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Licence to Kill is a 1989 Spy thriller and the 16th entry in the James Bond franchise of movies, it is directed by John Glen and stars Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi and Benecio Del Toro.
The movie opens with James Bond ( Timothy Dalton ) and his friend, CIA operative Felix Leiter ( David Hedison ) en route to Felix's wedding, however before they arrive they are picked up by DEA agents as they are needed to help capture drug lord Franz Sanchez ( Robert Davi ), after a battle they are able to capture Sanchez, however unknown to them he manages to escape while Felix's wedding is taking place.
Shortly after James returns to Felix's house to find his wife killed and Felix alive but severely wounded after Felix has been fed to a Shark at Sanchez warehouse, James vows revenge however "M" ( Robert Brown ) orders James to an assignment in Istanbul, James refuses and M suspends him and revokes his Licence to Kill, Bond flees from Mi6 custody and becomes a rogue agent, hell bent on exacting revenge on Sanchez and his henchmen.
Licence to Kill is quite the polarising movie, some people think that Timothy Dalton's time as James Bond was a failure and he was the worst Bond, others like the harder edge he brought to the role after the almost comic portrayal of Roger Moore and Sean Connery in the past and consider him a serious precursor to the current dark James Bond we're seeing now with Daniel Craig.
I must say i'm in the latter portion of views, while I wouldn't call Timothy Daltons portrayal of Bond a runaway success, but I think that if he had been given a few more movies to be able to finely tune his portrayal of Bond and introduce the darker edge to the character we're seeing now I think he may have been up there with the best of them.
Regardless Licence to Kill is for me one of the best Bond movies, it doesn't rely on an unrealistic super-villian such as Blofeld or Scaramanga as the Bond movies of the 70's did, instead the main villain is a realistic drug lord who murders his way to power, also Bond isn't on a mission from Mi6 this time, instead he's a rogue agent on a personal vendetta of revenge, and this I think is the key to the movies longevity.
While it is far from the perfect movie, it does drag on a little too long ( 2 hours and 13 minutes could easily have been trimmed down to under two hours ) and there are some slow moments, however some of the action sequences are good and James dispatches with his foes with the ease the worlds greatest spy should.
The ending is the hardest part for me, its only a minor thing but after Bond has dispatched his enemies, his friend Felix is surprisingly chipper for someone who has lost some limbs and whose new wife has just recently been raped and killed.
Minor gripes for me though, for any James Bond fan then Licence to Kill is essential viewing and for me a major turning point in the James Bond series of movies.
Bond: Watch the birdy, you bastard.
----------Main Cast ----------
Timothy Dalton as James Bond
Robert Davi as Franz Sanchez
Carey Lowell as Pam Bouvier
Talisa Soto as Lupe Lamora.
Benicio del Toro as Dario
Anthony Zerbe as Milton Krest
After Bond's good friend Felix Leiter and his wife are left for dead at the hands of drug baron Franz Sanchez, it is up to the MI6 agent to begin a personal vendetta against him. Bond is stripped of his license to kill by M who is not happy about Bond's actions. Bond teams up with Pam Bouvier, a friend of Leiter's who used to fly planes for the CIA. Bond relies on Bouvier and with the help of Q he sets out to befriend Sanchez from the inside - will he manage to take down the drug syndicate?
License to Kill is regarded as a much darker and violent entry into the Bond franchise, and the first one to be given a '15' rating here in the UK. It is also the worst performing Bond film at the box-office and due to legal backstage wrangling over the ownership of the Bond franchise it turned out to the last film made for six whole years (something that could be on the cards at the moment due to MGM's current state). It was also the last film for Timothy Dalton who decided not to return for 1995's 'Goldeneye'.
Being a slightly more action orientated and realistic Bond film, License to Kill utilises more mundane weaponry so there are few opportunities for clever gadgetry. However, Bond's signature sniper rifle is quite cool.
An excellent theme his time from the class act Gladys Knight. Harkening back a little to the bombastic themes from the 60's and early 70's, its actually one of my favourites and certainly very memorable. Michael Kamen also puts together an effective score that is full of twists and turns and certainly more current than recent John Barry compositions. Theres also an excellent range of supplementary songs in the film, Tim Feehan's Foreigner-esque 'Dirty Love' and Patti LaBelle's 'If You Asked Me To' are both welcome additions to the movie.
Franz Sanchez: When it gets up to your ankles, you're going to beg to tell me everything. When it gets up to your knees, you'll kiss my ass to kill you.
It's just such a shame that the film was marketed poorly and as a result did bad business as I'm sure another couple of films with Dalton would have cemented his position as the best Bond by far. I can understand the critics who do not like the violent tone that the film has and that many lingering shots of intense death was not in keeping with the Bond franchise, but then it is such a good film for that- regardless of whether its Bond or not.
I like the fact that the film is about drugs and the drug trade and not some megalomaniac who is trying to steal nuclear weapons or take over the world. It's also good to see Bond have a bit of emotion for a change, tracking down a man who killed his best friends wife and left him for dead. You can really empathise with the situation then - revenge is always a good plot for a film whether its Death Wish or Get Carter.
Dalton is at his absolute best here, learning from the bland mistakes in Daylights - the silly quips, and replacing them with a menacing snarl making Bond almost an anti-hero here.
The action again is superb. The Living Daylights and License to Kill both have two of my favourite action scenes from any Bond film - the fight onboard and behind the armoured plane in Daylights and the complex tanker truck chase in License to Kill. Realism and full blown destruction always worked for me, and here it is really well directed by now Bond stalwart John Glen (this was also his last Bond film).
License to Kill is my second favourite Bond film of all. It has all of the elements of a great film - the music, the action, a great central performance and some classic lines. It's such a shame that this turned out to be Dalton's last Bond film. He's turned up recently as the bad guy in Hot Fuzz and Rassilon in Doctor Who, but he will always be remembered as the man who almost made it.
After deliberating with JJJJ I have decided to place these ratings in rank order, rather than chronologically from now on.
Current ratings from adambrown400
On Her Majesty's Secret Service 5 dooyoo stars
Licence to Kill 5 dooyoo stars
From Russia With Love 5 dooyoo stars
Goldfinger: 5 dooyoo stars
Live and Let Die 5 dooyoo stars
The Spy Who Loved Me 4 dooyoo stars
Dr. No: 4 dooyoo stars
For Your Eyes Only 4 dooyoo stars
The Living Daylights 4 dooyoo stars
You Only Live Twice 4 dooyoo stars
A View to a Kill 4 dooyoo stars
Octopussy 3 dooyoo stars
Thunderball 3 dooyoo stars
Diamonds Are Forever 3 dooyoo stars
The Man with the Golden Gun 3 dooyoo stars
Moonraker 3 dooyoo stars
Another fabulous Bond film, with Timothy Dalton in his second and final outing. Interestingly, several people who have been consulted about Bond and whether or not he is close to how spies act have often said that this is the most believable outing, not just because Bond is serious and gritty, but also because the plot is as close as it comes to how it can be in real life.
Though it's not the single best outing, when you watch you can understand why it's said that this is the most life-like of the Bond films. To add to it, this also has one of the Bond films' best villains in it.
Bond's good friend Felix Leiter is getting married. Bond is invited. As they are travelling to the Church, Leiter gets a call that Drug Dealer Franz Sanchez is in open airspace. He and Bind are able to apprehend Sanchez and continue to the wedding. Everything seems okay.
However, Sanchez bribes a CIA agent and he escapes. Taking revenge on Felix Leiter, he then escapes to south America again. Bond wants revenge, and is not granted it. He subsequently resigns, escapes with his gun and goes on a revenge mission.
Going to South America, he poses as an assassin to gain entry into Sanchez's inner circle of workers and get his revenge.
This was a crisp entry into the Bond franchise, and though it misses a certain spark, the villain in this alone makes this film. Robert Davi as ruthless Franz Sanchez truly is brilliant, and makes for a very worthy and believable villain. The Bond girl isn't quite as good, but Dalton's serious Bond fits in perfect into this storyline, and is even better than Daniel Craig's serious Bond is now. Watch out for a young Benicio Del Toro, as the youngest Bond actor and in one of his first roles. Also watch out for a wonderful cameo appearance by Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton, who gives the prices of the drugs in a truly innovative way.
A very solid, well acted Bond film.
The most violent outing yet for Bond and one that is certainly not for kids to watch!
I remember watching this when it first came out on video and I do remember feeling dissappointed by it's change of tone and style.
But then I think I was stuck in the Moore era.
As I grew up I started to appreciate the film that much more and as a movie, it's actually decent.
A lot of people slate Dalton, and those people have very good reasons, to be honest.
In Living Daylights, he actually looked quite bored throughout the film but he did have an edge to him that was missing from Moore.
Anyway, this film centres on a villain, Franchez, played by the great Robert Davi, who escapes from police custody and badly injures Bond's best friend, Felix Leiter. Bond gets revenge!
The violence and gore level is at it's peak in this film and it's certainly the most violent of all the movies.
I think this must have hurt it's box office earnings, though, as I'm sure a large percentage of it come from people in their late teens or even kids, although I may be wrong about that.
The showcase of this film is the climactic tanker truck chase and it's incredible to see these trucks do the stunts that they do.
There are various action scenes throughout the movie before hand but they all have a hard edge to them.
The soundtrack is very good, the Licence To Kill song in the beginning title sequence is terrific and among my favourites.
Dalton's acting as Bond is better in this one and he doesn't look as bored as he did in LD but he still doesn't really have that much appeal.
The girls are so so, they were beginning to lose some of their glamour here.
This is still a solid entry in the series but, again, you may need to view it with an open mind because of the difference in style and more violent level.
Recommended with caution!
Licence To Kill is the 16th James Bond film and came to our screens in the summer of 1989. Timothy Dalton returns for his second 007 appearance as John Glen directs his fifth and final film. Originally called Licence Revoked, Licence To Kill is predominately filmed in Mexico and Key West, with 007's mission a lot different to normal this time.
The film features David Hedison once again as Felix Leiter (Felix in Live And Let Die) now with the DEA. After revenge is sought by powerful South American drug lord, Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), Leiter's wedding night is interrupted by Sanchez and his heavies. After a brutal event, Bond vows to bring justice to Sanchez in honour of his best friend. However, Bond's employers wish for him to pursue another mission. After an argument with M, Bond hands in his resignation and his licence to kill is revoked. 007 is now alone and must find Sanchez without the help of MI6. Bond's search to infiltrate Sanchez's crew leads him to ex CIA pilot Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) and a trip to the fictional South American country of Republic Of Isthmus. With help from Bouvier and a "holidaying" Q, Bond manages to gain the trust of Sanchez and gets close to him. Along with going undercover, Bond faces a threat from his own side when a MI6 operative is sent to stop Bond's personal vendetta. Before knowing it, 007's is in the middle of something larger than his quest to avenge Leiter. Sanchez is planning a huge drug deal to provide Asian business men with an untraceable dissolved cocaine mixture and has also threatened to use stinger missiles to shoot down an American airliner if the DEA get involved. Bond questions the loyalty of Sanchez's aides which places doubt in the mind of evil drug lord. Sanchez invites Bond to the hub of the drug preparation where Bond's true identity is finally revealed. After a stomach churning fight with Dario( Sanchez's top henchmen, played by Benicio Del Toro), Bond must stop the tankers containing the drugs and put an end to Sanchez's plans.
It is another pleasure to see Timothy Dalton in the 007 role again. With an untypical plotline, Dalton excels in bringing a hard edge to Bond. His respect and fondness for Leiter, is clear to see and its nice to see Bond's mission with more of a personal touch for him. Dalton manages to display sadness and rage in equalling measures in his journey to bring Sanchez to justice. The action scenes are performed excellently by Dalton who performs many of the stunts himself. Due to contractual wrangling about the ownership of the rights and characters, another Bond film would not be made until 1995. This six year gap probably persuaded Dalton not to continue with the role. However, it is a great shame that he only completed two films. His addition to the series was a great casting choice and I would have liked to have seen Dalton appear in many more Bond films and seen where he would take the series. However, it is left up to us to decide how good Dalton could have been. In those two films, Dalton had given us a stronger Bond character and introduced viewers to a different side of the super spy. Dalton was keen to stick close to Fleming's original works and we can this again with recent efforts "Casino Royale" and parts of "Quantum Of Solace". Bond is assisted well by feisty CIA pilot Bouvier. Lowell is very convincing as the brash, confident Bouvier. Her chemistry with Bond sits well and she completes a number of action sequences with ease. A blueprint for future Bond girls, Lowell shows that the girl can be Bond's equal.
Robert Davi plays Franz Sanchez with a totally believable performance. A truly menacing villain, Sanchez gives us some of the most gruesome and hardcore moments in Bond history. The issue of loyalty is raised many times and even when Sanchez looks like losing it all, he depends on the truth of those around him. He certainly isn't to be crossed and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty. A charming but dangerous man, he shares some great moments with Bond and enjoys memorable dialogue with 007. Davi makes Sanchez a unique and terrifying villain that, in my view, has become one of the best villain performances in the Bond films. Talisa Soto plays Lupe Lamora, Sanchez's girlfriend, whose indiscretions get her into trouble. She becomes trapped under Sanchez's reign of terror and gives you the impression that she longs for a simple life away from Sanchez. Although Lupe and Bond share nice bits of dialogue, its is a secondary relationship and it is Lowell who we are really looking out for.
David Hedson returns as Leiter and probably becomes the most successful/memorable Felix due to his two appearances. We get to see a non business side to Leiter and his scenes leave a great effect on the viewer. Del Toro provides an almost demonic turn as Dario and for such a young actor (21 at the time) gives the head henchmen role a new twist. Although not granted much screen time, his final scenes would show what a great actor he could become and also provide a harrowing climax to the drug laboratory showdown. Robert Brown plays M for the final time as he sees Bond go it alone this time. Brown had played his part over the last four Bond films and eased the transition after M favourite, Bernard Lee had passed away. A special mention also to Q. Desmond Llewelyn manages a trip to South America to help Bond out when he finds out 007 is on his own. He sets Bond up with a few gadgets and shows concern for his renegade spy friend. In one of Q's best Bond outings, he shows a compassion for Bond that had not been seen before and it is a nice touch for the film.
John Glen bows out at the top with his final Bond offering. In a change to the normal PG rating, Licence To Kill was given a PG-13 and subsequently a 15 rating which shows this is not your average Bond film. With stronger language and the heightened graphicness of certain "bloody" scenes it's a huge change for the series. It may not suit everyone, but I think it was right we got to see Bond out of his comfort zone and Glen gives us a memorable Bond film. His ease at capturing spectacular action scenes is clear to see with the big opening scene. We also get to enjoy an underwater battle, a fist fight on a plane high above Key West, the escape from the burning labs and the final tanker chase along with many more memorable moments. Glen manages to focus on the loyalty and friendship between Bond and Leiter and creates a worthy Bond film. His use of lavish locations, particularly Sanchez's hideout and the disguised temple at the end of the film are pretty breathtaking. Over the course of the last five films, Glen had given us a return to Bond's of old and placed a huge amount of emphasis on character development , especially in the two Dalton Bond's. Glen impact on the series cannot be underestimated as he guided the franchise through the 80's and delivered us into a new Bond era.
Michael Kamen provides the soundtrack. In a mostly American feeling film, Kamen seems the right choice to head the music on this one. Unlike most Bond scores, Licence To Kill feels different with its Latin American roots. But, I'm not sure it would have felt right for a John Barry classical type score. The film is very different to the others and Kamen's experience in other high end US blockbusters shows through with expertly paced music to accompany the action scenes. Gladys Knight sings the theme tune "Licence To Kill" but after the up beat 80's offerings of the last two films, we go back to a ballad that is ok but noting special.
Licence To Kill is one of my favourite Bond films, although it does seem to split fan's opinions. It's nice to see Bond go it alone against the orders of MI6 and we see a more personal story relating to 007. An action packed film also gives us moments of tension and questions the loyalty of those close to us. A strong villain with an epic ending signs James Bond off for the 80's. Licence to Kill would signify the end of an era for James Bond. From the final film of the 80's, Goldeneye in 1995 seemed a million miles away. Licence to Kill would be the final film that Cubby Broccoli would have a large influence on, the final John Glen directed film and the last time we would see Maurice Binder's memorable opening titles, not to mention Timothy Dalton's last outing as Bond. James Bond's world would be a lot different next time we see him.
James Bond - License to kill really is another excellent addition to the 007 series that I really did enjoy. It is as ever packed full of rich action and adventure scenes that really will keep you entertained throughout the movie. The film was originally released in 1989 and it stars Tomothy Dalton and Carey Lowell who are really very good throughout the film. I really did enjoy the story line and found it very entertaining to watch. I really would recommend this film as a result because I think it will provide some great home entertainmen whilst having a universal appeal.
In this all new mission James Bond is really put to the test, his friend Felix Leiter is almost killed. James Bond as a result of this goes of in search of his attacker who is called, Franz Sanchez. The problem is that M16 disapprove of him doing this and so take away his license to kill, which means that he can no longer seek revenge as such. So instead Bond speaks to one of Felix's friends and tries to keep a secret identity whilst completing the task. This really is a great story line that I really found to be veyr entertainign throughout.
The film really is in my opinion as good as any other bond movie and I thought it was excellent. I thought that the special effects feeatured in the action scene were excellent and it really made the scenes come to life. The film is available from Amazon for just less than £4 which is good value for a film of this calibre. I hope this was useful and thank you very much for reading this!
I have not seen many movies of James Bond, but of the ones I have watched, this is the one I enjoyed the most, and I believe it is also one of the most known too.
James Bond's enemy in this movie is Sanchez, a drug dealer. James's best friend is about to get married and Sanchez turns up at the wedding a bit like an unwanted guest. Call him a villain, or a wedding crasher.
James will fight against Sanchez and, although I am not giving away anything, let me tell you that Sanchez's girlfriend is a nice babe, and you can start thinking whether James will have his way with her or not.
There is action, off course, but there is also some romance and a nice soundtrack too.
I believe that if you have a very good sound system at home you will enjoy more this movie, because there are quite a few special effects and explosions.
Overall, a nice movie to watch, and James really plays it cool!
Timothy Dalton appears here in his second and final run as Bond in 1989's Licence to Kill. His portrayal of Bond here is much darker and personal than other Bond films.
Following the capture of international drug lord Franz Sanchez on the same day as the wedding of his CIA friend Felix Leiter, James Bond returns to find Sanchez has escaped and has exacted his revenge on Leiter. In a moment of wild anger, Bond resigns his status as a 00 agent, and escapes the custody of his superiors. He must go it alone to find Sanchez, to exact his revenge for Leiter and to put the drug lord where he belongs.
The Cast and Performances
Timothy Dalton is refreshing as Bond - much more humane and personal than his predecessors Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore, who relied more on charm and tongue in cheek comments to boost their charismatic nature. Dalton brings out Bond's anger and personal feelings very well, and performs admirably in the role. Robert Davi is very convincing as villain Sanchez, and a young Benicio del Toro is menacing as Sanchez' muscle, Dario. Carey Lowell and Talisa Soto are sultry and powerful as Bond girls Pam and Lupe.
Desmond Llewelyn and Robert Brown return as Q and M, but the consistent face of Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny is replaced by Caroline Bliss. The remainder of the cast support very well.
I found it very refreshing to watch Dalton play a more personal and humane Bond. It lended a more believable factor to the MI6 agent than in previous films, and showed a vulnerable side. The film did not do so well at the US box office, and I believe this may have been due to Dalton's previous attempt at Bond two years before, The Living Daylights. That film was not so good, as the plot was very weak.
Director John Glen takes the seat for his fifth and final Bond film. He does very well in recreating the magic in some of his previous efforts, and makes the characters very believable as well as the plot. This is not a traditional Bond film as it does not follow the mould of the agent's previous missions, but it is very refreshing to see him in a different light. This may have been one of the reasons behind the lack of success of the film, and also one of the contributing factors to it being Dalton's second and final film as Bond, and many people may not have liked this film because of the change - not me! I liked it!
Dalton's better Bond film - a refreshing angle on 007.
The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £6.98.
This review may also be posted on ciao.co.uk.
Thanks for reading.
Licence To Kill was released in 1989 and was the second and final film to feature Timothy Dalton as James Bond. The film was more violent than previous films and featured the first script to be tailored for Timothy Dalton's more restrained and realistic approach to the character. The film sank in the crowded US market of that summer and left a cloud over the series. When it resumed again in the nineties Pierce Brosnan was Bond and Timothy Dalton quickly became the forgotten man. A case can be made however for Dalton being an interesting and very underrated James Bond. I would also add that, while not flawless by any means, Licence To Kill is better than any of the James Bond films that have been produced since 1989.
Licence To Kill pushes Bond even further away from the comic tone of Roger Moore's tenure than Dalton's 1987 debut in The Living Daylights. Dalton was more human (for James Bond) and faced more real world and topical threats in his two films. In Licence To Kill Bond seeks revenge on Franz Sanchez, a Drug Baron (and ruler of a fictional Latin American country). The film begins with Bond at the wedding of his CIA friend Felix Leiter and Leiter's bride to be, Della. This pre-title sequence does a good job in establishing the sense of adventure and friendship they share when they go after Sanchez' private plane in a DEA Helicopter and capture him.
Sanchez is rescued by Frogmen when his Prison van is hijacked and forced into the sea and then extracts his revenge on Leiter. In an uncommonly violent scene for a James Bond film, Sanchez feeds Leiter to a shark. Leiter survives but his wife Della is murdered. Bond then goes nuts, resigns from MI6 and pursues Sanchez, eventually (with shades of 'Yojimbo')
establishing himself within the drug Baron's organisation in order to attempt to destroy it...
After beginning the film in Miami, Licence To Kill is set for the most part in Sanchez' fictional country. The film was shot in Mexico rather than Pinewood/Europe and the lack of the usual globetrotting locations does give the film a slightly different and perhaps more restricted atmosphere than other Bond films. This is one criticism that some levelled at the film, the others being Timothy Dalton's serious treatment of the role, with extra violence (LTK earned a 15 certificate in the UK) and less humour, and the topical plot and villain, replete with palatial mansions over swimmimg pools with casual clothes and cardigans. For some, Licence To kill was a bit too earnest and seemed to be somewhat influenced by the hit television show of the time 'Miami Vice'. One of the charms of the Bond films for me is that each of them is dressed up in the fashions and fads of the time they were made in and Licence To kill's eighties feel is not a major problem for me because I'm aware that the film was made in 1988/89! As for Miami Vice, despite the Florida location work, Drug Baron, and abundance of speedboats, Licence To Kill is still closer to Ian Fleming than Don Johnson in a pastel suit.
The increased violence (Bond shoots someone with a spear gun, Leiter is fed to a shark, Sanchez puts someone in a decompression chamber etc) reflects the era the film was made in too. The eighties was a violent period for action films and Licence To kill was clearly an attempt to make Bond more hard-edged and dangerous in the face of hit films like Die Hard, Predator and Lethal Weapon. For some people Licence To Kill didn't feel much like a James Bond film. I don't entirely agree with that view but I can sympathise with it because 2006's Casino Royale felt bugger all like a James Bond film to me and didn't even have James Bond in it.
The generic aspects of the locations and atmosphere are not greatly helped by Michael Kamen's unmemorable score which lacks a certain punch. John Barry declined to return after The Living Daylights and you simply can't replace a John Barry. Whoever you get in is going to suffer from the comparison. In my opinion however, Licence To Kill's flaws and grumbles are offset by the fact that the film is well made, often very stylish and a lot of fun once it gets going.
Carey Lowell and Talisa Soto, a slight twist on the usual Good Girl/Bad Girl Bond tradition are well cast as the love interests for Bond. Both girls were models but did well enough to make a full time move into acting. Davi is great as Sanchez, an unpredictable and often menancing villain and the supporting cast features the likes of Anthony Zerbe and a young Benicio del Toro. The role of Q was very wisely expanded and he provides much needed humour and lightness when he joins Bond in the field.
There are stunts galore, with scuba-diving, sharks, a Raiders Of The Lost Ark inspired flying boat sequence, an expensive looking casino scene and a wonderful and explosive climax featuring several fuel laden Tanker trucks. The much malinged Mr Dalton is visible in several dangerous looking situations and must be credited for his willingness to do as much stuntwork as possible. Dalton's Bond swears, smokes, bleeds, makes mistakes, has a bad hair day, and yet, remains Bond. He's a bit theatrical at times but can be credited with attempting to do something new with the role. Dalton could use subtext and in a moment near the beginning of the film he is forced to accept a garter from Della who informs him that he'll be the next to marry now. We know that Bond's wife was murdered by Blofeld in the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Dalton accepts the garter and with one outwardly polite but strained smile conveys this information. Sanchez' decision to attack Felix and Della on their wedding day makes it all the more personal for Bond.
I can understand Licence To Kill being one of the more divisive films in the series but I would defend the film as one of the more inspired and interesting, if atypical, entries. I think Dalton was an underrated Bond and Licence To kill is quite simply an excellent and entertaining film. There are faults, as I've mentioned, but overall the film is more than the sum of its parts in contrast to many other Bonds where the contrast is true. You do genuinely care about Bond and Pam as they go after sanchez and it was a nice touch to highlight the affection that Q and Moneypenny feel for Bond. Both try to support him despite his resignation. I liked many of the other touches, such as Sanchez using a TV evangalist as a front for his Drugs Empire. US singer Wayne Newton has a lot of fun with this supporting role.
The older Bond films (by that I suppose I mean pre-Brosnan) just seem to be more cohesive and a bit more solid to me than the post Cubby Broccoli efforts. The relationship between the plot and the inevitable action seems less jarring and more skillfully meshed.
So overall, Licence To Kill was, for its time, a radical if doomed attempt to shake up the franchise. To be honest though, I've never had too many problems enjoying the film for its mixture of stunts, sharks, girls, tanker trucks, explosions, and cardigans. It features a Bond that I have a great deal of time for and has, despite its 'gritty' reputation, several good lines and laughs.
Definitely one of the more interesting and solid additions to the franchise.
The new stuff for the Ultimate Edition includes 'Ground Check', 'On The Set with John Glen' and some brief deleted scenes. The Ultimate Editions are chock full of amazing extras but you be familiar with much of the material if you've bought any of the Bond 'Special' Editions on DVD before. Still irresistable for completists though!
Audio commentary from director John Glen and members of the cast
Audio commentary from Michael G. Wilson and members of the crew
Deleted scenes with introductions from director John Glen
'Inside Licence To Kill' documentary
'Behind The Scenes' production featurette
'Licence To Kill' music video performed by Gladys Knight
'Kenworth Trucks' featurette
'If You Asked Me To' music video performed by Patti Labelle
On the set with John Glen
On location with Peter Lamont
Ground check with Corkey Fornof
Interactive guide to the world of 'Licence To Kill'
'007 - Licence To Restore': a featurette detailing the Bond Ultimate Edition restoration process
Welcome to me review of Licence to Kill on DVD. I am reviewing the 2 disc set, which has been relased as part of the Ultimate Edition range.
In 1989, after the success of Timothy Daltons first Bond film The Living Daylights, a second Bond film with Dalton in the lead role was released, this proved to be one of the most controversial releases of a Bond film in its history as the censors in the UK decided to give it a 15 rating due to the story and violence as well as cut scenes and parts of the soundtrack, where as Batman that was released less than a month later was the first film that achieved a newly created 12 certificate. Bond was given a 15 certificate because this is a harder hitting film and based more in reality due to its main villain being a South American drugs baron which at the time was getting substantial amount of media coverage on the channels of CNN due to what the Americans were doing.
This was the first Bond film in the series that was not based on a novel of Ian Fleming, this gave the producers an opportunity to really let rip with the characters and take a gint leap of faith in what direction the film should go. Although there are some names that are taken from other novels that were not used when the film was made such as Milton Krest who was nabbed from the short story The Hildebrand Rarity. The shark attack on Leiter was lifted directly from Live and Let Die.
Bonds long term colleague and friend Felix Leiter, who is now working for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is getting married to his partner Della.. Bond is best man at Leiters wedding and before the service is due to start Leiter is alerted by the DEA that Sanchez, the villain that he was tracking is active in the nearby area, as this is a golden opportunity for capturing Sanchez, Bond goes along with Leiter and the DEA and through means of effective use of a coastguard helicopter and its winch, capture Sanchezs light aircraft mid-flight and escort him to custody. Oh, as well as landing by parachute at the front of the church the capture takes place in the pre-title sequence. After the title sequence is run with a dynamic title track by Galdys Knight, the story continues. Sanchez escapes and in turn kidnaps Leiter ensuring that his bride has no chance of escaping, Sanchez cuts gher throat. Leiter is then fed to the sharks but survives long enough to be discovered by Bond who visits his house being concerned. Bond is furious that something like this has happened and goes out to revenge the drug lord Franz Sanchez.
The plot is basically one of revenge as Bond not only resigns from the service but also attacks M as well. This is a much darker Bond and a far more violent film than we have ever seen in previous films and is a complete departure from previous actors like Roger Moore. Bond is more the blunt killing tool that he was in the novels and this comes across on the screen very well as he is focussed on removing a problem and is determined that this should be done at whatever cost. A different kind of Bond as he is very sharp when talking to people around him.
First time since Thunderball, we see Q in the field with a much larger role than what he has had in the past and effectively become a colleague working with Bond. In the film he takes a two week holiday and pays Bond a visit to hand over equipment that Bond needs to get the job done, this leads to a very touching scene between Bond and Q where Bond tells Q that he couldnt have the job without him. You get the feeling from this that Q is effectively looking after Bond and is quite proud of him. This type of scene up till then was quite refreshing to see as this not the normal type of exchange between the two characters. It is also the first time that we see a Government retrieval team sent in to recover Bond who has now been classified as a rogue agent. This was a fresh idea and also an original one, it is just a shame that we dont see more of this type of situation as it works well and displays the dark and sometimes dangerous workings of the organisation to what Bond has attempted to leave behind him.
The romantic involvement is this film is also a break from the norm, we have two women, one an ex-CIA pilot and the other is Sanchezs girlfriend. Guess what? Bond gets them both. In fact from one line in the film you do get the impression he had ridden her like Seabiscuit!!!!
There are a lot of differences between previous films in the franchise and this one, mainly the fact that we see a lot more blood than before. This is apparent in the second half of the film where reactions that controls the story as it begins to unfold. Also a lot of the characters are seen smoking as well. And although this is now condoned at the time it led to a smoking warning being given within the end credits. This was the first time that this had occurred. Although I wont go to much on the ending it is quite chilling to see how the villain is disposed off, even half way through he film you see the full evilness of Sanchez as to how he deals with people who he believes have betrayed him. Milton Krest being a good example where use of a decompression tank and an axe give a frightening execution, the scene is shown in its full glory.
Even though the film was made in 1989, the special effects are quite impressive as most of them on a large scale, you do get the impression of size as this works with the direction. As you would expect from John Glen, who has previously directed most of the franchise, the direction of the film is sound and quick paced, the camera angles not only build the tension but also get you thinking as to what will happen next. John Glen has directed this with gusto and perfection. Thankfully the Director has decided that the use of the back projection has been completely abandoned and the actual actors can be seen hanging off vehicles and so on, this not only give a certain amount of gravity but then bases it permanently in reality. As well as including his signature white bird in the film has managed to deliver a top notch action film that today still entertains.
Timothy Daltons second outing sees him don the Tuxedo again as 007, this time the script is written with a more aggressive story line that gels very well with how Dalton wishes to play the character. Looking a little older than before, Dalton definitely meets the criteria of Bond not only in looks but also in stature, I have always found him to be a believable actor in this role, because of his mannerism and his delivery of his lines. He acts more with his eyes than with his fists. Throughout this film, his facial features may not give much away but you can see his anger and fury build up in his eyes that tell you he is not at all happy. In Licence to Kill he looks more relaxed as than what he was in The Living Daylights. This film suits him perfectly ans we see his rendition of Bond effectively break loose and let rip with the mission his has given himself.
Refreshingly the villain of the film is played by Robert Davi is unique in the series. He is not after world domination, not after starting World War III. He just wants to be the leading provider of the famous Columbian white powder. The actor stands at well over 6 foot tall and Davi himself gives a menacing performance throughout, he is very good in the part and gives an ambiance off when ever he is on screen that tells you he isnt a person who should be messed with. Davi was previously in Die Hard before Licence to Kill. When you see the character of Sanchex torture a person which does happen throughout the film you really are convinced that the villain is more of a reality based persona than a creation of Ian Fleming.
The Bond Girls in this film are again a departure from what we have previous had to tolerate. The characters of Pam Bouvier and Lupe Lamora are complete opposites and this can be clearly seen in the acting as well as there are sometimes that the actress playing the character of Lupe Lamora as the delivery of lines is such a standard that it looks like it is being read of a cue card. Whether or not Talisa Soto was chosen because she meets the standard to fill the part of a girlfriend type character I am not sure, but she just cannot act at all. On the other hand the character of Bouvier played by Carey Lowell is a shining element to this film, the character whose background is an ex-CIA pilot is totally different; she is basically a Tom-boy who is involved with heavy guns and always up for a brawl, she was a perfect match for Bond and the perfect female for Bond to be teamed with. Something that had not happened since Moonraker in 1979.
Anthony Zerbe plays Milton Krest, a villain and assistant to Sanchez. He effectively oversees all the operations that are carried out. He works very closely to Sanchez and is his right hand man. Zerbe is a well known actor for films such as The Omega Man opposite Charlton Heston. He has also appeared in a number of well known franchises mainly as a villain.
Robert Brown plays M for the last time, he had played M since 1983 in Octopussy and Bernard Lee had passed away, he is only seen on screen for 6 minutes in total throughout the film. I feel that he was underused and although he is involved in a key scene where Bond resigns, he could have been utilised more. Miss Moneypenny played by Caroline Bliss is only in one scene, this was her last Bond film as well. Although the scene she is in is typical Moneypenny worrying about James, it is a scene that could have easily been cut and you feel that it was here just to ensure that the regular characters are present.
Overall this is the probably the best gathering of actors in a Bond film in a long while as the cast are well applied to the roles they have been given.
The soundtrack of the film was orchestrated by the late Michael Kaman; he has overseen a lot of films like Lethal Weapon and the Die Hard series. The music for my taste is a bit too Latin for my liking. Yes it is set in South America, but to do the Bond theme in a Latin style is a little too much. Throughout the film the music does jump up on you at the right points and does genuinely up the ante in the action scenes, especially the sequence involving the Kenwood 18 wheelers which I have deliberately avoided from mentioning as I do not want to give any spoilers. As with The Living Daylights a different song was used on the end titles as with the beginning. At the beginning we have Gladys Knight banging out the title song of Licence to Kill. I felt that worked better than A-ha as this was more of a Bond song. For purists out there it also has the same opening notes as Goldfinger. Upon release of the 7 it reached Number 2 in the Top 40 and was the second highest chart position for a Bond theme.
The end song If You Want Me To is sang by Patti Labelle and was also released. This was again a slight departure as this is really nothing more than the song that people will leave the cinema by and is simply forgotten and in a majority of cases there is no one there to hear it. Unfortunately the person who usually oversees the music score, John Barry was seriously ill at the time and through his illness was not available to score the music for the film.
This probably shouldnt be in this section, but the film has been released on DVD totally unedited. Hoorah!!! Not only does that mean you get the 17 seconds of footage that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) cut out but also some additional screams on the soundtrack at the beginning of the film Top stuff. The extras on this 2 disc DVD set are awesome. Bearing in mind that the film has been restored and the soundtrack has been re-mixed into DTS 5.1 then this is exceptionally good value for money. Those with a sound system will no doubt be savouring the thought of listening to this, specifically for the explosions, which in this film there are plenty of. The extras are as follows .
Subtitles for hard of hearing
Release and Teaser Trailers
Commentary - featuring John Glen and Michael G. Wilson.and crew members
Inside Licence to Kill
Kenworth Truck featurette
Bond 89: On the Set with John Glen
On Location with Peter Lamont
Ground Check with stunt pilot Corkey Fornof
Behind the Scenes production featurette
Licence to Kill music video performed by Gladys Knight
If You Asked Me To music video performed by Patti LaBelle
Interactive guide into the world of Licence to Kill
Deleted scenes with introductions by director John Glen
A great assembly of features have been put together; the deleted scenes have always been something that has always fascinated me as to why they have actually become a deleted scene in the first place. On this occasion the scenes are rather meaningless and do not add much to the film. In some cases these scenes are only memorable for the product placement that is shown in them are rather shallow.
The top notch documentaries tell you what difficulties the production crew would encounter whilst filming in Mexico at high altitude, as well as the problems they had filming the climax of the movie with the trucks. These are not only informative but also give a very good perspective of what has to be done on set. The music videos are also interesting to watch as dont forget this was the late eighties. The image gallery gives some promo shots as well as shots taken on set and are quite a good mix of black and white and colour photos.
Don't forget that the film has been re-mastered as well so the picture quality is not only crisp and sharp but also a pleasure to watch because of this. As is usual wit these releases there is a choice of soundtrack, either Dolby or DTS. Brilliant!!
Since the film was released, it has slowly become one of my favourites due to the fact that it is a more adult orientated film with adult themes. I only just managed to get into the Cinema when it was released and at the time didnt enjoy this film compared with the previous one. Now I enjoy this more as I understand the scope of the film more. The film itself truly falls into the underrated category as it is an enjoyable film with the lead character taken out of his comfort zone and Bond dictating what he has to do himself to get the job done.
As an entry into the franchise it is a very good film, in recent years it has not been shown on TV. It is a shame to think that this is an underrated film as more effort to move away from the formula has been made than in the Pierce Brosnan era that apart from GoldenEye which even though was fresh, it still kind of played it safe along the lines of the Bond formula.
Watching this for its entire 133 minutes, I felt a direct and distinct link with Casino Royale, the characteristics of Dalton are very similar to how Daniel Craig plays his character of Bond, a lot is done with the eyes. I believe that this can only be deemed as a good thing, both films were made nigh on twenty years apart anyway. If they were following each other in the order of continuity then I would be concerned, but this goes to show how close to the novels the actors believe in playing there respective versions of Bond. This is a big thumbs up and maybe also shows what couldve been achieved if Dalton had made a third film.
The film was really being geared up for an American market as this is where the most income can be achieved, to do this the title had to be changed from Licence Revoked to Licence to Kill as it was not understood what the word Revoked actually meant. With a weak marketing campaign and a somewhat limp film poster the film was deemed to be a failure in the States as it did not reach the intended targets. Elsewhere targets were exceeded with ticket sales. This in turn meant a review had to be done to freshen up and revitalise a franchise that was deemed by some to be in crisis. With a 6 year hiatus between this film and the next the production team did exactly that with a new writing team and director. At the end of the film it still says James Bond will return.
Personally this film means a lot to me due to the fact that I met the cast on 9th June 1989. That day there was a strike at the BBC, so as the recording was rescheduled without any tickets being distributed Radio 1 offered the first 500 people to the Shepherds Bush Theatre a seat in the audience of the then very popular chat show Wogan, who that day was recording a James Bond Special with the cast of the film, I was at college at the time and had a free afternoon, so I thought what the hell!!! After the recording the stars came out the Stage Door and signed autographs, I met Timothy Dalton and we spoke briefly. For a fan, I was in my Utopia. That day I also saw Cubby Broccoli, the producer of the franchise. Also I met both Robert Davi and Talisa Soto upon there departure. The segment with Q was pre-recorded due to availability problem with Desmond Llewellyn.
This film will always be remembered by Bond fans as the last Bond film of the original run. It was also last of something for a number of reasons it was the last time that John Glen would direct a Bond film. It was the last Bond film for 6 years due to legal problems that prevented production of further films. It was the last film that Albert R Broccoli would produce as he shortly passed away after the film was released. It was the last time that Richard Maibaum wrote the script as he passed away in early 1991.
Although this is released in an ultimate edition 2 Disc set it has also been released in a singular disc style as well. These are still available at places like Tesco and Sainsburys as well as the usual places of HMV and Virgin, process for the two disc range from £9.99 to £16.99, while the inferior one disc is available from £5 upwards. One word of advice would be to get the 2 disc while you can as it is now on limited stock runs. So this will be a collectors opportunity to get these while you can. Originally they were released in time for Casino Royale last November. Although there was a six year break after this film, James Bond would returm in GoldenEye in 1995.
Thanks for reading and until next time take care.
Film: Licence to Kill Film Number: 16 Year: 1989 Bond: Timothy Dalton Bond Girl: Lupe (Sanchez's mistress) and Pam Bouvie Villain(s): Sanchez Sidekick(s): - Song: Gladys Knight Director: John Glen M: Robert Brown Moneypenny: Caroline Bliss Pre title scene: Felix Leiter is getting married but on the way to the wedding, Leiter and Bond (the best man) are called away to capture the notorious drug dealer Sanchez. After successfully doing this, the two agents parachute into the church and Leiter gets married Plot: Sanchez is a big drug dealer and has bribed most of South America into giving him freedom. Sanchez after being freed (he bribes a US policeman) wants revenge on Felix and does so by killing his wife and feeding Felix to the sharks. He then goes about dealing drugs to the rest of the world by developing a liquid which looks like normal petrol but when separated makes drugs, making it easy to transport around the world. This film gives Q his biggest ever role and he performs it perfectly Comment: Out of all the films I feel this had the most realistic plot and had some great scenes in it (such as the tankers at the end). The role of Q was fantastic and the Bond was not only sexy but clever and astute with it. I have always liked the character of Felix from the CIA in previous films and this film also gives him a larger role. The only thing I don’t like about this film is the fake TV evangelist, he is just irritating and not necessary. There have been 19 James Bond films to date (excluding the almost comical and unofficial Never Say Never Again). I feel that this film rates at number 10. You will have to read the rest of my Bond related opinions if you want to know which film was my favourite. Of course, you will probably agree with my rankings, but I think that adds to the whole beauty of the 007 serie
s - everyone has their favourite for different reasons
The James Bond films have become such an institution that it's got to the stage where there's really not a lot of point in talking about them. You either like them or you don't. Which means that me deciding to write an opinion about one of them is completely self-indulgent and irrelevant, not to mention painfully transparent in a "give me money" kind of way. I'm going to write it anyway. I don't know why, but this film really winds me up. As I said, there's no point trying to look at James Bond films as if they were proper cinema or anything. The only criteria by which people judge Bond films these days is how they compare to other Bond films. Who's the best Bond? Who's the sexiest Bond girl? The stupidest gimmick employed by a villain? That kind of thing. And when you subject it to that kind of scrutiny, License To Kill really doesn't hold up too well at all. So we all know what to expect from a Bond film, right? Pre-credit sequence where he gets chucked out of a plane or something. Titles featuring lots of naked women. Bond gets sent on mission by M, is given gadgets by Q, flirts with Moneypenny. Goes on mission, seduces villain's girlfriend, beats villain at cards, has lots of escapades before despatching chief villain and (usually) his brutish henchman in some kind of inventive way. Gives the villain's girlfriend one last seeing to, with some piece of outrageous innuendo as the closing line of the film. It's a tried and tested formula that's been doing pretty well ever since Goldfinger. Unfortunately you occasionally get a film which tries to shake things up a bit, and usually ends up falling flat on its face. On Her Majesty's Secret Service was a huge flop, and I'm sure that that was down to the monumentally depressing ending as much as George Lazenby's shortcomings as an actor. License To Kill is another such film. When Timothy Dalton took over as Bond
there was a lot of publicity that suggested that they were going to make the character a lot more grim and realistic. The quips and innuendo were going to go, as were the outlandish situations and gadgetry. Perhaps this was an inevitable reaction to the Roger Moore years. His version of Bond had been just a little bit too cosy towards the end - a definite movement away from that was obviously needed. However, in re-vamping a popular film series, you can't just throw away all the elements that made it popular in the first place. The Connery/Moore transition worked because, although they had radically different ways of playing the character, the films themselves didn't really have to change too much. Unfortunately in this case things went badly wrong. Dalton is certainly not a bad actor, far from it, and he wasn't a bad Bond, either. He played the part pretty well, within the parameters he was given. But he wasn't a likeable Bond. Connery and Moore (and Brosnan) all have their little faults, but fundamentally I like all of them. Sadly not Dalton. He was too earnest all the time - even when he lightened up he sounded like the troubles of the world were weighing down on him. License To Kill wasn't his first film as Bond, that was The Living Daylights. I can't remember much about it, despite having seen it twice. While it obviously didn't imprint itself in my memory too well, I do seem to remember that it was more like the earlier films than License To Kill. There were at least some of the old elements in evidence there. But by the time of License To Kill, the Bond series had clearly decided it needed to catch up with the times. One thing I definitely remember about the Dalton publicity was that the producers of the films were trying to bring him closer to the way the character was in the books. What on earth for? The books are a completely different kettle of fish to the films. They aren't exactly realistic,
but there are no plots to overthrow the world, few stupid gadgets and a lot more gambling (at least in the four that I've read). The character in the films has evolved - Bond on screen bears scant resemblance to Bond in the books. There's a very good reason for that, too - Ian Fleming's Bond wouldn't work on screen. He's too slow, he keeps getting beaten up by the baddies, and he's almost always drunk. The series was the huge success it was because they only kept certain elements of Fleming's character. In spite of this stated claim, mind you, License To Kill doesn't bear that much resemblance to the books. It was the first film that didn't have even a nominal basis in one of Fleming's stories. It had a couple of elements that featured in the books (Felix Leiter being mutilated by a big fish, for instance), but on the whole Bond is far too efficient and successful for this to be true to Fleming's original. Anyway, on to the film. Bond and his old buddy Felix capture an international drug dealer, Sanchez (played by Robert Davi). He's busted from prison by his goons, who kill Felix's wife and have Felix half eaten by a shark. Bond swears revenge, and goes after them. In doing so he gets kicked out of MI6. He tracks down the villain in his lair and there are lots of fights. He seduces the villain's girlfriend and a feisty woman who works for the CIA or something like that, I forget (she's played by Pam Bouvier who's nice to look at). Q turns up to help Bond, and there are lots more fights before the film ends. So what's wrong with it? Leaving aside the Dalton problem, there are plenty of other problems with this. The opening theme is the worst since Moonraker (a minor point really, but Bond themes are important). The story isn't really a James Bond story. South American drug barons are responsible for an awful lot of crime and misery and so on, and to have James Bond tak
e one on rather trivialises the issue. (Yeah, OK, the villain in Live and Let Die was also a drug baron, but he wanted to take over the world anyway, and had a proper secret headquarters and some silly henchmen, so that's OK.) The real world doesn't belong in James Bond films, they only work as escapist entertainment. The violence in the film is over the top and unnecessary. I'm not opposed to violence in films at all, but it seems so completely out of place in a Bond film. Some pretty nasty stuff happens in License To Kill - the final death is shockingly unpleasant. With the plot and the exaggerated violence this resembles a Death Wish film more than a Bond film. There has always been violence in Bond, but it's cartoon violence, fun violence, violence that you wouldn't be ashamed of watching with your grandparents on Christmas Day. This was the first (and I think only) Bond film to get a 15 rating from the BBFC. Another big problem is that, since so much weight is given to the fact that Bond has been fired and is effectively a vigilante, why is this fact completely ignored? He is dismissed by M, but Q still turns up to help him later. There is no point at all in Bond acting alone. Presumably the film-makers just wanted to get across the idea that this was personal - that Bond was doing it out of love for his friend Felix rather than for Queen and Country. But, really, who cares? So little was made of the whole thing that it didn't make any difference who he was working for in the end. License To Kill isn't really a bad film. It's well-acted, and the action scenes are done well. But it's a terrible Bond film. Even Q (who gets a lot more to do than usual) doesn't help things much. It would have been a good Charles Bronson movie, or maybe Bruce Willis. But not James Bond. No one tries to take over the world, none of the villains has a prosthetic body part or superhuman strength, and I don't think t
here's even any gambling in it. Fortunately, with Goldeneye, the production people decided to return to the more traditional style, but with enough tweaks to make it the most enjoyable Bond film for years. License To Kill isn't the worst Bond film, that's probably Octopussy, but it isn't a film that I'd ever go out of my way to see again. I'm just thankful that it wasn't a success, because then all subsequent Bonds would have emulated it, and we'd have lost the unique feeling you get when watching a proper Bond film.
...yes, Carrie Lowell is one of THE best Bond girls, ranking up there with Famke Janssen, Honor Blackman, Ursula Andress (or should that be "undress"...heh heh) and Jane Seymour. She's also one of the best actresses ever to have appeared in a Bond film. Robert Davi is THE best Bond villain...period. Along with Red Grant, possibly. Forget Blofeld, forget Goldfinger, forget Oddjob and Baron Samedi. Davi (The Goonies) plays Sanchez, a drugs baron who cares more about loyalty than he does about money. His wry sense of humour and ice-cold exterior make him believable and dangerous. Timothy Dalton, despite what some people say, is the best Bond since Connery, coming closer in this movie to Ian Flemings creation than any actors prior. Although he doesn't have Roger Moore's laid back, camp "quality" which many people have come to know and love, it has to be said that if Dalton hadn't stepped in when he did with The Living Daylights, the Bond franchise could well have been lost forever, with A View To A Kill having left a sour taste in everyone's mouths. In Licence To Kill, the writers have toned down Bond's one-liners, and given Dalton his own dry wit. Bond is almost like a reflection of the villain in this movie...driven relentlessly by one aim, sacrificing his job, his licence to kill and his reputation to achieve it. Licence To Kill sees Bond go after drug lord Sanchez to avenge the attempted murder of his friend Felix Leiter (David Heddison, reprising the role he played in Live and Let Die) and the slaughter of Leiter's new bride. Told by M to drop the vendetta, Bond quits MI6 and flees before his gun can be taken from him. Wanted by the British Government, Bond teams up with spunky ex-army pilot Pam Bouvier (Lowell), a previous client of Leiter's, to crack Sanchez' drug ring and bring him to justice. Along the way Bond comes into contact with Lupe (Talisa Soto), Sanchez' rebellious g
irlfriend, and a love triangle begins to form. Will Bond get the bad guy? Which babe will he go for? Will he ever get his licence to kill back? You'll have to watch the film to find out! Licence To Kill is a more violent and cold film than recent outings, feeling more like the early Connery movies than the Roger Moore offerings. Bond works in subtle ways in this movie, using his wit and stealth to play the villains off against one another. However, it does have its funny moments, and interactions between the characters offer some light relief. Q makes an enjoyable appearance, and stays a little longer on our screens than usual. Talisa Soto is NOT a good actress, but she's simply great to look at. Benincio Del Toro (Snatch) appears in his first big-screen role as Sanchez' henchman. Michael Kamen's score is exotic and original, but never really kicks into high gear like a David Arnold or John Barry score. However, the title song, sung by Gladys Knight, is one the best. John Glen directs once again with skill and focus. A great Bond film is the result, and one that will stand the test of time for longer than most of its contenders. The DVD is a treat...fabulous picture and sound quality with a remixed 5.1 track, plus audio commentaries, trailers, 3 documentaries, 2 music videos and some very slick animated menus with sound effects and music from the movie. What are you waiting for?!
License to Kill is by far the hardest edged of the Bond series. Gone are the wisecracks introduced to the genre by Roger Moore. In comes a much more violent (and also more believable) Bond, a man to whom loyalty is more important than anything else. This was Timothy Dalton's second Bond film, and sadly also his last. He brought a new style to Bond, and could well have gone on to make more films, but sadly it was not to be. I feel he was very underrated as a Bond actor. When Bond's best friend Felix Leiter is attacked by a drugs baron he had helped to imprison, and his new bride ruthlessly murdered, 007 goes after the men behind the attack. He sets out to kill off each one of the men who attacked his friend, setting them up against each other. Robert Davi is very convicing as the ruthless drug dealer Sanchez, a man who commands respect from his subordinates. He has a very menacing nature which is ideal for the character. He also has a nice line in pets - an iguana, rather less tactile than Blofeld's cat! This is one of my favourite Bond films, the plot is excellent and Dalton's acting brings something new to the character of 007. The ending is suitably apt, when Bond kills Sanchez with the lighter given to him by Felix at his wedding. Revenge is sweet...
Licence to Kill is officially the 16th James Bond film. Timothy Dalton stars as 007; this film was especially tailored for him. The plot in this film is that Felix, Bonds friend is captured when he is on his honeymoon and served up as shark food, 007 is outraged he is determined to take revenge on Felixs killer, he almost seems to become neurotic about revenge. Bond is then informed by the British intelligence that he is having his licence to kill revoked. But this doesn't hold back Bond, he is determined to carry on with his mission anyway, that is to destroy multi-billionaire crime king Franz Sanchez and his central drug empire. In keeping up with the other Bond films, the film featured ingenious stunts, beautiful girls and exotic locations such as Mexico and Florida's Key West. The film features more violence than usual, and Robert Davi who plays Franz Sanchez makes an excellent villain, and top model Carey Lowell plays the feisty classy heroine. The soundtrack to this film is way above the usual standard, definitely a classic Bond film. To enjoy the film you have to look past Moore and Connery and see Dalton as Bond if you can do this, you will love the film.
Having just witnessed his best friend's wedding, James Bond (Timothy Dalton) is shocked when he learns that ruthless drug runner Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) has assaulted the couple on their honeymoon, killing the bride. Assisted by the twiggy Drug Enforcement Agent Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) and the gadget wizard Q (Patrick Llewelyn), Bond resigns from Her Majesty's Secret Service and pursues justice on his own. Perhaps the darkest of the 007 films, LICENCE TO KILL exhibits a previously unseen side of James Bond. Maniacal at times, ex-agent 007 detonates everything in his way on the road to avenging his friend's bride. The 16th instalment of the James Bond series, LICENCE TO KILL veers away from the pick-up artistry and light interlocution of former 007 films. Instead, director John Glen gives the audience a crystal clear view of the man behind the martini glass. Digitally restored.