For the next review of Licence to Kill (1989), Here’s Zoe from The Sporadic Chronicles of A Beginner Blogger.
“Señor Bond, you got big cojones. You come here, to my place, without references, carrying a piece, throwing around a lot of money… but you should know something: nobody saw you come in, so nobody has to see you go out.”
– Franz Sanchez
Synopsis: 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? – via IMDB
Yep, another Dalton Bond for me, when I heard I could pick films irrespective of someone else having chosen them or not, I lined the two Dalton ones up. I honestly don’t think they get enough love for what they have on offer, but that’s just me.
Licence to Kill continues in a more serious fashion again after the Moore ones, though this one changes Bond up again from The Living Daylights. Granted, he is still the super cool spy, gritty and more realistic than those in the outings before these, but this time he has a little more cheese laced in (it seems many people complained about the change in character after having gotten so used to how ridiculous the franchise was becoming). Not that it’s a bad thing or anything, and it is a long way from overkill.
Starting off, you get some random running off to chase a Cuban drug lord right before a wedding – but never fear! All ends well with James Bond and Felix Leiter parachuting in there after saving the day. Nice. I liked the friendship between Bond and Leiter, and how it was played with nicely. However, soon things go darkside when Sanchez and his incredibly young Benicio del Toro go and exact revenge on Leiter after Sanchez escapes custody. The punishment is cruel, with Leiter’s bride slaughtered and himself savaged by sharks. Bond swears vengeance, which ultimately leads to his resignation from MI6, and he goes on the run.
The entire concept of Bond going rogue after a friend’s troubles and heartbreak was cool. What I was not a fan of, however, were two women being played with. When Lupe and Bond suddenly had a thing going, it was like a shock to the system. When did this become a thing? When did this even happen? Carey Lowell as Pam Bouvier is just gorgeous, and I liked her attitude most of the time, too. Q pitching up to assist Bond was also a great little edition to this – it seemed that Bond was so not going to be allowed to undertake his revenge mission alone. Also, so not complaining about getting to see a lot of a young Timothy Dalton. In the water. Wet.
While there were flaws in this one (Leiter was basically forgotten pretty quickly, though he was the driving force, and Sharky was glossed over, some relationships happened too quickly, some very dodgy things going down in the third act, etc), it cannot be denied that there were some really fun action sequences and conversations here, just a dash of cheese but not enough to take front and centre stage, and some pretty good performances. Again (I will say this numerous times), I wish Dalton had gotten more Bond outings, he really was a great one! So, for my second Dalton Bond, I must again recommend this one for viewing, especially if you want a more serious film.