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James Bond and his American colleague Felix Leiter arrest the drug lord Sanchez who succeeds in escaping and takes revenge on Felix and his wife. Bond knows but just one thing: revenge.
One of my favourite Bond films, this one shook off the Moore-era humour and instead had something far more violent and realistic.
Carey Lowell is a wonderfully sparky girl associate for 007, even if Talisa Soto is a bit of a drip. The basic premise of this one is that Bond goes solo and rogue after witnessing the murder of his friend Felix Leiter's bride on her wedding day, and the mutilation of Leiter.
The bad guys are an international drug cartel led by Robert Davi, and there are lots of cover stories and twists to keep the interest, including a corrupt man of God (Wayne Newton). Benicio del Toro is a monster of a sidekick and there are some…
"I help people with problems."
"More of a problem eliminator."
Bond gets personal.
Licence to Kill opens with a brilliantly cross-cut, two-level conflict: James Bond and Felix Leiter are on a mission to stop dangerous drug lord Franz Sanchez—and Bond has to get Leiter back in time for his wedding. They succeed, of course, but Sanchez escapes and captures Leiter. Assuming the worst, Bond embarks on a quest for vengeance.
The motivation in almost every single James Bond film up until this point (with the possible but questionable exception of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) has been to save the world and have as much fun doing so as possible. Some Bad Guy gets his hands on some…
”I’ll do anything for a woman with a knife.”
Back in 80s many critics slammed Timothy Dalton’s portrayal of James Bond and even called him a hopeless actor but personally I adore his style, he is not as lusty as Roger Moore and unlike Sean Connery – who was acting like a man enjoying his vacations – he approaches Bond’s character in a more serious way, he is not a superhero, there are numerous occasions where he is beaten and bloody and fortunately there’s no sign of Roger Moore’s bland humor. What I really like about both Licence to Kill and Living Daylights is that they are darker and more serious films, Bond is no longer the humorous and charming…
Like all Bonds, this film is a product of its time. Right at the the end of the 80's, the influence was harder, darker action films filled with baddies pushing drugs. Enter an okay script and Timothy Dalton as a pretty good Bond you have a mediocre film. But the hardness of the direction, the rogue agent spin, Davi's cool performance, and the truly awesome action set pieces and stunts make this a fun watch.
Two other random highlights:
- Lowell ordering a shaken martini by making the jerk off action
- Del Toro really hamming up a line about... rape
HE DISAGREED WITH SOMETHING THAT ATE HIM
Licence to Kill feels the least ‘Bond' of all the Bond films. It’s a much harder film to the previous films in the series, all of which were a PG until this 15-rated film came along. This is due to much gorier death scenes (the air pressure chamber, for one) and a huge emphasis on narcotics. And not forgetting Bond’s potty-mouth. I think this is the first film in which 007 swears. This is a Bond film for adults!
Licence to Kill is a much more realistic film. The gadgetry is kept to a minimum and, instead of tracking down a megalomaniac hell bent on world domination, Bond is on a highly personal…
Marking the final James Bond outing for director, John Glen, and two-time 007, Timothy Dalton, "License to Kill" is a sturdy entry in the famed franchise. Reflecting its era and dispensing with the series' sillier touches, the film is a timely piece of work that boasts a serious tone. While it may lack the personality of the series' best films, "License to Kill" is an engaging and sharp member of the Bond canon.
Refreshingly, "License to Kill" does not find its hero saving the world. Here, Bond is focused on vengeance when Felix Leiter, long-time Bond associate, and his wife are caught in a drug lord's line of fire. Turning his back on MI6, Bond strikes out on his own…
A criminally underrated Bond film.
wayne newton as a villain, benecio del toro and a darker bond sign me up
The lowest grossing Bond film and as a result the iconic character disappeared from cinemas for 6 whole years! I find it funny that this is the film that sort of, at least at the time killed the franchise and not say something like Moonraker. Anyway there are some problems with pacing here, although the villain is delightfully insane, Dalton is quite...well boring as 007. The action never really ramps up, the film comes across more like a cop investigating crimes rather then a spy/espionage extravaganza. Having said that it's still an entertaining film, certainly not one of the best but defiantly not one of the worst.
This doesn't really feel like a Bond movie, not a bad flick but missing much of what makes me like the franchise. More crime than spy. More dark than light. Seems odd how fast they turn on Bond after all those years of service. After years of threatening to use sharks, the sharks get used.
"Chainsaw my ass. I know a shark bite when I see one."
BOND: Timothy Dalton
ALLY: Frank McRae as Sharkey
DRINK OR GADGET OF NOTE: Fingeprint gun and more hand delivered by Q
BOND GIRL: Carey Lowell as Pam Bouvier and Talisa Soto as Lupe Lamora
HELPLESSNESS RATING: Bouvier 4/5 holds her own and demands respect, but still gets weird jealous; Soto 3/5
If FOR YOUR EYES ONLY didn't work as a gritty Bond film because it was stuck in the Roger Moore era, then LICENSE TO KILL doesn't work because it's so trying to be a Joel Silver action film that it inadvertently ends up disrupting the Bond formula -- it's almost too much of the thing it wants to be that it ceases to be the thing it was to begin with. Which is a shame, because the idea of James Bond becoming a rogue agent and going on a personal vendetta is filled with potential, something I'm surprised the producers didn't try to do after ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE.
Not terrible, but it doesn't seem much like a Bond movie. Just a standard 80's action movie. (Cop loses friend, must hunt down drug lord)
Hey. Its Baby Bencio!! That is fun.
The movie where Bond went rogue before Daniel Craig did in EVERY SINGLE MOVIE!
Timothy Dalton is exactly what the Bond franchise needed after the silliness of the Roger Moore films. Dalton is more of a hard boiled Bond in the vein of Sean Connery, except perhaps even dryer and more serious. There is comedy in this film but it is comparatively more reserved and less reliant on an abundance of puns and one liners.
It is a much more down to earth affair for 007; it's a personal story of revenge as Bond goes rogue and infiltrates the drug empire of Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) after Felix Leiter was nearly killed alongside his new wife. Helping Bond is the great Carey Lowell as Leiter's friend Pam Bouvier, and she proves to be a…
Aside from a few implausible stunts and a model co-star (Talisa) who needs more acting lessons, this is a super-underrated Bond film!
It's also one of the most violent 007 films pre-Brosnan and pre- Craig! Shark attacks and exploding people in pressure chambers! Holy cow!
Lastly, Robert Davi is pitch perfect as the narco antagonist and his iguana with bling was a nice stylistic touch :D
Highly recommended to Bond fans and action fans alike!
Following discussion on Anna's Fifty Shades of Grey thread, here are a selection of other themes with either a BDSM…
Help me out with this one guys.
"It's Mission Impossible!" is the true peak of cinéma.