Licence To Kill - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Licence To Kill Reviews

Page 1 of 114
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2009
In Timothy Dalton's second and final film as James Bond, we get the best in the series since "For Your Eyes Only" and one of the most unique and interesting entries. This movie is as far from the Bond formula as the Daniel Craig films, but the difference is that audiences apparently weren't ready to give up the cheesy one-liners and bombastic thrills the series had become known for up to this point, leaving this picture with the worst attendance in the series history by a wide margin. It's unfortunate because I feel like audiences would appreciate this film more today, but the toxic word of mouth the movie received upon release has become its legacy. This is a revenge thriller that sees Bond going rogue in order to purse a personal vendetta against a drug lord that seriously injures a friend and kills his friend's wife. Timothy Dalton is better here than he was in The Living Daylight's, and although Bond doesn't have the dashing personality anymore, he has never been more ruthless. It makes the movie a little bit of a downer compared to the rest, but also one of the most driven. It's compelling from beginning to end, despite a few dry spots. The same cannot be said for the last couple of entries. Q's added role in this film is also a pleasure for fans of the series. Overall, it's one of the stronger entries in the series and seems to be a clear influence on the current Bond films.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2006
This is a pretty good Bond film. It's edgy, violent, and the first to be Rated PG-13. Dalton gives a good performance, so it sucks that this was his final of two films in the role. At least he went out on a high note.

Not until Daniel Craig came around did the film get as serious as it does here. That's why I like it so much, because Bond gets almost ruthless. Granted, it's still an 80s era film, so the cheese and camp aren't 100% gone, but even then, this film gets dark, and there's an increase in the bloodletting.

Bond is on a quest for revenge, and goes off the books in order to get things done. The target is a ruthless drug lord who has seriously maimed Bond's friend American DEA Agent Felix Leiter. Robert Davi is great as the antagonist, and you really believe that he's a chilling and ruthless fellow. Benicio del Toro gets his career off to a start as a henchman, which is cool, and, despite the campiness of it, I do kinda dig seeing Wayne Newton as a huckster type of character. Carey Lowell is the primary Bond Girl, and I like her a lot, She's got this quality about her that I just really like, even if I can't properly articulate why. It's too bad she has basically gone under the radar for the most part since then.

All in all, a really fine film.
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2012
Timothy Dalton's second turn as Bond would also be his last, and I think that's probably a good thing. He does a decent job as Bond, but really makes the character humorless, and a borderline bore. Her he sets out avenge a friend by going after a Latin Drug dealer. The movie has great action, and look closely for a young Benecio Del Tore as a psychotic henchman(has an awesome death scene by the way). It's a more violent take on Bond than the Moore movies, and that's fine, but just keep the humor and womanizing with it. Also, I didn't care that movie ends with a cheezy love song like "If You Ask me To". Not the worst Bond, but probably towards the bottom of them. Still a must watch for all Bond fans.
Super Reviewer
November 11, 2012
Bond is on a mission and this time it`s extremely personal. An exhilarating and spectacular action-packed thrill-ride that's filled with some pulse-pounding chases and sensational action scenes. Timothy Dalton strikes gold again with Bond, giving him the right amount of charm and edge to make the character ad story work well. One of my favorite Bond films. A taunt and gripping thrill to watch. It digs deep into some nice character stuff leading back to On her Majesty s secret service. A fun and explosive adventure that you will love to watch again
Super Reviewer
½ September 20, 2012
21/09/2012 (DVD)
Super Reviewer
November 26, 2011
For my part, I haven't been a huge fan of the James Bond series. My interest was peaked with Casino Royale (the Daniel Craig version). So I've been seeking out the series as much as I can, and Licence to Kill is my latest endeavor. However, this is far and away the worst film in the series that I've seen thus far. It almost seems like a parody of the series but you know very well that they're quite serious with it. It also seems more like an Indiana Jones film than a James Bond film. It has some of the worst acting and story mechanics of the series, but yet on the other hand, it does have some of the 80's and early 90's action film all stars in it. Despite that, it's still a poor film, and more importantly, a poor James Bond film.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2008

Update: Actually isn't that bad, dark storylines really have served up some choice Bond films. Timothy Dalton was actually a good Bond in this film, maybe if he stayed with the franchise his legacy would be different. Solid British acting. In an unrelated note, Wayne Newton's current Flixter photo looks basically like Jack Nicholson as The Joker, How bizarre.
Super Reviewer
½ August 11, 2010
John Glen's James Bond adventure, Licence to Kill, travels down a darker road with its path of revenge.The 2 hour 10 minute story is not overly extravagant and neither is the villain, whom is a rich drug lord. This gives the film a feeling more in the realm of a suspense thriller, rather than an action adventure. Bond uses much more brain than brawn to accomplish his feat.Other than the truck sequence at the end, the rest of the action doesn't really stand out. Sure, there are a number of unique sequences, but none of it is intensifying enough to excite. There also isn't a whole lot in the way of fancy gadgets and those that do exist don't do much in turning the tides of the story.Timothy Dalton brings a touch of human emotion to the James Bond character and Robert Davi is a highly believable drug lord. Carey Lowell and Talisa Soto are both lovely Bond girls, with Lowell becoming one of the more sturdy to appear on screen.Licence to Kill may shy away from usual James Bond encounters, but this personal vendetta is not one to shy away from. "I'll do anything for a woman with a knife."
Super Reviewer
June 29, 2010
A less than stellar follow up the thrilling The Living Daylights, Licence To Kill is a dramatic change for James Bond, this isn't so much the story that Bond fans are used to, this is a revenge story. Felix Leiter, Bond's close friend has been mauled by sharks and hius newly wed wife has been murdered. James Bond wants blood, and he's going to take up revenge against a notorious drug lord whos responsible. Licence To Kill is a good film that offers plenty of suspense and action, but it's definitely a change from traditional Bond films. At least the film makers where able to pull something this decent off, despite the fact that it's not that stellar of a film.
Super Reviewer
½ March 9, 2008
Timothy Dalton's run ends with Licence to Kill, probably one of the most violent Bonds made. After Felix Leiter is made an extra in a Jaws movie James Bond takes matters into his own hands, even to the extent of leaving MI6.

Dalton once again plays a brooding Bond, rather pissed off all the time. Amazingly while watching this film I can see some remnants of Roger Moore (being attacked by a stuffed sword fish, Wayne Newton) but overall this is a very adult Bond film. Robert Davi plays a sadistic drug dealer that Bond's vengeance reigns down upon (imagine that: Robert Davi as a drug lord).

Another good outing by Dalton, but one must go one up on the whole debate on whether On Her Majesties Secret Service could have been the greatest Bond film if Connery had starred in it.

How good would Golden Eye had been if Timothy Dalton had stayed around for that one? Sadly, we never saw it.
Super Reviewer
November 27, 2008
One of the best Bonds made and using the most underrated Bond too. This Bond is pretty brutal and very adult based really..there are quite afew nasty deaths and the two main villains in Davi and Del Toro are really evil.
This Bond is much like the newer Bonds in its adult content and intense scenes but unlike the new Bond flicks it still keeps the old Bond charm thats so unique. Also at the time the thought of Bond being stripped of his license to kill was a really cool concept and added a very different angle to him...he was now a rogue agent wanted by the law and almost a mercenary really, very good stuff.

The girls are sexy as hell as usual and some excellent stunt work eg. an oil tanker lifted onto its side whilst being driven by Bond as a missile flies past the under belly of the tanker :)

Top Bond flick.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2008
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!
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2008
Dalton returns for the second and final time, this time taking personal revenge for the attempted murder of his best friend, Felix Leiter. Dalton is just as good as he was in The Living Daylights and Robert Davi plays the ultimate sleazebag asshole. Directed by John Glen, who is just as much a part of Bond film lore as anyone from the entire run of the series. Look for a young Benicio Del Toro in this one.
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2007
Actually, it wasn't pretty bad... It was good, but I sleep in the middle of the movie so I didn't make it to the end...
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2007
The third best bond film easily. It reminded me of other great 80's action movie like robocop. Lots of people get killed, and bond goes nuts on a revenge killing streak. A guy gets his face exploded, many people burn, benicio del toro gets ground up into cocain, a guy gets fork lifted, and what would a bond film be without not one, but two people getting eaten by sharks.
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2007
A solid entry in the franchise, not nearly as bad as I had been told it was.

Seeing Bond operate outside of MI6 and all hopped up on angry juice was a refreshing change from the "Bond formula". however this is also likely the reason for the backlash it has received.
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2007
Bond seeks vengeance on a drug lord who killed his friend - great story.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2007
the meaniest and bloodiest bond film to date. amazing Dalton as Bond. pure rage!
Super Reviewer
June 21, 2007
Great violent James Bond movie with a serious Timothy Dalton in the lead role. It is my favorite opening credits and theme song ever. Brute violence dominates rather than gadgets. James Bond is on a revenge mission this time. The stunts and man-fighting are great. The locations are limited to exotic Florida and Mexico. Lots of guns and explosions, with a nasty shark too. Great final act in a compound run by Wayne Newton.
Super Reviewer
April 25, 2007
I don't care what anyone says, I thought Dalton was a good Bond.
Page 1 of 114