Licence to Kill (1989)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Adventure, Thriller


Licence to Kill (1989) Poster

After capturing a drug lord, Felix Leiter is left for dead and his wife is murdered. James Bond goes rogue and seeks vengeance on those responsible, as he infiltrates an organisation posing as a hitman.


6.6/10
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  • Carey Lowell and Timothy Dalton at an event for Licence to Kill (1989)
  • Carey Lowell in Licence to Kill (1989)
  • Carey Lowell in Licence to Kill (1989)
  • Carey Lowell in Licence to Kill (1989)
  • Timothy Dalton at an event for Licence to Kill (1989)
  • Talisa Soto and Robert Davi in Licence to Kill (1989)

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User Reviews


10 October 2003 | barnabyrudge
Hard-edged Bond film. Not a great commercial success, but it has interesting points.
Timothy Dalton only played Bond twice, but he tried to base his interpretation of the character on the descriptions provided by Ian Fleming in the original novels. Therefore, his Bond is quite ruthless and embittered, and always ready to stick two fingers up at the establishment if he feels they've got it wrong.

Bond is vacationing in Florida, acting as best-man at his friend Felix Leiter's wedding, when the unthinkable happens. Leiter and his wife are assaulted by some Central American thugs; the wife is murdered and Leiter is crippled by sharks. Bond is obviously deeply unhappy about this, but his bosses instruct him to let the matter drop and get on with another assignment. 007 knows who is responsible for the injuries to his friend, so he revokes his licence to kill and becomes a rogue agent, tracking down the villainous drug lord Sanchez (Robert Davi) to his Latin America headquarters. Here, aided by Sanchez's unfaithful mistress Lupe (Talisa Soto) and CIA agent Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell), Bond attempts to wipe out their enormous clandestine drug operation single-handedly.

There's definitely an uneasy, hard edge to the film which makes it unique among the Bond series. Whether or not this improves the film depends on your personal taste: if you like safe, humorous Roger Moore escapades, you'll probably find this too jarring, whereas if you prefer espionage stories with a bit of grit and sweat, this may be just what you're after. The action sequences are still outrageous in the tried-and-trusted Bond style, with memorable episodes featuring a daring helicopter .vs. airplane pursuit; a barefoot water-skiing sequence; and a truck chase down the side of a mountain. Some of the language, though not out-and-out "foul", is a bit stronger and more believable than in other Bond entries. The theme tune from Gladys Knight and the Pips is one of the better 007-tracks.

Licence to Kill is a new twist on the Bond theme. It isn't the best, and some of its new ideas don't fit with the usual routine (which may or may not be a good thing), but it is certainly interesting.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In some South American media, Lupe Lamora was incorrectly attributed to Rudy Rodriguez, a Venezuelan ex-beauty Queen, who was a very popular soap opera actress, and sex symbol at the time, and who has a close resemblance to Talisa Soto. So, for several years, it was usual to see Rodriguez introduced as a "bond Girl" in some show business programs, because she appeared as one of the hostesses at the pool in the Moroccan palace in The Living Daylights (1987).


Quotes

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...


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.


Crazy Credits

The Surgeon General's warning appears at the end credits, due to the characters' use of tobacco products.


Alternate Versions

On pan and scan VHS prints issued since 1990, the opening title credits have been slightly altered to fit the screen. Some credits that took one line in the widescreen version were altered to fit two lines in the pan and scan version.


Soundtracks

Licence to Kill
Music by
Narada Michael Walden
Lyrics by Walter Afanasieff
Performed by Gladys Knight

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure | Thriller

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