First of all: trigger warning. My friend Charlie, with whom I saw this, kept being like "there is rape and torture in this, is that okay, are you gonna be okay?" and I was like "dude, no bigs," but this movie was pretty disturbing in places. So just a heads up.
[it is SWEDEN]
Old Man: What's this? A framed, pressed flower? It reminds me of something...and I weep.
Audience: I wonder what he is weeping about!!
[it is a COURTROOM]
News Reporter: And so the exposition falls to me. Blomkvist, who is a crack investigative magazine reporter, has been accused of libel against Wennerstrom, who is a big businessman, and this is only kind of related to the rest of the film, but here's a rather lengthy courtroom scene about it, and oh - he's guilty.
Blomkvist: Dang. I guess I better quit the magazine and go make meatballs with my niece. After all, I'm Swedish.
[meanwhile, someone is FOLLOWING him and INVESTIGATING him]
Frode, the Lawyer: So what did you come up with on Blomkvist? Any dirt? I hope you employed an impossibly thin, cool-haired goth chick to do your hacking.
Boss of the Investigating Company: It just so happens that we did!
Lisbeth: That's me. I hack shit. Also, I have a checkered past. Also, I'm on probation. But I won't tell you for what!! Not yet!!Because I am too mysterious!!!
[she gives them a DOSSIER of INFO, because the Swedes LOVE dossiers]
Frode: So, listen, Blomkvist, I have this case for you, and I know it's Christmas, or Jul, or whatever we call it, but I think you should come meet my client. He is an impressive businessman.
[they go to an ISLAND that only has ONE BRIDGE going to it. ONE. BRIDGE.]
Henrik Vanger: Hello. Audience, you may remember me as the weeping man from before. Let me fill you in on my family. Basically, they are all terrible, and some of them were Nazis, and I'm pretty sure one of them killed my beloved niece Harriet 40 years ago. She was your babysitter, Blomkvist. And I need you to find her killer, who has been sending me these pressed flowers every year to rub it in my face that he killed her.
Blomkvist: Uh...why me?
Henrik Vanger: You're out of a job now, and you don't have to go to jail for six months! Here's one bajillion kroner and an extremely poorly-heated cabin. Now, get investigating!
[meanwhile, LISBETH is still HACKING into his computer and SEEING all his GOOGLE MONTAGES, of which there are SEVERAL]
Blomkvist: [GOOGLES dramatically]
Lisbeth: Why am I still hacking into this guy's computer? Weird. Oh well, I'll go check in with my parole officer.
New Parole Officer: Sooooo your old parole officer was a big softie and let you do whatever you want. Me? I'm way more strict. And also creepy. Have you ever had sex?*
Lisbeth: Ummmmm you're gross.
New Parole Officer: I might be gross, but I have all the power, so you're gonna need to blow me.
[he FACE-RAPES her and it is TERRIBLE]
Lisbeth: No fucking way, dude.
[she goes to his HOUSE, which is like THE WORST idea, and he CHAINS her to his BED and RAPES her and it is REALLY AWFUL but it's KIND of okay because she CLEARLY has a VIDEO CAMERA in her BAG and you are like OH DAMN she is gonna exact some fucking REVENGE]
Lisbeth: Time for the revenge-exacting.
[she TIES him up and RAPES him with his own DILDO and BLACKMAILS him and TATTOOS him to say he is a SADISTIC PIG and a RAPIST]
Lisbeth: Suck on that, fucker.
[meanwhile, on the ISLAND of RICH PEOPLE]
Blomkvist: Okay. Now that I have my Law and Order style Wall of Suspects, I can really get cracking. We've got some uncles and some cousins. And some dead people. And not too many leads. But I AM able to enhance photos to a ridiculous amount on my Mac, so that's helpful.
[he uses TECHNOLOGY to figure out that Harriet SAW the person who wanted to KILL her at a PARADE, but then the technology RUNS out]
Blomkvist: Damn! Why aren't I in Blade Runner!!
Henrik: It's okay, you're doing really well! Don't forget that Harriet had a cousin that was her best friend that looked just like her!
[meanwhile, on the INTERNET]
Lisbeth: I just figured out that this weird list of names and numbers that Harriet had in her diary actually refers to Bible verses! I better tell the guy whose computer I'm hacking into.
[she sends him an EASILY TRACEABLE email and he FINDS her and there is a HUMOROUS SCENE involving COFFEE]
Blomkivst: So...I guess this is a buddy comedy now?
[they take a ROAD TRIP and figure out that the LIST is a list of UNSOLVED, SUPER BRUTAL murders]
Lisbeth: She figured it out! And was killed for it! But whodunnit!? Oh, also we should probably fuck or something. But I'm emotionally unavailable. So I hope that's okay.
Blomkvist: Um...I guess?
[someone tries to SHOOT Blomkvist, which means they are GETTING CLOSE]
Blomkvist: Wait a minute...all the girls who were killed had Jewish names! And there are Nazis in this family! And only one of them was still alive when she was killed...her reclusive uncle, Harald.
Lisbeth: I bet we can use the company's travel records to prove he was in the places where the murders occurred! I'll go check those out, and you go alone to break into the old crazy man's house in the middle of the night. That's a great plan.
[he DOES, and almost gets SHOT again]
Martin, Harriet's Brother: Put the gun down, Uncle Harald! Come on, we can call the cops from my house.
Me: OH MY GOD BLOMKVIST DO NOT GO TO THAT GUY'S HOUSE!!
Lisbeth: Oh shit! These records prove that Harriet and Martin's dad did the murders! Which means...oh shit!!
[she rides her MOTORCYCLE with the SPEED of the WIND]
Martin: Here's some Scotch. And a punch in the face!!
Blomkvist: Whoaaa! Where am I? Is this a sexual torture dungeon?
Martin: It sure is! My dad taught me how to rape and murder, and now it's my favorite thing ever! And now I'm going to kill you, too! Wheeeeee!
Lisbeth: No way, dude.
[she CLOCKS him with a GOLF CLUB and it's PRETTY GREAT]
Martin: Peace out, bitches!
[he gets in his CAR but is INJURED and CAN'T DRIVE, so he CRASHES]
Lisbeth: Huh. So you're trapped in a car that's about to explode.
Martin: Help me! I know I killed more women than I can count, and based on the foreshadowing about your character, you were abused as a child, and also that whole brutal rape happened earlier, but help meeeeee!
[he EXPLODES like he SHOULD]
Blomkvist: You didn't help him!?
Lisbeth: Duh. He hates women.
[she PEACES OUT, but not before leaving a CLUE that Harriet is ACTUALLY ALIVE in AUSTRALIA]
Blomkvist: Hey, you're uncle's looking for you.
Harriet: Oh. Right.
[they go see her UNCLE and it is SWEET at first but then she tells about the AWFUL THINGS her father and brother did to her and you are like DAMN RIGHT YOU WENT TO AUSTRALIA]
Henrik Vanger: I'm just glad I didn't die yet.
[some time LATER]
Lisbeth: Sorry you're in jail now. Here's some reading material. I'm gonna go see my mom, who was maybe put in a wheelchair by my terrible father? Who I maybe burned to death when I was like 11? In any event, I'm making progress.
Blomkvist: Hey, it's all the information I need to prove that my libel wasn't libel! Hooray!
[his name is CLEARED and it is RAD]
News Report: So Wennerstrom, you remember, the guy from the beginning? He really was being fraudulent, and then he killed himself. And then someone stole all his money from a Cayman Islands account, using technology. Here's some video footage of the unknown woman.
[Lisbeth STROLLS down a Cayman Islands BOARDWALK where everyone has a BRIEFCASE]