1 hr. 57 min. | Rated R16 | Violence, cruelty and content that may disturb
Starring: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Claes Bang, Christopher Convery, Synnøve Macody Lund, Vicky Krieps
A Swedish punk action heroine who plays by her own rules. It’s the sort of mercurial role change that all actors live for but few can pull off. Claire Foy can. And with her award-winning performances in the TV series The Crown behind her, she’s now made one of the most original characters in recent cinema her own.
Noomi Rapace, who played Salander in the Swedish trilogy based on the late author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, and Rooney Mara (in David Fincher’s US remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) are hard acts to follow. Foy does so by bringing the emotionally elusive hacker much more to the surface. She also gamely follows new director Fede Alvarez in taking the series into more muscular action territory.
This fifth Millennium film is the first adapted from a novel by David Lagercrantz, charged by Larsson’s estate to pick up the baton. Lisbeth is now free, independent and wealthy. And she’s still using her wide-ranging skillset to torment Stockholm’s male abusers of women. But when she puts her vigilantism to one side to relieve America’s security services of a powerful weapons system, she attracts the unwelcome attentions not only of the Yanks, but also her sister, Camilla (Sylvia Hoeks), who’s taken on their late father’s psychopathic tendencies and his underworld business. Thus, like all Millennium plotting, this converges a wider conspiracy with Lisbeth’s need to exorcise her family demons.
As for the film itself, it is less Nordic noir than mainstream action movie. Though the international intrigue feels rote, there’s no doubting the terrific styling of the production and the panache with which Alvarez delivers his action set pieces, which are many, varied and ingenious.
The Times (UK)