Writer: Jay Basu, Fede Alvarez, Steven Knight (Screenplay) David Lagercrantz (Novel)
Starring: Claire Foy, Beau Gadsdon, Sverrir Gudnason, LaKeith Standfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Carlotta von Falkenhayn, Stephen Merchant
Plot: Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.
Tagline – The Past Never Forgets
Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Lifeless Thriller
Story: The Girl in the Spider’s Web starts as Lisbeth Salander (Foy) is still fighting the victims of abuse, showing she isn’t afraid to go after even the biggest targets. Lisbeth’s latest assignment from Frans Balder (Merchant) is to retrieve his firewall from Ed Needham (Stanfield).
When Lisbeth is targeted by the people she has stolen from, she must turn to Mikael Blomkvist (Gudnason) the only person she can trust to put the item back in the right hands, while getting involved with a deadly group known as ‘The Spiders’ which contains her long thought to be dead sister Camilla (Hoeks).
Thoughts on The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Characters – Lisbeth Salander is the famous hacker that will stand up against any man that is causing a woman abuse, she will leave her brand on them. She is called for difficult hacking jobs, which sees her take something from the Americans, this makes her a wanted suspect in Sweden and her on the run looking for answers to clear her name. Mikael Blomkvist is still the only person that Lisbeth will trust, he tries to operate from a distant and investigates the trust behind what is happening. Ed Needham is the American that has his system hacked, a government man, he heads to Sweden to get it back and finds nothing but barriers from the Swedish government. Camilla Salander is the long lost sister of Lisbeth, she thought to be dead, but now she is involved in a criminal gang known as The Spiders, targeting Lisbeth for what she wants.
Performances – Claire Foy does feel mis-cast in this role, she doesn’t seem to have a tough enough look to make this character effect as the two previous stars. Sverrir Gudnason had large shoes to fill and he doesn’t do a strong enough job in the Mikael role, while Sylvia Hoeks does what she can with her role without being anything overly special, while LaKeith Stanfield doesn’t seem to feel like the character he is meant to be playing.
Story – The story here is the fourth story in the Dragon Tattoo world, the second in English and is the first not written by the original author. We follow Lisbeth who once again finds herself needing to take on secret organisation that what something that could put the world in danger and this time it becomes more personal, with her sister being the enemy. This story does feel like it has borrowed from many other films and while it still puts Lisbeth is an anti-hero role, we only seem to find ourselves in one direction where Lisbeth is always one step ahead of everything happening, despite the fact we get to see just how twisted the Spiders are, it paints one image of them only to leave us facing a different softer enemy.
Action/Crime – The action was pretty much all given away in the trailer, we have the motorbike chase across the ice, the car chases and shoot outs, each feels very similar and doesn’t have the suspense required in a thriller.
Settings – The film does try to bring everything back to Lisbeth’s backstory with the settings showing the off the grid life she current lives compared to the one she could have lived, the snowy roads add a little to the chases, but not that much overall.
Final Thoughts – This does feel like a cash grab on a franchise that has never taken off on the American side of things, we get everything scaled back leaving us feeling disappointed by the end of the film.
Overall: No thrills to be seen here.
Writer: Nissar Modi (Screenplay) Robert C O’Brien (Novel)
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine
Plot: In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally charged love triangle as the last known survivors.
Tagline – What remains after the world ends?..
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Starts Promising, Ends Slow
Story: Z for Zachariah starts as Ann (Robbie) goes about her daily routine in a disaster hit world, living on a farm with her dog, she does everything she can just to survive, until she sees a stranger wondering through the mountain range, John (Ejiofor) who was underground during the incident.
Ann and John start trying to put a life together using his knowledge of engineering to help with the work around the farm until another stranger, a miner Caleb (Pine) turns up on the land, which starts to create a new problem, a love triangle.
Thoughts on Z for Zachariah
Characters – Ann is a farm girl that has been with just her dog since the incident that has wiped out most of the population, she is keeps the land together preparing for the harsh winters which she barely made it through before, she does have the lonely feeling until she meet John and Caleb who help show her life after people. John I a scientist who was underground when the incident happened, he decides to come to the surface in search of a life up there, which sees him stumble into Ann’s land, the two might have difference of opinions when it comes to religion and science, but they do try to help make a life together, he uses his skills to help make the farm work easier. Caleb is a miner that ends up on the land, he becomes competition for John in search for attention from Ann, being much more laidback about life and where it will go next.
Performances – The performances are the highlight of this film, Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine all give us wonderful performances, showing the difficult moments they would have been through in this world, we see guilt and hope coming through strong through the performances.
Story – The story follows three people living in a world destroyed by an incident (which we never learn what it is) that has left most of the population dead, with most of land being unliveable and then we get thrown into a love triangle. The side of the story that explores the world that has been through an incident because we start to explore what could have caused it taking science version religion, as soon as we start getting to the love triangle things just get dragged down because we don’t need this, as we do have the complex side to the story already in place.
Sci-Fi – The world that we enter shows us the sci-fi side of the film by seeing just how difficult surviving would be in this world, only it would be nice to have learnt what happened to cause the incident.
Settings – The film does take us to a beautiful location which give us stunning shots, making it a lovely place to live in a world like this.
Final Thoughts – This is a film that starts so well, only to fall into a bland love triangle which only drags all the potential away from this story.
Overall: Doesn’t live up to potential.
Writer: Norbert Keil, Richard Stanley (Screenplay)
Starring: Rebecca Forsythe, Lucie Aron, Barbara Crampton, Sean Knopp, Adnan Maral, Agnes Kiyomi Decker
Plot: Kira’s skin starts to age rapidly, dry out and crumble away. But then she discovers that she can replace her own skin with somebody else’s.
Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Under the Skin Without an Alien
Story: Replace starts when young lady Kira (Forsythe) finds that the skin on her finger and hand is literally crumbling off, looking for answers after her one night stand vanishes, she invites a friend Sophia (Aron) to stay, where she makes a discovery, that the skin can be replaced, instantly attaching itself to her if placed on the crumbling parts. Turning to Dr Crober (Crampton) for answers, she doesn’t give her any which will help, only tests to look for them.
Thoughts on Replace
Characters – Kira is a young lady, with what seems like a normal life, until she starts getting a problem with her skin on her hand, starting small and spreading down her arm, as her skin starts to dry up. She tries to find a solution which sees her learn that she can replace her skin with others, forcing her to turn to drastic measures to make sure her skin doesn’t dry up. Sophia is a friend and lover to Kira, the only person that supports her with the problems she is facing, she tries to help find a solution and search for answers. Dr Rafaela Crober is the person that Kira turns to for help with her problem, like most doctors she gives the advice on how to cope with the problems.
Performances – Rebecca Forsythe is strong in the leading role, she shows the unsure side to what is going on, while also showing a devilish side at times. Lucie Aron makes for a great partner character, she fills in the advice like role we would be giving if it was our own friend. Barbara Crampton is the biggest name in the film and add her experience for her role which add the professional character to the film.
Story – The story here follows a young lady that is struggling with her own skin after it starts crumbling off, little by little, she seeks medical advice, but finds her own way to fix the problem, before learning the truth. This is an interesting story that does go in a direction you might not see coming, for the first half of the film, the story has dark idea that is twisted with blood, only for us to get an equally as dark second half if not darker. It can best be described as Under the Skin without the alien side to the story, which does make us know what we are getting into, with how Kira is acting through parts of the film. By the end of the story, you will be left asking a question about what you would do, if you got this chance, but we won’t say what the question is in this review.
Horror/Sci-Fi – The horror in this film comes form a mix of just what is happening to Kira and what Kira does to try and solve the problem, the wounds and effects from the skin damage is difficult to watch too, the sci-fi side of the film comes on stronger in the second half of the film, it poses plenty of questions.
Settings – The film does use the everyday settings which makes us believe Kira’s problem could happen to anybody.
Special Effects – The effects are the standout here, watching the moments of the skin removal can make you look away, the crumbling effect is also very different to what we have seen before.
Final Thoughts – This is a sci-fi horror that will make your skin crawl, it has a delightful style, even if it does have a easy split between the two sides of the story.
Overall: Skin Crawling Horror