Lisbeth is back in THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB

Kernel Emma Bishop heads out and reviews one of cinema’s most lovable and crazy anti-heroes. Lisbeth Salander returns to the big screen in THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB. Not only is Lisbeth returning, she has a new actor playing the role in Claire Foy and somehow Hollywood decided to skip a few of the Millennium series remakes and jump straight into the follow up in the series. Not written by Stieg Larsson but by David Lagercrantz, who continues the story in Larsson’s absence.

The Larsson story sill makes me sad. He had a heart attack and died at age 50, before any of his books were published. Four years after his death he was the highest selling author in the world, and he never knew it. THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB is out now from the folks at Sony Pictures Releasing, it is rated MA15+ and runs for 117mins.

Enjoy Emma’s review……..all the best……..Salty.


Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series paints a dark, gritty and confronting picture of the cyber world’s underbelly. A gripping set of physiological crime thrillers, the stories explore systematic violence against women, rebellion and redemption set against a backdrop of gangs, crime and corruption. Successfully adapted to the screen by David Fincher and driven by Rooney Mara’s Academy-Award nominated performance, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO set the bar really high for the series. So what happens when another writer takes over the fourth instalment and the film adaptation not only features a new director, but an entirely new cast? THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB swaps grit for guns and explosions. It opts for a glossier Hollywood approach to its brutal and affecting counterpart. It’s entertaining – but it’s not perfect.


The Girl in the Spider's Web Claire Foy image
Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander



Taking audiences back to stunning, snow covered Stockholm, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB introduces us to skilled computer scientist Frans Balder and his highly intelligent son, August. Balder finds himself tied up in a dangerous situation involving nuclear weapon-controlling software sought after by governments worldwide. After losing his job, Balder enlists the help of underground super hacker Lisbeth Salander to take back control of the software and to ‘save the world from destruction’ – standard feat for an action flick. Despite her best attempts to conceal her identity, Salander is hunted down by NSA agents and later Russian gangsters – who are eventually revealed to be connected to her family, introducing a subplot about her disturbing childhood.

Rushing against the clock to save Balder’s genius son and the software, Salander reaches out to her former love interest journalist Mikael Blomkvist (played by Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason) to help crack the case. What ensues is a full on, Bond-like action flick, which sees Salander armed with weapons as she rides through Stockholm fighting bad guys and trying to heal wounds from her past.


The Girl in the Spider's Web Claire Foy image
Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander



Lisbeth Salander is a hero is my eyes. A secret, rebellious, unapologetic hero with a strong moral code; one who prefers to hide in the shadows instead of stand out and shout from the rooftops. She ‘solves crimes’ for a job, but she lives to protect and punish. She’s the ultimate antihero. But a superhero? It just doesn’t sit quite right.

Opting for an entirely new cast from the previous American remake, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB feels a little void of anything very Swedish – aside from its setting, of course. From the accents to the styling, the sinister, shocking story that made the previous film so good is a little lost. For the first time, the film was made in English first and replaces Rooney Mara with THE CROWN’s Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander. A significant departure from her royal roots, Foy is almost convincing as Lisbeth. Tatted up with dark, spiky hair, there’s no doubt she looks the part.


The Girl in the Spider's Web Claire Foy image
Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander


But is she as badass as the way we envision Lisbeth?

Despite the change in cast and pace, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB is genuinely engaging. Claire Foy does a damn good job and is hindered by the script, not her acting. She’s sullen and moody – and as you get into the film she’s great to watch. There are moments where Salander’s complexities come through – albeit not enough – and Foy does a great job bringing them to life.


The Girl in the Spider's Web Claire Foy image
Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander



  1. It’s a safe action film that won’t make you feel as uncomfortable as its counterpart. (Whether that’s a good thing is up to you.)
  2. There’s lots of guns and explosions. (As above.)
  3. It’s entertaining and lots happens.
  4. Stockholm.
  5. You get the chance to learn more about Lisbeth Salander’s family and her backstory.
  6. There’s not too much context so you have a great excuse to read the three books before.
  7. Lisbeth Salander.
  8. It’s very, very slick (Arguably so.)





Kernel Emma is documentary mad and also loves foreign and  films ! She is Salty’s honorary NooooZealanderrrr writer, but she hides out in Sydney saying sex, fush and chups to everyone’s amusement.

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.