with severe trauma, trying to seek justice in a world stacked against her. How sadly ironic that in the midst of the #MeToo moment, one of recent fiction’s most iconic characters in the fight against sexual abuse gets turned into just another male fantasy action figure.”