Prior to the opening credits, James Bond carries out a mission in Jakarta where he kills ten men plotting a terrorist bombing on a museum before giving chase to their leader; Sora Makoto. In the ensuing struggle, Bond kills Makoto within just seconds before escaping amidst explosions, but not after recovering an emblazoned necklace with a stylized globe.
Upon returning to London, Bond learns at the MI6 headquarters that Makoto was affiliated with the International Syndicate, a fascistic organization of corrupt officials with criminal and terrorist connections that are waging the FBI and CIA into a interactive conflict as part of their plan to undermine MI6 and shut down the 00 Section in the process. Under the orders of M, Bond infiltrates the organization and identifies it's leader, the nefarious Archard Legrande. Providing support from Moneypenny, Bond links Archard to an obscure warehouse meeting in Paris where the latter mentions his affiliation with Le Chiffre, Bond's first target, before recognizing Bond by addressing his name, forcing Bond to escape Archard's pursuing henchmen in his modified Aston Martin One 77 given earlier on by Q.
During the chase, Moneypenny informs Bond that the information he collected leads to Le Chiffre's girlfriend Valenka, who had previously survived an assassination on Le Chiffre. Bond locates Valenka in Lisbon where he interrogates her over Le Chiffre's partnership with Archard. A reluctant Valenka is about to explain when she is suddenly killed by a mysterious assailant, who is subsequently apprehended by Bond following a ensuing foot chase across the city. Bond then identifies the assailant as Elizabeta Kaycee, who turns out to be an undercover agent investigating Archard at the coerced request of her superior Stewart Mayne, a decorated FBI operative whom Bond had earlier met at the M16 headquarters. Left with no choice, Bond partners up with Kaycee when it becomes clear that both of their missions are equally related.
The two meet up with Bond's mutual friend and fellow CIA agent Felix Leiter at the rendezvous point where he briefly argues with Kaycee over the cause of the government wedge-issue: with Fenix acting suspicious of Steward and his methods while Kaycee is already convinced that the CIA are highly corruptive due to abducting public funding for their own benefits. Felix subsequently reveals that Archard is secretly attached to Bond's previous adversary Ernst Stavro Blofeld, whom Bond and Kaycee soon confront at the M16's underground headquarters. There, Blofeld explains that Archard has been orchestrating the wedge-issue by launching countless terrorist attacks in the United States; which manipulated both the FBI (Steward's unit) and the CIA (Fenix's division) into a bureaucratic rivalry. The duo then return to London where the M16 is suddenly besieged by an overwhelming amount of Archard's reinformants and heavily weaponry. In the ensuing chaos, Kaycee is shot while Bond is knocked unconscious.
Taken to Archard's hideout in Madrid, Bond awakens to find himself tied up in the torture room where he meets Archard face-to-face for the first time. He explains to Bond that he formed International Syndicate for the purpose of restoring SPECTRE, at Blofeld's request, in exchange for having his step-brother, Le Chiffre, killed as he was on the verge of deteriorating his own dictatorship; which subsequently led to Archard masterminding the wedge-issue in the process. Archard then tortures Bond before leaving him to die in his hideout that is set to detonate the explosives in less amount of time. Moments after Archard's departure, Fenix and his fellow agents arrive to rescue Bond, but are quickly caught in a firefight with Steward's tactical team. In the ensuing gunfight, Bond escapes with Fenix and the two track down Steward in Los Angeles. Upon arriving there, however, they find out that Steward has fled with Kaycee (who survived the M16 besieging) as her hostage to Fort Summer where Archard is planning to launch his operation from there. Before leaving, Bond deduces that Steward is collaborating with Archard due to the latter funding the former's operation in exchange from acquiring diplomatic immunity on Steward's behalf.
They return to London to enlist the help of Gareth Mallory, Moneypenny, Q and Bill Turner in the intention of arresting Steward and preventing Archard's finalized project from being activated. Arriving at Fort Summer, the group are ambushed by both Archard's security that causes Bond to be separated from the others. He rescues Kaycee and the two fight their way past Steward's agents before going on to confront Steward himself, who reveals that Archard has rigged the building with explosives. The others learn about this as well, and Q successfully manages to delay the countdown that gives them just under ten minutes before detonation. Kaycee is likewise able to subdue Steward before reuniting with the others as they escape from the fortress, while Bond ends up fighting Archard at the top floor of the building. He eventually overpowers Archard and narrowly escapes from the building which promptly explodes with Archard still inside it, killing him and partly destroying the fortress.
In the following day, Kaycee allows Fenix to take Steward into custody before resigning from the FBI. She then meets up with Bond in London, and the two subsequently leave for a holiday at Las Vegas.
- James Bond - A British MI6 member known as Agent 007.
- Elizabeta Kaycee - An undercover agent working for a defunct government agency who's father formally worked for Archard before getting killed along with her mother.
- Archard Legrande - A martial artist mercenary who is the mysterious leader of the International Syndicate that seeks to undermine MI6 and the 00 Section by forcing the FBI and CIA into a major conflict; which makes him the main antagonist of the story.
- Stewart Mayne - A highly decorated FBI Agent who is a high ranking member of the British government and Elizabeta's superior.
- M - A British government operative who is the head of MI6 and Bond's supervisor.
- Gareth Mallory - A major operative of MI6 who is also Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.
- Eve MoneyPenny - A high ranking MI6 Agent who is Mallory's assistant.
- Q - A supporting protagonist and the MI6 quartermaster who outfits Bond with equipment for use in the field.
- Felix Leiter - A CIA Operative who is also Bond's mutual friend.
- Sora Makoto - A terrorist leader who was working for the International Syndicate.
- Ernst Stavro Blofeld - A former adversary of Bond and founder of SPECTRE who previously supervised Archard and is currently imprisoned by MI6.