Licence to Kill (1989)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Adventure, Thriller


Licence to Kill (1989) Poster

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

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


20 December 2006 | The_Void
8
| A different Bond, and a very good one!
Goldfinger is the benchmark of great Bond films, and while this one doesn't come anywhere near that - you still can't really ask much more of a Bond film. Licence to Kill, the last of the eighties bond films, stands out because director John Glen seems keen to make it as little like the rest of the series as possible. Most Bond films feature the popular spy on a mission and answering to MI6 - but here he's acting out a personal vendetta, and we get to see a different side to Ian Flemings' character. The film opens with a rather over the top wedding sequence, in which James Bonds' friend and ally Felix Leighter gets married to a pretty blonde woman. However, just before this we watched Bond and Felix apprehend a drug dealer, and not taking to being caught very kindly - the dealer decides to use some of his cronies to maim Felix and kill his wife. Bond then decides to go after the drug dealer, much to the dismay of MI6 who promptly take away his licence to kill. This doesn't stop Bond, however, as along with a few allies - he sets out to get revenge on those responsible...

Many people say that Timothy Dalton was the worst of the Bonds, but I disagree. While he doesn't fit the role as well as Sean Connery, and isn't quite manly enough for my liking - his suave style goes brilliantly with the James Bond character, and he is perfect for exploring the darker side of the character in this film. The film has that eighties style that often seems tacky nowadays, but it's not laid on thick until the very end, and this doesn't hinder the film. The stunts are the best thing about Licence to Kill, as the director constantly succeeds at delivering memorable and exciting action scenes, the best of which is saved until the end. The fact that this film takes in the theme of 'the war on drugs' means it stands out from a lot of the rest of the series as world domination is never mentioned. Robert Davi gets to play the Bond villain, and for me is one of the best of the entire series. He manages to be evil without ever looking comical, and that can't be easy in a series known for being completely overblown. Overall, Licence to Kill is undoubtedly one of my favourite Bond films, and it therefore comes highly recommended!

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Davi was taken by several thugs, while on vacation in South America, to an actual drug lord. The man enjoyed his portrayal of a drug lord.


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 ...


Goofs

When Bond is breaking into Krest's laboratory, a shark comes out under the steps, knocks a platform loose, and holds its position vertically with its head above water for several seconds. Not only is the shark obviously fake, this is atypical behavior for a shark, not to mention the fact that a shark lacks the muscle balance to hold its body in a vertical position with its head above water for any period of time.


Crazy Credits

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


Alternate Versions

To receive a 15 certificate, the original UK cinema release was cut by the BBFC with edits to the opening whipping of Lupe, the shark attack on Leiter, a brief shot of Krest's exploding head, blood spurts from the shooting of Loti, Dario's bloody death in the grinder, Sanchez on fire, and sound effect levels of blows in certain scenes. This same print was released on VHS. For the 2000 Special Edition DVD, some cuts were waived, with the PG-13 version being passed 15 without further cuts (despite the film playing fully uncut on ITV). The BBFC waived all the cuts for the Ultimate Edition DVD release, which restored the cuts made for the PG-13 in the US and all of the original BBFC cuts.


Soundtracks

Mexican Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Tony Tape (pseudonym of
Gerhard Narholz)
Sonoton Musikverlag

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure | Thriller

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