This should be a perfect moment for a heroine like Lisbeth Salander—author Stieg Larsson’s super-hacker and survivor, wreaking terrible vengeance on those who harm women—so it’s depressing to see her in a generic tale of international espionage. Based on a non-Larsson follow-up novel, this story finds Lisbeth (Claire Foy) taking the job of stealing a computer “master-key” to the world’s nuclear arsenals for its conscience-stricken creator (Stephen Merchant), which of course means her life is in danger again. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) returns as well, though in a role so perfunctory he might as well not have, plus Lakeith Stanfield as an NSA agent trying to recover the program. But this is squarely Lisbeth’s story, and Foy is solid enough that it would have been fine had this narrative been as concerned with her dark past—including her fraught history with her sister (Sylvia Hoeks)—as it was with car chases and fistfights. Director Fede Alvarez offers a few nice stylistic touches early on, until everything starts to feel like the stuff of third-rate James Bond rip-off, rather than a showcase for an utterly singular character.
Director: Fede Alvarez
Producer: Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Ole Søndberg, Søren Stærmose, Berna Levin, Amy Pascal, Elizabeth Cantillon, Arnon Milchan, Robert Dohrmann, David Fincher, Line Funch, Johannes Jensen and Anni Fernandez
Cast: Claire Foy, Beau Gadsdon, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Carlotta von Falkenhayn, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Convery, Claes Bang, Synnøve Lund, Cameron Britton, Vicky Krieps, Andreja Pejic, Mikael Persbrandt and Thomas Wingrich