Countdown to Spectre: License to Kill (1989)

This is the next installment in my look back to the James Bond 007 series in anticipation for the new installment, Spectre coming out on November 6th. If you are interested in any of my earlier installments, click here.

Agent 007, James Bond (Timothy Dalton) must undertake his most daring adventure after he turns renegade and track down one of the most brutal international drug cartel leader Frank Sanchez (Robert Davi). After the murder of his just-married friend Felix Leiter’s (David Hedison) wife Della (Prescilla Barnes), he is now fighting not only for country and justice, but for his own revenge.

So this is Timothy Dalton’s last Bond film. I don’t know why he left the series but may it is for the best. So far for this series, last films of Bond actors have not been so good. This one, like A View to a Kill. does not continue this trend. I am happy to say that the opening theme of this film, also called License to Kill, is better than the theme of the previous film, The Living Daylights. The plot in this one is rather simple and maybe the simplest for the series, just a revenge story as Sanchez killed Leiter’s wife and almost killed Leiter. I appreciated that I was able to get this early on and it was easy to get invested in the story because of its connection to Bond himself. The film approaches this in a dark way which has not yet been seen in a Bond film (until later on). The pacing of the film was good as most of it was just Bond trying to find Sanchez and get him alone so he can kill him. He does along with the help of the beautiful Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) and Q (Desmond Llewelyn) surprisingly gets a little more screen time and helps out here. I’ve always appreciated him as an actor so it was nice to see more of him. Dalton as in his previous film handled the spy/secret agent stuff quite level but he was actually better being charming as he had better chemistry with all of the other actors. Lowell’s Pam Bouvier was a great Bond girl as I found her feisty and smart and was able to stand up to Bond which doesn’t happen often. Most of the girls are stupid bimbos so this was a welcome change. I found Davi’s Frank Sanchez to be very evil and menacing. He was so good at being evil that it felt like he could have done it in his sleep. In terms of villains, I would place him second to Christopher Walken’s Zorin from A View to a Kill. This film had more action than the previous one but it came off as rather average looking and unoriginal because it has all appeared in one way or another in multiple other films. I’m not saying that it was bad but rather that I would have liked something different. I will say that the only things I didn’t like were the scenes in the casino as I found they just slowed down the plot to me and also the end of the film. Without giving anything away, Based on what I saw, I was very disappointed by how everything ended. Overall. this is another decent, entertaining entry with a good villain and some decent action

Score: 7.5/10

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Next: Goldeneye


Categories: Bond, Movie Reviews

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