IF you thought the Queen made quite the entrance by parachuting in to the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, wait till you see what she gets up to in Fede Alvarez’s thriller. Riding motorcycles, throwing punches, generally kicking posteriors from dawn till dusk in her superhero-like pursuit of justice in a bad old world.

She does no such things, of course. The confusion is understandable to some extent, though. Despite the radical makeover into Lisbeth Salander, hacker heroine, it is hard to look at Claire Foy and not think of her as Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix series, The Crown.

This is not the most remarkable thing about Alvarez’s serviceable adaptation of David Lagercrantz’s novel, which in turn follows on from the late Stieg Larsson’s much loved trilogy. Worthier still of a raised eyebrow is why Salander is back in her third incarnation after four feature films and a television mini-series. Love her as millions do, is the character so deserving of attention that one would watch essentially the same tale over and over?

Alvarez opens his story in mean and moody style inside an apartment in Sweden where a man is holding forth to a woman about how he has been under pressure lately, didn’t mean it, etc. Just another grubby wife-beater, this one rich enough to stuff his home with art. Into this situation steps Lisbeth to put the scumbag straight.

Next in her in-tray is a meeting with computer programmer Frans Balder, played by Stephen Merchant with more than a hint of his own West Country accent. Balder reckons he has done a dangerous thing in inventing a tool that can breach and control a country’s defence systems. It is now in the hands of the US and Balder wants it back. Can Lisbeth hack the apparently unhackable? What do you think?

When the best laid plan hits a roadblock and Lisbeth finds herself the hunted as well as the hunter, she turns to her old journalist mucker Mikael Blomkvist (played her by Sverrir Gudnason). Mikael has sold Millennium, the magazine that made him and Lisbeth famous, but he is still writing for the title and keen to help.

So unfolds a game of cat and mice, with Lisbeth plunged into peril just as an aspect of her troubled past rears its head once more.

Alvarez, one of a team of three writing the screenplay alongside Steven Knight of Peaky Blinders fame, crams in the action, with a motorcycle chase one of the film’s standout sequences. As the film goes on the twists in the tale become more audacious, and ridiculous. Over and over, Lisbeth is placed in the tightest of corners, from which escape seems impossible, only for something to come along. But if Lisbeth can do anything, if nothing can hold her back, why should the audience worry about her?

Foy makes a fine Lisbeth, as impressive a Swedish hacker as she was a young British monarch. There is little new in her styling – it’s black, black and more black – but she has attitude to burn and the Swedish accent is flawless.

It is Foy who draws the viewer back in to the story after the umpteenth time of being wrenched out, either by Merchant’s clotted cream accent or another head-scratching development.

There is little to nothing about Foy or the film that is different enough, however, to make The Girl in the Spider’s Web stand out. Both Foy and Rooney Mara, who took on the role in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, with David Fincher directing, have tried hard to make the heroine their own but no-one, for this critic’s money, has ever done it better than Noomi Rapace in the original Swedish films.

Directed by Niels Arden Oplev, these were authentically bleak and hard-hitting, European films to their core. Subsequent versions have never been as thrilling as the books and Rapace. Folk in Hollywood, and elsewhere, need to accept that there are some things old Europe really does do better.