THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens in Sweden as a young Lisbeth Salander (Beau Gadsdon) is playing Chess with her sister Camilla (Carlotta Von Falkenhayn). One of Camilla's pieces is knocked over, and a spider crawls out. Moments later, the girls' father, Alexander Zalachenko (Mikael Persbrandt), comes in and orders them into his room. He comments how Camilla is growing, and he has her sit beside him. Sensing his lurid intentions, Lisbeth grabs Camilla and runs back to their room. Lisbeth runs outside their balcony and gets ready to jump. She waits for Camilla, but she rejoins Alexander when he orders them to go back to him. Lisbeth jumps and slides down the hill below the house, and she escapes, never to return home.
Over 20 years later, we find a CEO in Sweden who has beaten his wife. The lights go out in his house, and he goes to turn them back on, only to see Lisbeth (now played by Claire Foy) standing there. She knocks over a statue tied with a rope that wraps around the CEO's feet and hangs him upside down. Lisbeth tells him that she knows of his deeds, like beating up two prostitutes and sleeping with the wife of a man who bankrolled his company. Lisbeth says she has removed all of his funds and put them in the accounts of the prostitutes and the man's wife, who gives Lisbeth the account codes and then takes her daughter away. She then threatens to distribute the video of the CEO screwing his boss's wife if he contacts his own wife and daughter again. Lisbeth leaves the man screaming and pissing himself.
Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) arrives at work and shows displeasure toward the new owner of Millenium Magazine, which he bought from Mikael. He talks to publisher Erika Berger (Vicky Krieps) and invites her to join him later, but she says she has plans with her husband.
Lisbeth finishes having sex with a woman named Maria (Andreja Pejic). She goes through Lisbeth's pictures and sees one of her and Camilla as children. Lisbeth comments that Camilla killed herself three years earlier, and she is glad that both her and their father are dead. After Maria leaves, Lisbeth receives a message regarding something highly valuable.
Lisbeth meets with Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant), a former employee of the National Security Agency. He informs Lisbeth of a program he developed called Firefall, which has the power to access the world's nuclear launch codes, and he feels that, in the wrong hands, it can lead to dangerous and devastating results. Balder tasks Lisbeth with stealing Firefall back from the NSA.
At the NSA headquarters in Washington, security expert Edwin Needham (Lakeith Stanfield) catches wind of a hack in their system. He attempts to shut their systems down, but it's too late, and Lisbeth has taken Firefall and left a taunting image to Needham.
Lisbeth attempts to access Firefall, but finds herself unable to do so because it requires her to solve riddles that she doesn't know the answers to. Soon, a trio of masked thugs break into Lisbeth's apartment and try shooting at her, just grazing her in the back. The leader of the thugs turns on the gas and leaves some particles on an alarm clock to create sparks, causing an explosion in the apartment that Lisbeth narrowly escapes by jumping into the tub. The thugs have also taken Firefall from her. Balder sees the explosion from Lisbeth's apartment at the spot where he was set to rendezvous with her, and he thinks Lisbeth has taken Firefall for herself.
Balder gets in touch with Gabriella Grane (Synnove Macody Lund), the deputy director of the Swedish Secret Service, after believing that Lisbeth has turned on him. Not long after, Needham arrives in Sweden to retrieve Firefall for the NSA, but Grane and her men intercept him since they think he's there on work business. Needham tells Grane he is there for pleasure, and she warns him that if he is there for any other reason than for a vacation, she will have him sent back to the States.
Lisbeth goes to the home of Plague (Cameron Britton), an ally of hers, for assistance. Not long after, she reaches out to Mikael, and the two start to work together to find out who took Firefall. Mikael investigates a surveillance photo of the masked leader of the men that broke in, whom he recognizes from another photo where he had worked with Alexander as part of a gang. Mikael finds a spider tattoo on him and traces it back to a man named Milos Meer (Hendrik Heutmann). Milos claims that what he has is not a tattoo, but a scar given to him by the group that he is looking for, the Spiders. He says he had encountered the Spiders before, and because of it, he reveals that his nose is fake because they took his real one from him and left him horribly disfigured. Milos warns Mikael not to go asking about the Spiders.
Lisbeth goes to find Balder and his son August (Christopher Convery), but all three of them are found by the masked leader, Jan Holtser (Claes Bang). After a struggle, Holtser overpowers Lisbeth and uses her hand to shoot and kill Balder. They then take August with them. Lisbeth pursues them and hacks into their car to cause their airbags to deploy, which knocks the villains unconscious and makes their car slow down so Lisbeth can safely get August out.
Lisbeth brings August to stay with her at a safe location. She asks for his help in unlocking Firefall, and after earning his trust, he explains to her that the phrases she needs to decode are number problems based on the letters used, which is something that Balder knew his son could figure out.
Needham goes to a club where he finds Maria and knows of her connection to Lisbeth. After convincing her that Lisbeth can't be trusted, she gives Needham her phone so that he can contact Lisbeth. As he does so, Lisbeth is monitoring the Spiders' movements to try and catch them. Lisbeth tricks Needham into thinking she was fooled by him and sabotages his attempt to find her. She then spots Holtser and his goons kill some men through a security camera. She goes after them but is found by police and thought to be involved with the murders, so she rides her motorcycle across an icy lake and escapes.
Needham is eventually found by Grane, who has him arrested and ready to be sent home. Lisbeth manages to unlock his holding cell and lead him to a hidden cell phone where he is able to communicate with her. With Plague's help, Lisbeth convinces Needham to take August with him to America to rejoin his mother. Needham agrees, but he says he won't go back home without Firefall. He leaves with Plague.
Soon, Lisbeth is led to the true mastermind behind the Spiders - Camilla (now played by Sylvia Hoeks). She has taken over the Spiders from her father long after his death. It is also revealed that Grane was a buyer in the scheme, but Camilla kills Grane when she is no longer needed. She and her henchmen kidnap August and take him to their hideout, which is her and Lisbeth's childhood home.
Camilla orders August to unlock Firefall, and she gets Holtser to show him a video where they have Mikael hostage. Holtser threatens to inject Mikael with two needles filled with serums; one will blind him, and the other will kill him. August solves the codes to unlock Firefall, but before Camilla and her men can access it, Plague helps Needham act as a sniper to get eyes on the Spiders from inside their hideout and execute them. Lisbeth makes it in and takes out some henchmen herself, even injecting Holtser with the deadly serum. Camilla tries to escape with another henchman, but Lisbeth causes them to crash their car off road. Lisbeth pursues Camilla until they reach the side of a cliff, and Lisbeth takes her gun out on Camilla. She knows of Lisbeth's reputation for helping victimized women, but she asks Camilla why she didn't go back to help her. Lisbeth tearfully states that it's because she chose their father. Camilla realizes she has become the monster that their father was, and she jumps off the edge of the cliff to her death. Meanwhile, Needham tries to access Firefall, only to find it being deleted with a message saying "This is what Balder would have wanted."
Mikael is in his office writing a new article in which he details Lisbeth and Camilla's whole ordeal, but he decides to erase the whole thing instead of having it published.
Lisbeth goes to her home one last time as she rigs the place to blow up. She watches it go up in flames and rides away on her motorcycle.