The tension between technology's dual role as both a spy tool and a threat is the real star of the new Bond film.
Tech has always played a prominent role in the Bond franchise; it's a key element of the plot formula: Bond opens with a chase scene, the core mission is revealed, and then Bond meets with Q for the latest and greatest gadgets that will no doubt be instrumental to his success later on in the film. Entire books have been written about Bond gadgetry. It's even been argued that the fictionalized state-of-the-art gadgets have often inspired or are at the very least predictive of future advances.
But since the Craig-era franchise refresh, technology has taken a backseat to more subtle character development. Between our smart phones and the proliferation of sensors and connected devices, the novelty of gadgets is perhaps starting to wear off. We can even pick up toy drones to conduct our own low-grade spying with connected video feeds. While our iPhones thankfully don't carry detonator apps, there's perhaps a limit to what Q can come up with next, which perhaps explains his absence in the last two films. And in this latest installment, Skyfall is filled with retro technology and nostalgia for the "old way" of doing things. No five-blade disposable for Mr. Bond; a whole scene revolves around using a straight razor to shave. It would be easy to dismiss this old school nostalgia as a nod to the classic Bond films to mark this 50-year anniversary of the franchise, but Bond's interest in old-school technology goes deeper than kitsch.