Writer: Michael G Wilson, Richard Maibaum (Screenplay)
Starring: Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi, Talisa Soto, Anthony Zerbe, Frank McRae
Plot: James Bond goes rogue and sets off to unleash vengeance on a drug lord who tortured his best friend, a C.I.A. Agent, and left him for dead and murdered his bride after he helped capture him.
Tagline – Out for revenge. Glimpse behind the cool facade of 007. And see how sweet revenge can really be.
Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Most Serious Bond?
Story: Licence to Kill starts when known drug lord Franz Sanchez (Davi) is captured on Felix’s (Hedison) wedding day, being transferred to prison, he escapes and gets his revenge torturing him, leaving him for dead. James Bond (Dalton) one of the best men finds him and goes in search for Sanchez.
James having his licence to kill revoked, goes rogue in hi vengeance as he looks to eliminate anybody who was involved in the attack on Felix working with his partner Pam (Lowell).
Thoughts on Licence to Kill
Characters – James Bond is seeing his good friend Felix get married, only for the day to be shattered by a drug lord, James wants revenge and hands in his licence to kill in an attempt the man responsible, going rogue from his majesty’s secret service. This is a raw version of James that will go to all lengths to get revenge instead of justice. Pam is one of the people that works with Felix, she teams up with James to get the job done, being his only friend in the mission. Franz Sanchez is the ruthless drug lord that kills anybody that crosses him, trying to control his women Lupe, this is his weakness and has gotten him caught in the past. Lupe is the girl on Franz’s arm, its not where she wants to be, it’s the only place she is allowed to be, whenever she tries to leave he will beat her.
Performances – Timothy Dalton might be an underrated Bond really, I have never considered him one of the best, but here he gets the most serious performance required in the franchise. Carey Lowell gets to become one of the strong Bond girls, while Robert Davi makes for one of the scariest villains in the franchise, one not after world domination. Talisa Soto completes the main cast with her role that must play both sides.
Story – The story here takes James rogue in a revenge mission against the drug lord that tortured his best friend. This story feels more serious, which is wonderful to see, we break certain rules set up in the previous film, like the way Bond girls are treated, we see Bond go completely against the rules of his licence in a personal vendetta over a mission. This rawer feeling Bond movie brings us into a new light which is enjoyable to watch because it doesn’t just follow the same predictable formula and feels like James has a life away from the secret agent field.
Action/Adventure – The action is more restrained, with them being more of a fight to remain undercover almost stealth like, until the final act where we get the big sequence. The adventure takes James across the border of the law to get the job done this time.
Settings – The film uses the settings to show where drug lords would operate with their newest idea to get away with their crimes.
Final Thoughts – This is the most serious Bond film to date, it takes things in a different direction and makes us believe Bond to be a real person who would be after revenge.
Overall: The most improved Bond.