Licence To Kill Reviews
James Bond 007: Timothy Dalton
Pam Bouvier: Carey Lowell
Franz Sanchez: Robert David
Felix Lieter: David Henderson
Miss Moneypenny: Caroline Bliss
Q: Desmond Llewelyn
M: Robert Brown
On CIA agent Felix Leiter's (David Hedison , in his second stint in the role, the first being Live and Let Die) wedding day, he and Bond capture drug lord Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), who then escapes and kills Leiter's new wife Della (Priscill Barnes), and takes Felix's leg by feeding him to a shark. 007 then ignores M's (Robert Brown) warning to not go after Sanchez, and embarks on a personal vendetta that causes him to have his license to kill revoked by MI6. Having now become a rogue agent, Bond tracks Sanchez to his base of operations in South America with the help of a beautiful CIA pilot, Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) and the one and only Q (Desmond Llewelyn).
This is the first Bond film to receive a "PG-13" rating, and it is also one of the most serious 007 adventures ever. But, overall this film disappoints in every way. Dalton, once again is way too hard edged for Bond, Robert Davi is adequate in the main villain role, but nothing special. Carey Lowell is very forgettable as the main Bond girl. And Desmond Llewelyn's "Q" is the best part of the film. Other notable secondary characters are a young Benicio Del Toro and the ever charismatic Wayne Newton.
Even the lackluster "Living Daylights" is better then this 007 outing. After three straight sub par Bond films in a row, the franchise had grown stale and would not return for another six years.
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