“Code Name Banshee” begins on a complex note but then turns into a rather straightforward plot. A woman is being interrogated by the CIA about her dead father and his partner, Caleb, who have been missing from the scene soon after a mission went wrong. The interrogation scene right away sparks our interest about the missing people. It seems that the film has a lot to offer, and you might begin to speculate based on what you see in the beginning. But the way the film unravels makes for a rather dull narrative that tries to play with the motif of a past event. And what makes the film uninteresting is that it does not establish the past (involving the protagonist), which plays an important role in her present. It is surprisingly predictable to the point where, after having watched the film, you might just wish that you had stopped the film midway and then drawn your own conclusions. “Code Name Banshee” is nothing like it promises and barely manages to serve its purpose as an action thriller. But for the sake of it, let us explore Banshee’s world and deduce the who, the why, the what, and the where.
‘Code Name Banshee’ Plot Summary: What Happens In The Film?
Delilah, whose code name is Banshee (we will refer to her as Banshee), is being interrogated, presumably by the CIA, regarding the intel she holds about two people, namely Jeremy (Colin Walker) and Caleb (Antonio Banderas), both of whom are missing. Jeremy is Banshee’s father, who worked alongside Caleb. They headed a private organization (unnamed in the film) that delivered an asset into the hands of the Russians. The CIA contracted Anthony Greene (former Special Forces) and his team to stop the handover from happening. There was a shootout at the site, and the asset got away. Caleb fled the scene while Jeremy was shot, but his body was not found. Both Caleb and Jeremy have been declared traitors by the CIA, which has put a bounty on their heads. What the CIA wants from Banshee is to find out everything that Caleb and Jeremy might have told the Russians. Banshee is enraged that the organization doubts her father and Caleb, as they both are loyal to it. She quits the organization and vows to return after finding the truth.
Five years later, we see that Banshee has become a contract killer and comes face-to-face with Anthony Greene during a mission contract. He is looking for Caleb and offers Banshee the contract money for intel regarding Caleb and for bringing Caleb to him if possible. But Banshee isn’t willing to give up the person who is her last link to her father. She escapes from Greene’s hands and decides to look for Caleb and then bring Greene down on his knees. The film further explores the question whether Banshee will be able to find the truth behind her father’s death? Did her father and Caleb hand over an asset to the Russians? Well, the plot from hereon has an answer though in the most blurry way possible.
Where Was Caleb Hiding?
Banshee shares a past with Caleb. It is only after she meets Caleb’s daughter Hailey that we find out that she was trained by Caleb, who has known her since she was 7. Towards the beginning of the film, we see Banshee having flashbacks of her time with Caleb. This also shows that she has worked alongside Caleb. It is through these flashes that she remembers the place Wellburg, New Jersey. Now we do not know the significance of this place, but it is where she finds Caleb with Kronos’s help. The place probably has some significance for Caleb, or he may have always wanted to retire there when the time came. He apparently laid low for two years and then changed his name and bought a bar and a house. Laying low for two years would have allowed him to erase any evidence that could be traced back to him. Then changing his identity (to Walter Herrero) would mean that no one would be able to charge him with the actions of Caleb Navvaro, at least not on paper, as on paper, he is a different person. All he has to do is deny everything.
Despite how much the film intends to wrap around Caleb, we don’t get a clear picture of the relationship he shared with Banshee (seemingly his best friend Jeremy’s daughter). All that is revealed through him is the truth of the handout from five years ago. Rather than a character, he is a means to reveal the truth that Banshee has been searching for. In this way, “Code Name Banshee” fails to implement one of the two arcs of the story, the other being Banshee herself.
What Had Happened During The Handout?
At Caleb’s house, Banshee finds out what happened at the handout five years ago: Malia, the only daughter of a powerful Russian warlord or some minister (we do not know for certain), was in possession of a hard drive that contained intel on customers, transactions, and weapon blueprints that most world governments didn’t know about. She came to Caleb, Jeremy, and their organization for their protection and, in return, offered them the intel. She wanted to be hidden far away from her father, who, according to her, is a monster. The plan, by Caleb and Jeremy, was to hand her over to the CIA at a secure site, and she would then be taken into protective custody. But the CIA sent Anthony Greene and his team to get rid of Caleb and his team while taking Malia. The CIA wanted to kill Caleb and Jeremy because they knew too much. So basically, Banshee was lied to by the woman at the beginning of the film. It wasn’t the Russians that Caleb and Jeremy were handing over the asset to; it was the CIA itself. They wanted to kill Jeremy and Caleb because they knew too much. Keeping in mind that they were in the spy game for too long, it has to be taken for granted that they had a lot of intel. This can and does make them potential dangers to the agency and, frankly speaking, potential “enemies of the state.” All this is fine, but they didn’t choose to trust them for their years of service. Perhaps this is the state of intelligence agencies now. If you are working for the CIA, you, too, are a threat to the agency.
Why Was Anthony Greene Searching For Caleb?
The reason Anthony Greene was after Caleb was because Caleb killed his brother Michael. But there is a question that arises here: Did Greene know about the CIA’s true motives for getting rid of Caleb and Jeremy? Maybe not. And Greene isn’t bothered to find the answer to that question either. He is bent on killing Caleb. On the other hand, we have Banshee, who intends to take revenge but only after finding out what happened to her father (Jeremy). Thus, in a way, “Code Name Banshee” shows both the protagonist and antagonist looking for revenge for the deaths of their loved ones. But neither of the two finds it. Greene isn’t able to get his hands on Caleb. And Banshee, too, doesn’t find the answer (about her father) she was looking for from Greene. She doesn’t even get the chance to get more out of him than she already knows.
‘Code Name Banshee’ Ending Explained: Does Banshee Find Her Father, Jeremy?
When Greene and Banshee come face to face towards the end of the film, Greene tells her that the last time he saw Jeremy was when he was being beaten by a couple of guys, lying in a pool of blood. But he doesn’t say if he is dead or alive. Neither does Caleb, in the middle of the film, give a concrete answer about Jeremy’s death. All that Caleb told Banshee was that he saw Jeremy go down. So, to answer the question of whether Banshee finds out where her father is, no, she doesn’t. In fact, she doesn’t even find out if her father is dead or alive. “Code Name Banshee” ends with Hailey asking Banshee if they will have to kill more people. This is after they kill Greene and his whole team. Banshee answers that it depends on who they are going after. Banshee might go after the CIA now, as it is the only way for her to find more intel on her father.
The beginning of the film makes things seem quite complex. A daughter who is being interrogated by the CIA regarding her father’s true motives, is certainly intriguing. Furthermore, her father’s partner is missing too. There are numerous possibilities, including the unnerving one that it might have been Caleb who hatched a plot to kill his partner (Jeremy) in return for intel for the CIA by shaking hands with Greene. However, one need not think to such an extent, as the film makes it clear quickly that Caleb isn’t a bad guy. Coming back to Banshee, she is sure that Caleb isn’t the culprit, and this makes her want to track him down and find out what really happened. It is trust that is her motivation here. After all, she was 7 when she first met him and has known him ever since. The disappearance of Banshee’s father, Jeremy, on the other hand, has a darkness surrounding it that only Caleb can throw light on. But later on, Banshee, as well as the audience, find out that even Caleb doesn’t know where her father’s body went. He may have survived, or he may not have. Naturally, being Jeremy’s daughter, Banshee’s first instinct tells her that he is alive somewhere. While there are chances that Jeremy is dead, even recovering his body will be a relief for Banshee rather than not knowing where his body is. And this uncertainty remains with Banshee till the very end.
Sadly, the film doesn’t show or tell if Jeremy truly did die or not. And we cannot really trust Caleb when he tells Banshee that he saw Jeremy go down because he fled the spot. We certainly can’t trust Greene as we know that he would rather lie than tell the truth to Banshee and thus keep her in the dark. And thus, Banshee remains in the dark about the truth regarding her father from the beginning of the film to its end. In this way, perhaps the film “Code Name Banshee” justifies its title as Banshee remains Banshee from beginning to end without being able to be her father’s beloved Delilah.
“Code Name Banshee” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Jon Keeyes.