Thoughts on Licence to Kill?

LTK is definitely one of the most controversial Bond films, if not the most. I used to think that the majority of people didn't think very highly of it, for obvious reasons. But recently I have begun to realise how many Bond fans rank it as one of their favourites of the series. For me, it's one of my least-viewed films in the series (I've only seen it a few times). I personally enjoy it, even though it's not great. I'd probably rank it as my seventeenth favourite Bond film.

So, my questions is: What are you thoughts on LTK? How would you rank it in terms of the rest of the series?
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Comments

  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited June 2016 Posts: 5,131
    Licence to Kill: This is the most underrated film in the series. It's ironic that the first of the EON films not to draw its title directly from an Ian Fleming story is also the closest in spirit to Fleming since "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." "License to Kill" features a realistic, believable story. Add to it the equal ruthlessness of Bond and Sanchez in their respective portrayals by Dalton and Davi and you have a movie that will stand out over time as one of the best in the series. Talisa Soto is also the most attractive Bond girl in the entire series. The score isn't half bad either.

    If you like Fleming, you should like LTK & Dalton.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    It's my third favourite Bond, a fantastic film, with a great injection of Fleming back In to
    The series. :)
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    Good taste @Thunderpussy.
  • Posts: 4
    I'm noticing a lot of references to Fleming here (not a bad thing). I guess how much you enjoy the darker Bond films is often due to your attitude towards the books. I personally fell in love with the films initially, and am only now in the process of reading the books.
    That being said, Casino Royale and Skyfall are my favourite films in the series, and I also really like FYEO.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    You too Sir, and nice comments on LTK @Suavejmf

    Incidentally my favourite Bonds are OHMSS & CR, they should always try and keep
    As much Fleming, if only in spirit in the films as possible.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    My favourite Bonds are CR, FRWL, OHMSS, TB, DN. So I'm with you on all counts.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    Kezman81 wrote: »
    I'm noticing a lot of references to Fleming here (not a bad thing). I guess how much you enjoy the darker Bond films is often due to your attitude towards the books. I personally fell in love with the films initially, and am only now in the process of reading the books.
    That being said, Casino Royale and Skyfall are my favourite films in the series, and I also really like FYEO.

    The books are superior, although I like the elegant gloss/ increased sophistication of the character in the films. Yes a darker edge is better.
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 3,551
    I can never understand how people consider LTK more 'Fleming'

    It's nothing like Fleming. Just because it nicks a couple of scenes from the LALD novel doesn't automatically make it more like Fleming.

    The whole film is a drag with it's grim dull as dishwater revenge plot, one dimensional villain and uninspiring action.

    Dalton's performance is forced and obvious. Nothing like the natural and riveting performance he gave in TLD.

    It's the most un-bondian film of the series.

    Good performance from Carey Lowell who made a decent Bond girl.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    :)) very close to my own top Bonds
    OHMSS, CR, LTK, FRWL ( now we might part company ) SF. ;)
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    SF stars Craig and has a darker edge so still totally acceptable. I'm going to big LTK up further by saying that Talisa Soto is the most attractive Bond girl in the entire series.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I agree again, I have read some people complaining about her acting but I couldn't
    Give a F**k, she is beautiful :x
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131

    I agree again, I have read some people complaining about her acting but I couldn't
    Give a F**k, she is beautiful :x

    Ha ha. Nice one. Agreed.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    I can never understand how people consider LTK more 'Fleming'

    It's nothing like Fleming. Just because it nicks a couple of scenes from the LALD novel doesn't automatically make it more like Fleming.

    The whole film is a drag with it's grim dull as dishwater revenge plot, one dimensional villain and uninspiring action.

    Dalton's performance is forced and obvious. Nothing like the natural and riveting performance he gave in TLD.

    It's the most un-bondian film of the series.

    Good performance from Carey Lowell who made a decent Bond girl.

    We've had this discussion before @LeonardPine.

    All I can see is we don't agree on it. As for "Dalton's performance is forced and obvious". It seems like we are watching different films. His performance is very studied and impressive. An actor who took the time to read and think about the Fleming novels.
  • Posts: 25
    LTK is like a horrible, overblown Miami Vice episode.

    It always bugs me that the truck tipping on its side wheels gag doesn't even work if you consider the timing of it and the guy shooting.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    That's one of the amazing things about Bond. We all read the same books and
    Watch the same films, but we can come up with which opposite opinions. :)
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe Given the circumstances
    Posts: 7,331
    QoS done right.
  • edited June 2016 Posts: 1,645
    Many people cite the Miami Vice reference - "it's like Miami Vice" - but I feel the third act is classic James Bond material. Bond arrives at villain's base, gets discovered, almost killed (!), blows up base, chases bad guys. You can't get more classic Bond material than that.

    LTK was the end of the original Broccoli/Saltzman era of James Bond. Dr No to Licence To Kill. Goldeneye did feel like a new era.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe Given the circumstances
    Posts: 7,331
    fanbond123 wrote: »
    Many people cite the Miami Vice reference but I feel the third act is classic James Bond material. Bond arrives at villain's base, gets discovered, almost killed (!), blows up base, chases bad guys. You can't get more classic Bond material than that.

    As with the entire Glen era, the sets are just terrible. That drug factory is so awful looking. Not good.

    That being said, LTK has a lot going for it, and somewhat makes up for QoS.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,476
    I'm with @LeonardPine on this.

    Ian Fleming's stories were larger than life, keeping one foot in reality and one in a fantastic world where mere mortals would never tread. His villains were often grotesques, his ladies ridiculously gorgeous and feminine, his hero flawed and vulnerable, but dedicated to Queen and country.

    So, without dissecting his books it does strike me that LTK isn't as close to Fleming as people seem to suggest.

    The film's villain is a bog standard drug baron, his cronies are weird but not exactly of the OddJob variety.

    The leading lady is a woman in a man's world, desperately trying to prove herself equal to any man. Pussy Galore was like that, but she was barely featured in the story, and not exactly in to men.

    Bond in the film is a vigilante, beating up fellow agents, refusing his orders, showing no respect to M.

    The story had no sense of the absurd, no larger than life villain, no fantastic plotline. It was suitably serious, but the pace of the film meant it captured none of Fleming's class or elegance. It just bull dozed through, with Bond acting before he thinks and getting others killed (the Chinese agents).

    I hear excuses about audiences not being ready for a serious Bond, but I was there and believe me, we were ready. But we wanted someone who could enter a casino and all the heads would turn (like Connery). We got starched, snarling Timothy Dalton in an ill fitting tuxedo and the worst haircut in the history of the series (possibly the world).

    The director who had kept TLD bouncing along at a fine old clip, with good humour and fine spectacle, seemed to lose all of his abilities here. It was a nasty film full of bad tempered people and nothing really to make one cheer for anyone, not even Q.

    Not the worst in the series (although my least favourite), but neither is it the homage to Fleming that people think.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I thought they did a very good job, given the small budget.
  • edited June 2016 Posts: 1,645
    The structure of the third act is pure James Bond. Bond's cover is blown, put on the conveyor belt to certain death, escaping, the tanker chase. It also shows Bond as an unstoppable force. Although Q does help - the first time he's really in the field helping Bond - it's pretty much Bond as a relentless warrior. You see how dangerous James Bond really is. Without his 00 prefix to justify his actions he's one dangerous guy. You really don't want to mess with James Bond. He's as close to an antihero in LTK as you'll ever see.

    But at the end we know M will forgive his actions and Bond will return to serving queen and country. :)
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    "His Bad side, is a Dangerous place to be !" =D>

    Except in India when Sir Roger got the trots, where .....
    "His Back side was a Dangerous place to be !" :D
  • KaijuDirectorOO7KaijuDirectorOO7 Once Upon a Time Somewhere...
    Posts: 189
    Greetings, first-time posting.

    I used to hate License, but after watching it the 2nd time, it wasn't so bad.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    Welcome @kaijuDirector007 that's a "Monster" of a first post. ;)
  • KaijuDirectorOO7KaijuDirectorOO7 Once Upon a Time Somewhere...
    Posts: 189
    Welcome @kaijuDirector007 that's a "Monster" of a first post. ;)

    And to think that my profile pic is the logo for the Japanese version of SPECTRE...

  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    Cool :)>-
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 3,551
    suavejmf wrote: »
    I can never understand how people consider LTK more 'Fleming'

    It's nothing like Fleming. Just because it nicks a couple of scenes from the LALD novel doesn't automatically make it more like Fleming.

    The whole film is a drag with it's grim dull as dishwater revenge plot, one dimensional villain and uninspiring action.

    Dalton's performance is forced and obvious. Nothing like the natural and riveting performance he gave in TLD.

    It's the most un-bondian film of the series.

    Good performance from Carey Lowell who made a decent Bond girl.

    We've had this discussion before @LeonardPine.

    All I can see is we don't agree on it. As for "Dalton's performance is forced and obvious". It seems like we are watching different films. His performance is very studied and impressive. An actor who took the time to read and think about the Fleming novels.

    I certainly admire Dalton for the seriousness he took over the role and as I said, he was fantastic in TLD (One of my favourite Bond films). Probably the most faithful interpretation of Bond put to film.

    But he fell well short in LTK and I really do believe he made the fatal mistake of 'trying too hard'

    The script for that film certainly didn't help matters.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I enjoyed how they worked the bits of LALD in to the script, I found
    Dalton to be very intense at times, the Truck case I also thought was
    Very inventive. It had a couple of good one liners " He came to a dead end"
    I also loved how Bond used his intelligence to turn the villain on his own
    Men ( I know it's been done before) all leading up to the end Fight between
    Bond and Sanchez, which in a way reminded me of the Novel TMWTGG.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger The Lazenby Pit
    Posts: 42,469
    I have read some people complaining about her acting but I couldn't
    Give a F**k

    I could.
  • Posts: 1,613
    It's been my favorite Bond film as long as I can remember. For my money, it features one of the best stories of the franchise (Bond going rogue when that was still a novel idea, infiltrating and bringing down the villain's organization from within), the best Bond (Dalton), the best villain (Davi), and my favorite Bond girl in the franchise (Lowell).

    The bits of Fleming that are woven through the film and Michael Kamen's underrated score all combine with the above to make for the best Bond outing thus far.
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