6.6/10
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Licence to Kill (1989)

James Bond goes rogue and sets off to unleash vengeance on a drug lord who tortured his best friend, a C.I.A. agent, and left him for dead and murdered his bride after he helped capture him.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Q
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President Hector Lopez (as Pedro Armendariz)
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Storyline

James Bond is on possibly his most brutal mission yet. Bond's good friend, Felix Leiter, is left near death, by drug baron Franz Sanchez. Bond sets off on the hunt for Sanchez, but not everyone is happy. MI6 does not feel Sanchez is their problem and strips Bond of his license to kill making Bond more dangerous than ever. Bond gains the aid of one of Leiter's friends, known as Pam Bouvier and sneaks his way into the drug factories, which Sanchez owns. Will Bond be able to keep his identity secret, or will Sanchez see Bond's true intentions? Written by simon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Out for revenge. Glimpse behind the cool facade of 007. And see how sweet revenge can really be. [USA poster] See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for action violence and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

14 July 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

License to Kill  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$34,667,015 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eric Clapton and Vic Flick were asked to write and perform the title song along with composer Michael Kamen. Apparently, they re-recorded and made a video of a new version of the James Bond theme with the guitar riff played by Flick. However, the theme was rejected by the producers and not used. See more »

Goofs

When the people at the church look up at the helicopter holding the plane, it is at a low altitude yet it is immediately shown thousands of feet higher to allow the parachuters to jump out. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
AWACS radar operator: We have a mid-course deviation. Target heading 036, 126 miles, bearing 062, Havana VOR.
Voice of DEA agent: He's landing at Cray Key. Advise Key West Drug Enforcement.
AWACS radar operator: Roger, sir. AWACS to Key West. Key West Drug Enforcement, please come in.
Voice of DEA agent: If they hurry, they just might be able to grab the bastard.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the tail end of the credits: "James Bond Will Return" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Keeping Up with the Joneses (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

La Bamba
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Michael Kamen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Dalton's best run in the role
17 August 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The worst-performing movie in the Bond movie in terms of grosses, it probably failed because it wasn't really a Bond at all. True, it is the character Fleming created, and Q is in there, but this extremely violent thriller with its strong female characterisation (Carey Lowell, perhaps the only Bond girl with `balls') is not a neat fit with the others.

The only one of the franchise created especially with star Timothy Dalton in mind (perhaps the sexiest Bond of them all?) it is a tale of loyalty, drug cartels, sharks, and 007 losing his licence and setting off as a vigilante. Lowell plays agent Pam Bouvier, who shines in a bar fight and gives 007 as good as he gets. And boy, do these two have chemistry together!

The only problem with this movie is that it gets so truncated on its TV showings that it loses a lot of its point (and in the worst edit I saw, its sense). There is perhaps too much going on - the abused Latino bimbo, the crooked evangelist, the Japanese businessmen touring the factory, the casino …

Not at all as bad as many commentators at the time and since have suggested. What a pity the series stagnated after this before its big budget Pierce Bronson revival. Dalton should have had the chance to show us more of the character he portrays in `Licence to Kill'. And what a great theme tune from Gladys Knight.


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