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

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28 October 2003 | eamon-hennedy
8
| CLASSIC BOND!
I really liked Timothy Dalton as Bond. I really thought the guy did a great job. The Living Daylights was an excellent Bond thriller, more in line with Dr No and From Russia With Love in tone and style, but with Licence To Kill you can tell that Broccoli decided to compete with the big boys with this action packed spectacular that aims high and scores. What we have here is Bond with spectacular action scenes and a more nastier steak with regards to the violence that is more in line with Hollywood action blockbusters than with quintessential British spies. This is why the film works. Licence To Kill is much more darker than any of the Bond films that has come before, and after the silliness of the Moore era, that was what this franchise needed. Why have world domination craving villains when you can just p*ss Bond off, big time. Having Felix Lieter maimed and his wife killed on their wedding day is inspired and immediately puts the film on a darker streak. The script here is very strong as we watch a darker more violent Bond infiltrate the bad guy's lifestyle and then proceed to work from there.

Don't make any mistakes this is not a Bond film that would be broadcast during a Bank Holiday afternoon. What we have here is a film that is graphically violent. Check out the head explosion scene or the nasty incidents involving sharks. Having Bond on the revenge path makes for a more interesting tale than just another villain trying to take over the world. The more personal element fits in with this more darker Bond. Dalton really rises to the occasion here and ensures that he will be remembered as a fine actor who played the part of James Bond. The ice cool look of anger as he dumps a bad guy into a shark tank with a case fool of money is fantastic as is his reaction to finding Lieter's dead wife. It may not be said, buy OHMSS is being referenced. Helping Dalton along the way is a great support cast. Robert Davi is superb as Franz Sanchez, without doubt the nastiest Bond villain there has ever been. We have two Bond girls too. Talisa Soto is beautifully sultry, but Carey Lowell just pips her to the post as Pam Bouvier who really gives Bond a run for his money. Another great casting point is an increased role for Q. Desmond Lewellyn appears here more than he ever has done before, helping out in the mission that makes one wonder the Bond writers never thought of it before, or why they never did it after.

Licence To Kill is classic Bond. Purists may give of with the more American touch to the narrative (you just know that any theatrical trailer is crying out for voice over man to go "this time it's personal"), but the more darker narrative suits the film and it shows that Dalton was a good Bond no matter what his critics say. With some of the most spectacular action sequences at the time, this is a genuine Bond classic.

Shaken and stirred most definitely.

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Genres

Action | Adventure | Thriller

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