Licence To Kill Reviews
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Perhaps the last act is a touch silly...
VERDICT: It's a shame that Dalton couldn't stay because this is Connery level stuff. What an enjoyable film.
In this PG-13-rated spy thriller, James Bond (Dalton) goes rogue and sets off to unleash vengeance on a drug lord (Davi) who tortured his best friend, a C.I.A. agent, and left him for dead and murdered his bride after he helped capture him.
The fact that the producers changed the title from License Revoked says everything about this middling attempt to make Bond go dark. Reportedly having little faith in the ability of American audiences to understand the meaning of the word "revoked," the Brits went with the much more marketable phrasing License to Kill. It demonstrates an unsureness that shows up in many aspects of this production. Dalton's 007s gets locked on intensity even more than his previous outing, which brings the tone down more than makes the character dirty. Still, the explosions and chases keep this off-the-grid caper intense in the right ways as well. If only the producers lightened up the character a bit and found the winning formula, Dalton's otherwise ace version of 007 might've booked passage to GoldenEye rather than just dying in development another day.
Bottom line: Rogue Notion
Licence to kill doesn't play like a typical Bond movie, but the action is high, in a more violent, edgier approach.
The story takes a quick left from traditional Bond territory - here Bond is a Groomsman heading to a hidden oasis with the wedding party when trouble shows up, and the bride is killed and the groom left for dead, so 007 gets angry and takes his license to kill a bit beyond his usual limits.
An odd storyline for a Bond flick made worse by a lesser film quality - their oasis appears ratty and sparse instead of the usual lush and exotic Bond settings we've come to expect.
That lack of quality seems to pervade the movie.
Altho Dalton steps up his Bond to display a more overt anger - which is miles above the almost phoned-in, half-hearted first attempt at Bond in Living Daylights - he really carries this film as well as possible considering the lack of visual pizzazz here.
Sadly, I found both of Dalton's Bond stories to be rather routine and somewhat forgettable - save for the exciting Jeep-top opening sequence of Daylights.
The overall attempt to make Bond a relatable 80s character thru Dalton backfired for me bc it made him seem more common instead of the fantasy character that Connery, Lazemby and Moore all handled with aplomb. Even Moore's over-the-top plots gave him reason to eyeroll along with us, so we could still relate to him.
I felt bored by Dalton's smug, almost Ben Affleck quality.
The cheap feel of the movie, and lackluster Bond story almost ruined it for me. This one doesn't hold up well either.
2.5 out of 5