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|Index||287 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Licence to Kill was the 16th James Bond film and the last to feature
Timothy Dalton as the spy. The story is focused on Bond stopping drug
dealer Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), who attacked Bond friend, Felix
Leiter (David Hedison). What makes the story different is that Bond has
gone renegade from MI6. Most of the film was shot in Mexico, which i
feels best suits the movie. The are some truly breathtaking scenes. The
stars give their best performance, with Robert Davi giving a really
sinister version of a Bond villain. The characters of M, Q and
Moneypenny return. Q finally gets his due now, with a much expanded
character, who delivers some of the best scene. Caroline Bliss still
create a poor version of Moneypenny. Her screen time is a lot smaller
than the previous adventure, The Living Daylights.
Michael Kamen provides the score this time, but although i like it, it is really a mixed bag. You may like it and you may not. The action sequences are wonderful with a fantastic tanker chase with an explosive finale. The Bond film is a lot grittier this time. This is the only Bond film to date where a villains head is seen exploding. Timothy Dalton gives the audience a troubled, violent vision of Bond which i think is one of the best. Licence to Kill is really one of the Bond films where you need to watch it, to decide whether you like it or not. If you liked the recent blockbuster, Casino Royale, there's a good bet you will enjoy this.
James Bond will return in Goldeneye
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After his brilliant debut in "The Living Daylights" Timothy Dalton returns as James Bond in a darker tale about revenge. I would say this is the grimmest film of the series -- Felix Leiter played with a good deal of warmth by David Hedison is fed to a shark and his wife Della is murdered by Sanchez's henchmen.Sanchez the villain of this film is not the head of SPECTRE but a very successful drug dealer. He is played in a realistic and vicious fashion by Robert Davi. Benicio Del Toro is one of his aides and very effective.Basically the plot is about Bond turning rogue agent, infiltrating Sanchez's organisation and extracting revenge. Timothy Dalton is still as effective as James Bond though the plot doesn't allow him to show much vulnerability.Carey Lowell is attractive as Pam Bouvier and Desmond Llewellyn as Q injects the film with much welcome humour.The stunts are exciting especially the truck chase at the film's climax with director John Glen doing another efficient job at the helm.Michael Kamen writes a rousing score and Gladys Knight sings a wonderfully soulful title song.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I loved this movie back when it first came out in 1989, and it still
holds up well today. Timothy Dalton is absolutely terrific in his
second outing as Bond, and I really wish we could have been treated to
more Dalton outings as 007. He brought a level of humanity to Bond that
really works in a story such as this one in which revenge is a central
theme. One of the things I liked about Dalton's Bond was that he got
enraged when a friend or ally was killed, whereas in some of the other
Bond movies, Bond seemed more indifferent. I can't speak highly enough
of what Dalton did with the role.
Robert Davi makes an equally memorable villain as the drug lord Sanchez. The scene where he has Felix Leiter maimed by the shark is chilling. While Sanchez has a sadistic side to him, Davi also conveys a very interesting code of honor in the character as well, making Sanchez much more than a one-dimensional cookie cutter villain. I put in my top 5 of best Bond villains.
The rest of the cast is excellent. Carey Lowell is a refreshingly capable Bond girl. Anthony Zerbe does well as the sub-villain, Krest. And a very young Benicio del Toro is a standout with his menacing presence as Dario, Sanchez's chief assassin.
The action scenes are thrilling, especially with the gasoline trucks at the end. And Gladys Knight does a good job with the theme song.
I highly recommend Licence to Kill. 10/10.
While he's often branded forgettable or insignificant in the Bond
franchise, Timothy Dalton, while not a conventional bond portrayal
(right of centre in the very early Connery mould) delivered two very
watchable instalments, "Licence to Kill" being an entertaining romp
with attractive ladies and the usual motifs and villains.
Here Bond is compelled to take revenge after his old friend CIA agent Felix Leiter (Hedison, reprising his role from "Live & Let Die" 16 years earlier) is ambushed on his honeymoon to new wife played by Priscilla Barnes. The major villain (Robert Davi) and minor villain (Zerbe, more a nuisance than a serious threat) have joined forces to along with their henchmen, Don Stroud and the under-utilised Everett McGill.
Carey Lowell co-stars in the coveted "Bond Girl" role, perhaps the catalyst that delivered her temporary small-screen stardom as the female lead in "Law & Order" for three seasons. A familiar supporting cast includes Grand L.Bush as a CIA operative, Pedro Armendariz Jnr, Rafer Johnson, Claudio Brook, Frank McRae and Benecio Del Toro in only his second film. And just to underscore the Bond gravitas, Wayne Newton's familiar vocal intonations are also on display, in a rare dramatic role.
There's great use of the shark threat (as was used in previous films, "Thunderball", "For Your Eyes Only") and the gadgets and locations are more elaborate than ever. It's not the greatest Bond adventure in terms of originality or plot, but in my humble opinion, still rates higher than the likes of "A View to a Kill" or "Quantum of Solace" in terms of overall substance. Obviously that's the stuff arguments are made of, suffice to say if you're an avid Bond fan, irrespective of the actor packing the Walther PPK, then "Licence to Kill" will be just fine.
Timothy Dalton is amazing,they should have kept him.The film is a bit messed up,you don't exactly figure out what is happening.His entrance is good in the starting,the bond girl is not that hot.Not much action thats what spoiled this movie.He just goes shoots gets caught goes to a place escapes from there goes to a ship,they have some plan which does not make sense they could directly go to the place.I wanted to give this movie 5 but giving it six because of one the truck chase,specially the scene when they shoot his truck and he takes it over a stone and the other truck gets shot.They ending is also not that great,but Timothy Dalton is a amazing actor,it may miss the bond factor but still worth a watch
My Take: Although darker than the previous adventures, this 2nd effort
from Timothy Dalton is strong, exciting and well executed.
I don't know why the this entry in the Bond series got a very lukewarm acceptance (It was a flop back in 1989?!). I love this entry in the series, one of the best I've seen so far. Timothy Dalton is great as Bond. It has a more serious and personal plot over all the Bonds before. A darker story about Bond avenging the near-death of his friend Felix Leiter (David Hedison, who was the only actor to play the role twice) and the death of Felix's bride and his friend. His vengeance leads him to a plot to stop drug dealer Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), who is responsible for the said crimes, and his plans to extend his drug dealings in the US.
This is not only packed with great action and fantastic stunts (the stunt-filled finale is the best one in years), but also with a great strong plot. The new music by Michael Kamen is also great.Perhaps the only real turn-off is that the film almost gets too serious, and the Bond girls (Carey Lowell and Talisa Soto) are not the strongest ones in the series (still, they're good though). I just wonder, why not give it a much higher rating. I love this Bond, and given that its story is rather dark yet realistic, it's one that will stand the test of time.
Rating: ****1/2 out of 5.
Tim Dalton's second, and ultimately final outing as James Bond was
designed to put 007 in a post-Cold War environment, as the Iron Curtain
was beginning to crumble at the time. Though the plot has been
described as too Miami Vice-ish by some, the film drawed inspiration
from Ian Fleming's literary take on 007, and the story is actually
cobbled together from two Fleming tales(the pressure chamber scene is
directly from Fleming). And of course, Q's gadgets and a fight with
ninjas reminds us that this is still James Bond and not Die Hard or Tom
Our villain this time is Franz Sanchez, a drug lord who controls a vast multinational syndicate. He already has a Central American President in his pocket, and he wishes to expand his empire even further via a merger with Asian mobsters. He may not be trying to blow up London or start World War 3, but Robert Davi plays him like a Latin Goldfinger. And in a possible nod to Blofeld, he has a pet iguana. Bond's CIA counterpart, Felix Leiter, has been after Sanchez for years, but he's stymied by the kingpin's tendency to stay in non-extradition territory. But when Sanchez goes to Florida to pick up(and punish) a cheating girlfriend, Leiter moves in and finally gets his man. Sanchez escapes via bribery and kidnaps Leiter and his fiancée on their wedding day, maiming Leiter and killing his bride. Bond is obsessed with avenging his comrade, but M tells him to let it go. So Bond resigns from MI6 to go after Sanchez himself.
All traces of the Roger Moore era have been left behind, resulting in a film that might be too dark for those who prefer Roger's take on 007. Dalton's Bond is not too far off from Sean Connery's, but he is perhaps too grim. Connery probably would've injected some well timed humor here and there too keep his portrayal from being TOO stern and bitter. The film DOES have some comic relief though...Q has an expanded role, and Wayne Newton has a lighthearted cameo. The supporting cast is rounded out by Law & Order's Carey Lowell as the Bond girl, and indie-film darling Benicio Del Toro as the main henchman.
In conclusion: One of the toughest, meanest 007s this side of Sean Connery, a strong villain and henchman, a Bond girl whose outfits show a lot of leg. On the downside, not as much foreign intrigue as the European based adventures and a bit more stoicism from our hero. But it ultimately does what it intended to to do: bring Bond back to his roots while simultaneously keeping him up to date.
If good intentions were the same as final results, "Licence To Kill"
would be the greatest Bond film since "Goldfinger." But of course
that's not the case.
Timothy Dalton avoids the curse of Lazenby by returning for action as 007 a second, final time. He's kind of awkward in the role, not fitting the conventional Bond image, but when he isn't trying to make a rare joke, he actually benefits from this naturalistic approach. As many note, and the producers claimed before and after the film was released, this was a new kind of Bond film, one that used the Ian Fleming novels as more than title fodder. Some story nuggets in the Fleming opus turn up here, and more importantly, Bond is portrayed as a real human being with doubts and an ability to be physically and emotionally hurt, just as Fleming wrote him. Some would say this dampens the excitement level, but as any loyal Fleming reader knows, the verisimilitude only enhances it.
Bond doesn't globe trot much either. He starts out in Key West and the Caribbean, then goes to Mexico, which probably is the shortest distance covered in any Bond film. Fleming didn't throw his fictional creation around that much, either, preferring to acclimate him (and the reader) to a couple of choice locales. The villains are bereft of out sized accoutrement's, just a clever drug lord and his greedy underlings. There are two women, and Bond for once is expected to choose one rather than sleep with both. Again, Fleming didn't stick Bond with more than one woman per novel, and sometimes, as in the novel "Moonraker," he didn't even "get" her. Bond the sexual athlete arrived with Sean Connery, and in the age of AIDS, Timothy Dalton is careful in his romantic exploits.
So that's all to like, as are the many twists and turns the story takes. Bond, stripped of his license to kill, sets off to revenge a friend, infiltrating a drug gang and then planting the seeds of distrust with the gang boss, Sanchez, played by Robert Davi. Other than a pet iguana, Davi isn't given much to set Sanchez apart from the many Bond super villains of yore, but Davi makes the most of the situation, playing Sanchez with real menace, a glint of humor, and a desire to find someone he can trust, which Bond plays to rather inhumanly but well.
So Davi and Dalton complement each other fine, and to complete this happy triangle, there's Carey Lowell as Pam Bouvier, the best Bond girl since Barbara Bach in "The Spy Who Loved Me." Making the Bond girl a competent independent woman rather than a helpless ditz has become so ingrained in the series as to become a tired cliché, but Lowell doesn't only hold her own in the action scenes, and look like a million and a half bucks in a sparkling gown, she lets you into her character with real humor and pathos.
There's some great stunts, too. Bond lassos a plane from a helicopter at the opening, boards a seaplane in mid-flight in the middle, and dodges burning trucks and Stinger missiles at the end. He even gets attacked by someone wielding a stuffed marlin, which is Dalton's one real fun moment.
The knock, and it's a big one, is that the story never really gels. Bond's "Yojimbo"-style takedown of Sanchez's enterprise is too contrived, with people that would recognize him unaccountably out of action when Bond arrives at Sanchez's casino. There's a subplot involving a Hong Kong drug plot that comes in out of left field, puts Bond on the sidelines, and then vanishes. The story feels rushed, some of the supporting players give weak performances, and bits like Wayne Newton as a televangelist, however fun, feel tacked on.
Dalton was still in shakedown mode here, trying to figure out where he fit in on a once-great franchise suddenly out of favor with the fickle masses and in need of reeling in the excess silliness of the later Roger Moore films. He looks uncomfortable. My sense is Dalton didn't like playing 007; he didn't seem to want the role after this and declined to participate in the 1999 DVD re-release (a very nice package, by the way, especially as there is real candor in the reminiscences and some obvious enthusiasm in the accounts given by Lowell, Davi, and Benicio Del Toro, the future Oscar winner who had his first memorable role in "Licence To Kill" as Sanchez's faithful henchman).
Dalton was a film away in my opinion from redefining James Bond as a true movie hero of the 1990s, not in the glitzy, soulless way Pierce Brosnan later employed, but as a hero you could really root for and empathize with. "Licence To Kill" shows that starting to happen, and for Fleming fans like myself, that's exciting to see. But the end result was a film that failed to find an audience, and a long six-year hiatus that nearly killed the series. Careful what you wish for, fellow Flemingites...
Timothy Dalton actually did a good job portraying James Bond. License to Kill was a very unique movie. First, it had a movie rating of PG-13 which was higher than any other Bond film up to that point. Second, Bond had his license revoked because he was pursuing a personal agenda against the orders from M. This is the only film in the series where something like that has happened. Timothy Dalton has a more serious edge to his character of James Bond than the others. For License to Kill, this fit perfectly. For those who are only moderate James Bond film watchers and state that all the movies seem like carbon copies of each other, you may want to watch License to Kill for something different.
Timothy Dalton made an excellent Bond (this may shock some people). This
movie starts out with the usual chase but ends in Bond parachuting to a
After his best friend's (Felix Leiter) wedding, a group of thugs kill Felix's wife and greatly harm Felix. This turns into a personal vendetta against the baddies.
Bond decides to strike out against the chief crook without the blessing of MI-6.
It's refreshing to see Bond act human. Dalton gives the character a range of emotions that often lacks in other Bond films. Ian fleming, if he were still alive, might have found this Bond closer to the Bond in his books.
Bond actually has feelings!
One of my favorite Bond movies! Roger Moore has nothing on Mr. Dalton. Given a few more pictures, he would have grown even further in the character.
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