Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

A New Dragon Tattoo Story

The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story
(2018) on IMDb

Plot Overview

old men playing chessTwo young Swedish girls are playing speed chess at home when they're summoned by their father (Salander) to his bedroom (“Your father wants to see you.”) He tells them they are “big girls now” and he wants to play a game with them. I don't think he means chess. Lisbeth splits but her sister Camilla acquiesces. A house spider crawls across the board.

Sixteen years later American cryptographer Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant) has twinges of conscience about the quantum encryption program—Firefall—he has developed for the NSA. He looks up Swedish journalist Mikael Blomqvist (Sverrir Gudnason) for advice on how to steal it back from them. He'll need a pro. This “client asking for the impossible” gets referred to renegade hacker Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) who plies her magic.

Edwin “Ed the Ned” Needham (LaKeith Stanfield), NSA's senior security chief, is able to trace the source of the breach to Sweden where he goes to pin it down. He gets pulled aside by Gabriella Grane an analyst in the Industry Protection Group of Swedish Security Police (Säpo) and told, “The NSA has no business on Swedish soil.” Mean­while, Lisbeth needs to pry a long pass­word from Balder's autistic son August (Christopher Convery) to unlock the program. Some terrorists known as the “Spiders” and working for a mysterious third party come to lift the program from her and the pass­word from August. “Wasp”—natural enemy of spiders—teams up with another web wizard “Plague” (Cameron Britton.) Murder and mayhem ensue. The Polis join in. Lisbeth's sister Camilla is involved.


Movies sometimes exalt the little guy, to make him feel good about him­self. This one follows the pattern established in Proverbs: (Prov. 30:24) “There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:”

(Prov. 30:25) “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.” One normally associates summer with early adult­hood when working even a subsistence job the wise young man salts some away for his old age, i.e. winter. Here Mikael loses his classy magazine Millennium. Due to bad times for the publishing industry, it gets bought out. Never­the­less, since he'd acquired a rep as a writer in his younger years, he is welcome to write.

(Prov. 30:26) “The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks.” There the large predators can't get at them. Here parties on the run hole up in safe houses with guards and security systems or (“You'll stay with us”) in houses built like citadels.

(Prov. 30:27) “The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands.” An agent of a foreign power is most unwelcome on Swedish soil, but for a personal visit they'll leave him alone, as long as he's doing touristy things with bands of other tourists.

(Prov. 30:28) “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.” This one is the main point of the movie. A little guy seizing opportunity. “The girl who hurts men who hurt women” can't do the victims her service unless they grasp the opportunity she offers them.

Production Values

” (2018) was directed by Fede Alvarez. Its screen­play was written by Fede Alvarez and Jay Basu, based on the Swedish novel The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz, Stieg Larsson the original franchise author having by now passed away. This movie stars Claire Foy who replaced Noomi Rapace and Mara Rooney in previous installments. Foy is some­what mannish, which helps her fighting credibility but hinders her girlish lik­ability. The rest of the actors seemed competent enough.

MPAA rated it R for violence, language and some sexual content/nudity. Since it was set in permissive Sweden, it deserves mention that it also displayed a whole tableau of perversions including: incest cum pedo­philia, murder and assass­in­ation, invasion of privacy, tattoos & body piercings, slovenly hygiene (hacker), kid­napped idiot savant, wasted take­out (on stake­out), hogging the elevator, false emergency (on bridge), hatred of spiders for wasp, MAD defense strategy, running in the office, skating on thin ice, uppity 'nigger', attempted murder, computer spying, adultery, lesbianism, reckless driving, grand theft auto, mock abortion, loud (red) dress, female cop, pick­pocket, suicide, torture, black­mail, arson, and drugs. Walt Disney this is not.

The book did a way better job of developing the technology of hacking and of encryption. It helped us to better under­stand the boy on the autistic spectrum and publishing challenges in the electronic age. The movie was more bare bones so one had to pay attention. It can stand alone with­out the previous one (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), but barely. Its action scenes are brutal.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This movie does a stellar job of vicariously empowering the little guy, specifically the female victim. Unfortunately, for mere exposure to so many unsavory scenes, it will victimize the viewer all over again. And if the "victim" comes from a permissive back­ground allowing her to take it all in stride, that raises the question of how much of a victim she really is. As an American I felt I was suffering from culture shock after seeing this one. I'm going to penalize an other­wise very good movie one star and let my readers sort it out for them­selves. I do not recommend it for a first date because of its many disputatious themes.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: None of the Above. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: three stars out of five.