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Carriers (2009)
Carriers (2009)
2009 | Drama, Horror, Mystery
6.6 (5 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Chris Pine's performance (0 more)
Doesn't really offer anything you haven't seen in films like this. (0 more)
Brian and Danny grew up as two brothers who were relatively close to one another. They cherish the memories they have of Turtle Beach, a beach their family vacationed to every summer. The abandoned motel in Turtle Beach may be their best bet of surviving the highly contagious disease that now plagues the entire country and possibly the world. Not much is known about the virus other than the victims coughing up blood and bleeding from the ears as their condition worsens. Brian actually came up with a few rules that will hopefully get him, his girlfriend Bobby, his brother Danny, and Danny's friend Kate through this disease ridden world to Turtle Beach clean. The rules include avoiding the infected at all costs, disinfecting anything they've touched in the past 24 hours, and that the infected are already dead as there is no cure. You may survive if you stick to the rules, but actually abiding by them is an entirely different story.

Right off the bat, people are probably going to compare Carriers to Zombieland because of the rules. Carriers was released a full month before Zombieland, but Paramount Vantage folded upon its initial release causing its wide release to be an extremely limited one at the last minute (I think it wound up playing at only two theaters in the country). Expectations rise unintentionally in situations such as this. "This is that horror film that was practically shelved earlier this year and is finally being released." The result is a horror film that is well worth watching, but may not be entirely what you're expecting.

Carriers is more about establishing an atmosphere than anything else. Everything is abandoned and rightfully so as most people were picked off handfuls at a time by this pandemic. The entire film is more like the first half hour of 28 Days Later where Jim wakes up in an abandoned hospital and realizes how empty the streets of London are. There aren't masses of the infected running around lusting for brains or wanting to tear humans apart in Carriers. The story follows these four friends as they journey across the country to this supposed sanctuary where they hope to tough it out until this disease runs its course. Carriers is more of a slow burn as things turn from bad to worse very slowly and snowball as the film goes on.

Chris Pine is really the drawing factor of the film. His role as Brian is kind of like a more intense version of his role as Kirk in Star Trek from earlier this year. Brian comes off as an inconsiderate prick the first half of the film and seems to only do things that benefit himself. The second half is where his character gets interesting though. The speech he gives Danny about their parents and telling Danny that he only told him what he wanted to hear is the turning point for Brian. Chris Pine shines as things begin to roll downhill for Brian as his emotions take center stage and his true demeanor is revealed.

Everything else in the film pretty much feels like routine manuevers when it comes to films revolving around viral outbreaks as some main characters contract the disease, they resort to drastic measures to survive, and begin to question their humanity along the way. The most disappointing part of the film is the ending as things just seem to kind of stop without much of a resolution. It seems like films like this either end this way or have a really depressing ending and that's its biggest flaw. Movie buffs who have seen films concerning pandemics already have a rough idea of how the film is going to end and it's about time to mix that up a bit. There's got to be a decent way to end the film that offers something a bit different that could wrap everything up until that point, but also leave enough room open for a sequel if need be.

Carriers may be a bit slow at first and doesn't really offer anything you probably haven't seen before in a film like this, but is still worth seeing for Chris Pine's performance. It's kind of a more serious take on Zombieland without actual zombies running or stumbling around with an atmosphere similar to the one established in Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. If you're a fan of films involving a virus that has wiped out most of the human population, then this is still worth a watch.
Tiny Epic Galaxies
Tiny Epic Galaxies
2015 | Dice Game, Science Fiction, Space
When it comes to game themes, I’ve got them all – modern mystery, fantasy, superhero, abstract puzzle, pirates, zombies, and more. But the one theme I never had was space. Which, thinking back on it now, is kind of weird because there are so many space-themed games out there. In my exploration of the Tiny Epic series, I eventually came to the third installment, Tiny Epic Galaxies. And thus, the space-game void I didn’t even know I had was filled. Since then, I’ve played a handful of other space-themed games, but Tiny Epic Galaxies is by far my favorite.

In Tiny Epic Galaxies, you are the leader of a galactic empire looking to expand its borders and influence across space. Unfortunately, you are not the only one vying for power – competing galactic leaders are also gathering resources and sending out scouts to planets in hopes of bringing them into the folds of their own empires. Can you outwit your opponents and stake your claim on these new planets before your rivals do? Or are you doomed to live under someone else’s rule forever?

DISCLAIMER: There are several expansions to this game, but we are not reviewing them at this time. Should we review them in the future we will either update this review or post a link to the new material here. -T

Tiny Epic Galaxies is a game of dice rolling and area control/influence in which players take turns rolling dice and activating powers in order to gather resources and increase their influence on newly-discovered planets. On your turn, you will roll a specified number of dice, and activate them in any order you choose to perform any of the available actions: move a ship, advance your colonization of a planet, acquire resources, or utilize the special power of a planet you control. Gaining control of a planet earns victory points, and the game ends once a player has reached 21 VPs. Sounds simple enough, right? But here’s a twist – when you activate a die on your turn, any other player can spend a resource to follow your action and perform the same action you just did. Make sure you keep an eye on your opponents’ ships and resources – a beneficial action for you could also earn your opponents a planet!

My absolute favorite part of all the Tiny Epic games is that they have so much more to offer than meets the eye, and Tiny Epic Galaxies is no exception. The premise of the game is simple and easy to learn, yet mastering the strategy is what keeps me coming back for more. There is no single strategy for guaranteed success, and the necessity to adapt strategy based upon your dice rolls keeps the game engaging and exciting. You may have a plan in mind, but unless the dice cooperate, you’ll have to adjust that plan on the fly. And you’ve also got to pay attention to your resources and your opponents’ turns, because you might be able to capitalize on their dice if you can afford the cost. It could potentially always be your turn, even if it’s not your official turn, since you have the ability to follow an opponent’s action. You’re coming up with your own strategy, while also trying to decipher your opponents’ strategies so you can outwit them and earn the most VPs the fastest.

Another great part of this game is that there is a good amount of player interaction, but not in a way that feels confrontational. In some situations it may feel like a bit of ‘take that,’ but remember – you’re the one who gave them the opportunity to take that action! Without you taking the action in the first place, your opponent would not have had the chance to follow you! Your strategy must transcend your individual galaxy and also take into account every other galaxy in play. In Tiny Epic Galaxies, you’re constantly interacting – some interactions are just more subtle than others.

Tiny Epic Galaxies is perhaps my favorite Tiny Epic game to date. It’s quick, simple, and yet deceptively strategic. Plus the little spaceships are so cute! If I had to pick one Tiny Epic game to use to introduce someone to the series, I would pick this one. Purple Phoenix Games gives Tiny Epic Galaxies an out-of-this-world 17 / 18.
Days Gone
Days Gone
2018 | Action/Adventure
A story that captivates from beginning to end (2 more)
Characters worth getting invested in
Addicting Gameplay
Still kinda buggy (0 more)
Contains spoilers, click to show
Days Gone is a story of Deacon St. John as he deals with a world tortured by a zombie horde known as Freakers. The story happens a few years after the outbreak and after seemingly losing his wife after sending her off on a rescue helicopter. Deacon travels around beautiful Oregon with his best friend Boozer on their trusty bikes. Throughout the game Deacon will intertwine his story with 4 other survivor camps, as he helps them survive the zombie stricken world.

Deacon fights not only the hordes and hordes of undead, but crazy cultist who worship the Freakers, other bikers, and just plain others trying to survive in his quest to save his friend and then to find out the truth of what happened to his wife after letting her go.

The scenery is captivating of the many places you will explore, scour, and loot. From the mountains to the forests to the snowy peaks, to a massive island fortress, you will never stop scanning the horizon as you drive the roads on your motorcycle. I would often crash into a tree or drive off the road, as I was too busy looking through the scenery or just captivated by the beauty of it all.

The one part I hate the most, is not anything that's wrong with the game, but more just my fear of the zombie menace. One big part of the game is destroying "Hordes" or simply big ass groups of these zombies, that move like a pack, and can kill you in an instant. Many parts of the story include you need to clear out a Horde, and the biggest one in the whole game known as the Sawmill Horde still gives me nightmares.

But the taker of the cake for me is the captivating story between Deacon and his search for the truth of what happened to his wife Sarah. If you haven't finished the game, go do that and then come back.

So the story is Deacon can't truly come to terms with the death of Sarah, as he would often visit the site of the helicopter supposedly carrying Sarah crashed. Deacon would eventually happen upon the scientist who allowed her onto the helicopter, which gives hope that she is still alive. After chasing lead after lead, and leaving his buddy Boozer behind, Deacon makes a treacherous journey through a snow-covered mountain top, which he can't return from, to chase the last hope of seeing his wife once more. And the moment that made me unable to put the controller down for a few hours, Deacon joins a militia after noticing the mongrel ring he placed on Sarah's finger before placing on the helicopter, on another man's finger. After initiation, he is lead around the camp until he is introduced to the local scientist who turns out to be the long lost Sarah.

This moment alone made this game a 10 alone. It made me feel as though I had reunited two people who were separated by the chaos of this new world. But the bliss doesn't last all too long as, Deacon must keep his relationship a secret, so they both don't get hurt or caught. But after a long mission together, the two are stranded in a snowstorm in a cold shack, which reignites the flame of their past. After being exposed by a rat name Skizzo, Deacon is exiled and sent for execution, but due to the friends he had made on way, he is saved. Deacon with all those he had helped, storm the island and overthrow the psychotic General and finally saves Sarah for good. And as the credits roll, Deacon and Sarah ride into the sunset, to a life reunited.

Now this game has its detractions and a few bugs, but as a whole, this is probably one of the most underrated games that have been released recently. One crucial part of the game was ruined in playthrough as somehow the audio of a long cutscene was desynched so it just made it hard to focus and enjoy the scene. The only other thing that I can complain about was that there is still much of the side missions to attend to when you connect with Sarah again, but I threw it all out the door after that point as I wanted to get to the story between the two, and everything else didn't really matter to me, and if I was forced to detract from her, I got annoyed and rushed through. But besides that, this game is a must play.

Charlie Cobra Reviews (1840 KP) rated I Am a Hero (2015) in Movies

Jul 7, 2020 (Updated Oct 29, 2020)  
I Am a Hero (2015)
I Am a Hero (2015)
2015 | Action, Horror
7.7 (3 Ratings)
Movie Rating
The Hero's Journey In The Zombie Apocalypse Is As Serious As It Is Funny
Contains spoilers, click to show
I have to say that this movie is one of the best zombie movies I've seen lately. From the beginning I like the way that the main character Hideo has these little moments where he zones out and has these little fantasies where he imagines himself as being more outgoing or heroic. Even if its just something small like the first one where he's at work and get's everyone cheering about being proud to work there when in reality he was just muttering to himself quietly. I really like how he's this kind of everyday regular guy who's just kind of down on his luck doubting himself. He's not where he thought he would be career wise which is hindering his relationship with his girlfriend and his co-workers. His girlfriend even kicks him out because of this and throws out some of his stuff. He really has bad luck because as he tries to make up for the fight with his girlfriend Tekko, he goes back to the apartment to find out that she has been infected by the ZQN virus and she attacks him and nearly infects him too. The ZQN's were pretty cool by the way. At first I thought that the whole cross-eyed look to them looked a little too silly but as it became a signature visualization that marked when someone had become a zombie. When his girlfriend turned it was quite horrifying as she contorted all over the place and did everything in her power to try and eat him. She even bit the door so violently she broke off all of her teeth, which was quite lucky for Hideo because when she bit him she didn't break the skin infecting him. The scene when he is running through the city and everything is in chaos was one of the more memorable scenes for me because so much was going on. There were ZQN's and regular people running all over the place in all directions and cars hitting people, but the car scene with the business man, the school girl Hiromi, and the taxi driver was spectacular. In fact one of the coolest things I've seen in a zombie movie is the school girl Hiromi who becomes a abnormal ZQN. She says that she was bit by a baby who was probably infected from breast milk if the mother was a ZQN. She didn't exhibit any symptoms for like 2 days and when she turns she doesn't attack Hideo but instead saves him by killing a ZQN that was trying to kill him. She has one eye that looks like a ZQN and has crazy superhuman strength but for some reason sleeps a lot. Most of the time in these survival zombie movies the story suffers from a lack of plot structure but a news report stating that the virus can't sustain itself at higher elevations make traveling to Mt. Fuji a destination propelling the plot further in a direction that makes sense. I also like how they used foreshadowing in certain scenes like when he finds a shopping basket with a logo of a marketplace, you can tell that place is more than likely the next destination. I also thought it was pretty cool how Hiromi wasn't the only abnormal and there was a weird "grudge" spider walking girl and then the infamous track star zombie with the crushed head. That one ran super fast and jumped really high and was pretty cool. One of the things I kind of didn't like was that Hideo had a gun for a lot of the movie but never even shot it until close to the end but it did go with the characters personality and make the story more interesting. It's just a little hard to believe. Also why weren't there anybody using any samurais swords on the zombies. I mean with the ZQN's being hard to kill because you need to destroy the whole brain, cutting their heads off would have been really efficient and machetes or swords would have been perfect. And just because it's Japan, I don't expect there to be swords everywhere but I'm surprised there wasn't even one. This movie was just so unexpectedly good it's hard for me to nitpick at things with it and I'm sure there's more that bothered me with it but I really enjoyed and liked this movie. I give this movie a 8/10 and my "Must See Seal of Approval"

The Turning Point (The ELI Chronicles, #3)
The Turning Point (The ELI Chronicles, #3)
Julia Ash | 2020
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
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The Turning Point by Julia Ash is the third book in the ELI Chronicles. Thank you to Julia, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Read my reviews of the first two books in the series: 

<b>The ELI Chronicles Series</b>
#1 <a href="">The One and Only</a> - ★★★★
#2 <a href="">The Tether</a> - ★★★★
#3 <a href="">The Turning Point</a> - ★★★★

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The Turning Point continues where the previous book left off. If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, I would recommend reading my review on the first book - The One and Only, as this review contains spoilers from the other two previous books. Now that you have been warned, I can safely continue. :) 

<b><i>Ruby Spencer has continuously saved the world.</i></b>

First, it was the zombie infection. Then, she was turned into a vampire against her will. In the first book we found out her blood was special, and in the second book - we find out why. Her blood was a result of a donor from another planet, which she ended up saving in the second book. And this time - the planet needs help again. But also this time - Ruby might not be the one that can save it. 

Because the animals have their own language, and Ruby cannot understand it. If she could understand them, she would know that they are tired of being puppets to the humans and the vampires. And wolves are more than happy to lead this rebelion. 

Without an alpha that can fight for their rights and lead their uprising, the animals will destroy everything in front of them. Ruby is the only one who can connect the animals with their rightful king - is she could only find him.

I have to admit, I struggled a bit at the beginning, when at one point we were introduced to all the different creatures and abilities (zombies, vampires, sculpting, werewolves, multiple planets, search for the true king). While the first and second book were more focused on one part of the story, in this book we had all of the different aspects colliding into one. And despite my struggles at the beginning, it all worked out in the end.

<b><i>I really loved this book, and it was a perfect last book to conclude this series.
The ending was beautiful and I enjoyed the final few twists, where you couldn’t trust anyone. I loved the love this family had for each other, and how kind and generous they always are. They care so much for each other, it's really nice to read it. It was such an adventurous ride, and I was eager to know how it ended. I am also glad they gave Zagan another chance to prove he changed, and that he deserves another chance at life.

If you have read my previous reviews - you will know me and Clay don’t really get along. But this book changed my opinion a bit, and I actually ended up liking his character and his story in this book. (surprise, surprise). 

The ELI Chronicles, as a whole, is a series not only about zombie apocalypse, vampires, werewolves, rightful kings and special abilities, but also a story about the true power of one family, and their love for each other. Julia Ash managed to combine these two things into the books so well, and make this journey not only adventurous, but also heartwarming.

<b><i>And I have to say - I am glad that I am part of it by reading this series.</i></b>

I am glad I have experienced this book, and grown together with it. Thinking of where I was on my journey when I started the first book, and where I am now, I can understand and appreciate this story way more and connect better with it. Definitely a must-read for all fans of sci-fi, adventure and thrillers.
5.3 (3 Ratings)
Book Rating
The first few chapters of MItW started off well enough, the author captured the coastal town atmosphere perfectly, however, after that it got a little, okay at times a lot, cheesy and eye-roll-inducing. Romances don't have to be that sticky-sweet. What was different and interesting is that the narration was mainly told through the male lead instead of the female; there's not too much of that in romances. The only downfall to the story being told this way was Damon waxing poetic about Sarah the Mysterious, Sarah the Magical, Sarah the Magnificent, Sarah, She Who Walks on Water - seriously, what a Mary-Sue. I'm surprised people didn't address her as Saint Sarah. Everyone in town follows her "advice" (basically she tells them what to do in a roundabout way and they listen), seeks her out to magically fix all their problems, act like she's a goddess, combined, this all made it ten times worse. They just follow her like brainless zombies and never get upset at her poking her nose in their business (not that they all don't do the same in everybody else's). Even though all of that was nauseating, she wasn't the worst Mary-Sue I've run across (Why o' why are there so many of them? Is there a writer's manual on how to write a paragon so that everything they touch, everywhere they go, everyone they meet, they're held up as a supreme being? I wish I was perfect too. :P) and she had magic, so that makes it all the more unfair. Although, who is Sarah besides the saint of this small coastal town? I have no clue, she was never made real, I actually envisioned a golden aura around her like she's some sort of angelic being or something, which is at total odds with her tough defender super hero side. Some girls have all the luck. She has magic, she's as kind as can be, she's perfect in every way (except she's not conventionally beautiful or something, the description was kind of unclear), so of course everyone loves her, she's peaceful and she gets to kick a** like she's Buffy? No freaking way. Where can I sign up?

Another annoyance was "painfully shy" Hannah, one of Sarah's six sisters. Hannah is apparently a model who travels the world, is on magazines, goes on talk shows, etc., even though she is painfully shy. Hey, I can believe someone famous has trouble like that, my problem comes from her "condition" being described as "painfully shy" all the time. It is mentioned in that exact same way, it's never really shy, very shy, extremely shy, or even just plain old shy, no it has to be "painfully shy." In truth, it was only said three times (that I noticed), but in a story that is only around ninety pages, it really sticks out, especially since it was awkwardly brought into the plot. I have a hard time believing this is only shyness, try social phobia or at the very least, some anxiety disorder. Why hasn't she had psychological care? The only remedies mentioned are magical spells and whatnot. While I'm on the subject of Hannah, of whom I know more about personality-wise than Sarah, I might as well mention the jeering and taunting between Jona, the town sheriff, and herself. These interactions are so over-the-top and obvious; we all know where this is going to lead in a future book. And not one of the sisters or Damon notices what is right in front of them. How can they be so imperceptive? What are they, seven? Although I have to admit I'd hate to be called "Baby" or "Barbie" doll too, but then again, I don't look like a Victoria's Secret model, Hannah does.

As for the plot, it was barely there, more time was spent on introducing the sisters, their legacy, characters that went nowhere, and having Sarah sit on a pedestal. Damon would have been more interesting if this had been made into a full-length book - I like the idea of a scientist being confronted with magic - but there just wasn't enough there for a cohesive story. I usually don't write much about short stories but had a lot to say about this one. Obviously. I'm interested in the sisters' stories, I try not to judge authors solely based on a short story, so I will check them out, especially Hannah's. As someone who's been "painfully shy" (couldn't resist) her whole life, my interest has been piqued to see how the author develops Hannah and her shyness in that installment of the series.

I was thinking of giving this an average rating but after writing my review and thinking back on the story, it's just not that good.
2/5 stars
World War Z (2013)
World War Z (2013)
2013 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Brad Pitt has become one of Hollywood’s best loved actors over the years and it isn’t difficult to see why. His chiselled good looks, slick blonde hair and quiet confidence have all ensured he is never short of work. Here, he teams up with director Marc Forster who helmed the disappointing James Bond sequel, Quantum of Solace, in the latest zombie film to hit the screens; World War Z, but is it any good?

Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator who has chosen the quiet life and retired early to spend more time with his wife and children. Whilst taking his wife Karin and two daughters Rachel and Constance out in the car, they become stuck in heavy traffic which marks the start of the mayhem. From then on this 116 minute thrill ride puts the viewer on the edge of their seat more times than an Alton Towers rollercoaster.

After fleeing the hordes of ridiculously fast and ridiculously terrifying undead, Lane and his family board a US aircraft carrier where they are told they will be safe; however, as always, there is a price to pay. Gerry must start work once again to try and find the epicentre of the zombie virus – otherwise, the entire world will be lost. From here, Gerry’s mission is to travel across the globe trying to find what it is that has infected nearly 100% of the planet’s population.

What plays out could be described as a formulaic horror film, but it is so much more than that. Whilst it’s true that there isn’t enough character development, in fact there is only 5 minutes of it right at the beginning, director Marc Forster has cleverly allowed the audience to make up their own minds about the family’s back story and whether we care if they survive or not.

World War Z is not a film for the faint hearted, and whilst blood and guts are quite sparse for a movie with a 15 certificate, there are some truly terrifying moments, many of which will have your heart pumping through your chest.

There are scenes here that really get the adrenaline flowing, one of which involving a stowaway zombie onboard a commercial jet will leave you biting your lip, grabbing your seat and looking through your fingers in shock, horror and intense excitement. It’s safe to say I came away with very bitten fingernails.

Special effects are on par with some of the better blockbusters of the last couple of years. They aren’t as in your face as those in Transformers, nor as lacklustre as the CGI in I am Legend, they are right in the middle and because the effect is used incredibly subtly, you don’t notice when extras stop playing the zombies and the animators take over.

However, it is in the acting that this film really succeeds. Pitt is fantastic as Gerry Lane, his quiet sense of confidence never turns into arrogance as he fights for survival and this will hold the character in high esteem with audiences. He doesn’t pretend to be an action hero, heck, he even makes the kind of mistakes that any human would do if they were under pressure, and thankfully he does all of this beautifully; his characterisation is absolute perfection. The rest of his family are also excellent, Abigail Hargrove and Sterling Jerins who play Rachel and Constance respectively are very good indeed; you truly believe they are missing their father and cannot wait to see him return. The rest of the cast do very well with the limited roles they have, but let’s not forget that this is a Brad Pitt one-man show and he is more than up to the job.

Unfortunately, the cinematography really lets the film down. There is far too much handy-cam in the first 30 minutes, something which I hate. Directors often use it to sustain a sense of alarm and terror, but Marc Forster has used it to such an extent here that it made me feel physically sick. Moreover, whilst the story is solid, it is nothing more than that, and often the plot takes a back seat to the impressive action pieces meaning that the film seems to go through the motions of 10 minutes plot, 10 action, and so on.

Overall, World War Z is a very impressive film. The sheer scale of the virus means that Marc Forster has utilised some beautiful scenery from across the globe. Whilst it may be slightly too long for a zombie film at just under 2 hours, and have a distinct lack of character development; the impressive story, brilliant acting and very good special effects help lift it above the norm. This is a ride better than any rollercoaster, and is 100% worth the increasingly expensive price of a cinema admission ticket.
The Girl in the Spider&#039;s Web (2018)
The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018)
2018 | Crime, Drama, Thriller
There has definitely been a shift in the characters that women are portraying in the movies. No longer happy to be relegated to the damsel in distress who is looking for their Prince Charming to rescue them, they become bad-ass avengers who aren’t afraid to kick-butt and take names. There is no better example of this than Lisbeth Salander, everyone’s favorite goth super-hacker and vigilante. In The Girl in the Spider’s Web, based on the best-selling novel of the same name, we see Lisbeth at her finest and it is an action packed, butt kicking good time.


Lisbeth (Claire Foy) leads a life as a vigilante who targets men that abuse woman ensuring they pay for their evil deeds. She’s not afraid to play hardball and threaten their very existence to ensure that justice is served. In the middle of punishing all the right people, Lisbeth receives a hacking opportunity that she can’t refuse, involving an application where simply logging in allows you to take over the world’s nuclear weapons. This super application was originally created and sold to the NSA in Washington and Lisbeth is tasked with stealing it back and returning it to the original creator so that it can be properly destroyed. Lisbeth successfully steals the application but that then makes her the target of not only the NSA whom she had stolen it from originally, but also another secretive group who has their own nefarious plans.


The film quickly goes from Lisbeth and her “simple” vigilante ways to becoming a global thriller that spans multiple countries and agencies. Not only does the plot change quickly but Lisbeth’s character also morph’s from being a Black Canary type vigilante to becoming a female version of Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt. Even though playing a female Ethan Hunt is different from Lisbeth’s usual trope her skills fit nicely into her new role. Her ability to hack into any computer system comes in handy quite a few times and lets us have a tie to the Lisbeth we know and love, but we also get to see her flex her wits and general bad-assery a bit deeper during her “impossible mission”. The film was definitely not what I expected but I was still pleasantly surprised.


The Swedish setting where the movie takes place was gorgeous and varies from desolate abandoned buildings to chases in the middle of sprawling cities. It utilizes the snow-covered landscape and decrepit buildings to create a sense of isolation, even when the streets themselves are packed with cars. Along with the isolation from the setting we also see the use of both old and new technology, which gives a low-tech feel to what is an otherwise a high stakes mission. Both the setting and the technology allows us to see that Lisbeth is a force to be reckoned with no matter what type of adversity she faces.


Which brings me to the one of the best parts of the movie and that is Claire Foy’s absolutely amazing portrayal of Lisbeth. We already knew she did a great job playing a royal in The Crown and as the wife of astronaut Neil Armstrong in First Man but relinquishing her usual elegant and classy portrayals to spectacularly play one of the biggest, baddest female characters around shows the true depth of her talent. She is definitely the star of the show and now I am an even bigger fan of hers than I already was. I was also impressed with the other main characters, including investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason), who plays less of role than in the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but does a great job nonetheless, and the young boy, August Balder (Christopher Convery) that holds the key to the entire mission excellently played by Christopher Convery. The trio make an unusual team, but how the characters (and actors) play on each other’s strengths and weaknesses to complement each other brings heart to a movie that could have easily been 100% an action adventure.


The one aspect I feel could (and should) have been fleshed out more, was Lisbeth’s character as a battered woman’s vigilante. The movie started off with a very strong vigilante scene, but the vigilante theme is quickly forgotten until the very end of the film where we find out it was the sole catalyst of the main adversary. This oversight sadly turned what could have been a woman’s justice vigilante movie into a more run-of-the-mill super spy movie. That’s not necessarily bad, it is still action packed and full of twists and turns, but it’s definitely a missed opportunity to show more of who Lisbeth is.


The Girl in the Spider’s Web is filled with action, gadgets, and car chases though beautiful scenery and it is an excellent movie to see if you are looking for something different than green grinches and Nazi zombies. It’s not the movie I went in expecting to see, but I’m not complaining as it is still a solid film. Even though it diverts away from the more artistic The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo it is a very good action-packed thriller that would stack up nicely next to the Mission Impossible movies it is reminiscent of. It’s definitely a movie I recommend to action movie fans everywhere.