Licence To Kill (1989)

DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
edited July 2012 in Reviews Posts: 19,724
Please write your fan reviews of LTK here.


  • edited March 2013 Posts: 12,377
    After I'd seen TLD at the cinema, I became a big Bond fan. The moment I got home I watched GF and TSWLM on VHS. But as cool as these were, Dalton was still my favourite, I wanted another Dalton film. Which is why I was heart broken when I found out this was a 15, so I couldn't get into the cinema to see it.

    I got the VHS for Christmas one year, and after I'd seen it, I knew straight away that it had overtaken TLD as my favourite Bond film.

    Everything about the film impresses me. From the epic PTS to the final tanker chase, there's never a dull moment. And I didn't realise it when I first watched it as a kid, but it really explores the character of Bond. Dalton takes his portrayal to the extreme. In TLD we get hints of Bond being unhappy with his job (the whole stuff my orders bit), and Felix being attacked seems be the straw that broke the camels back. Bond is rogue and Dalton really shows his brutal, more sadistic side. It's still the Bond we know but he's been tipped over the edge and the darker side which was always evident in films before is fully realised, as well as the human side. Bond really cares about Felix and Della and he's at his most human here since OHMSS.

    The film manages to feel dark and gritty without going too far from the Bond formula. All the regular Bond elements are there, but they're used in new intresting ways, like Q, who goes out of his way to help Bond and gets stuck in, something we don't normally see.

    The action is brilliant. People say that LTK doesn't feel like a Bond movie, but how can you say that when it's full of epic stunts like plane fishing, plane water skiing, and the final tanker chase, all done for real. Dalton is the best part of the film, he really gives it his all and he does something new and original with the character. I also heard that Dalton helped the other actors while Glen just wanted to plan the next big action scene, shows he really cared about Bond.

    The story is great. Bond at first tries to kill Sanchez, but then after being attacked and becoming friends with Sanchez he decides a better revenge would be destroying his operation from the inside. He does this, and things get really tense, especially as Sanchez is so keen on loyalty, you don't want Bond to get found out. Dario is a great, memorable and threatening henchman, Lupe is hot and Pam is a great character who is just as hot as Lupe. Then there's Robert Davi as Sanchez. IMO the best villian of the entire series, threatening, brutal, great lines, a memorable gimmick, you know he's a man that you wouldn't want to be on the bad side of.

    LTK is my favourite Bond film and it contains my favourite scene of the series. When James Bond, covered in blood, sand and coke, after having his cover blown, escaping an exploding drug lab, leaping onto a moving plane while being shot at and surviving an explosive tanker chase, finally ends up facing a machete wielding Sanchez.

    Sanchez is about to kill him when Bond says "don't you want to know why?" and draws a lighter, the one Felix gave him. Sanchez looks at him in shock then Bond sets fire to him, Bond stumbles off into the desert as Sanchez blows himself up via the tanker.

    Bond collapses onto a rock and stares back at the burning wreckage and breaths a sigh of relief. He's got his revenge and it's finally all over.

    I can't think of another moment where Bond has earned his victory more. It's a great moment, brilliantly acted that shows just how badass and resilient Bond is.

    And it sums up the franchise in a wierd, unintentional sort of way. It doesn't matter how many legal issues there are, how many other spy series' claim to be the best, it doesn't matter if there's a writers strike or a bad movie: Bond will carry on and will always come out on top.

    Sadly though, even though it was pretty successful in most places, for some reason Licence To Kill didn't do too well in America. And this was the last Dalton film :( But we'll always have this one and TLD to remember how brilliant and ahead of his time the man was.
  • edited December 2014 Posts: 264
    License to Kill

    Timothy Dalton's second and final entry in the franchise is more violent, more intense and more astray from the standard Bond formula than The Living Daylights. It also, unfortunately, was one of the lowest-selling films since the audience didn't warmly respond to the series becoming darker. Some, of course, felt like this was more of a Miami Vice film than a James Bond film. Plot-wise, perhaps. But this portrayal of the Bond character as a troubled stressed brooding killer is more accurate than Connery and Moore's portrayal which has glamorized the gravity of Bond's work. The emphasis on womanizing is toned down here as well, even though Bond is a little more promiscuous than in TLD.

    LTK is a fast-paced movie that relentlessly feeds the viewer intense action scene after intense action scene. Even the slow scenes are enthralling since they build up suspense. With lots of gunshots, explosions, chases and brawls, it's a roller coaster ride that never lets up. But even with all of that, it still established that Bond as a stealthy spy. An underrated gem overall.

    Theme Song: (Gladys Knight) A good song in itself, but doesn't quite fit with the tone of the movie.
    "Bond Girl": (Pam Bouvier) She's tough as nail and every bit as strong as Bond, strapped with a shotgun and kevlar. One of Bond's better companions.
    The Villain: (Franz Sanchez) A no-nonsense drug lord who is razor-sharp and lacks the naivety present in many other villains. Pretty good villain overall.
    One-Liners: "I'll do anything for a woman with a knife." & "I'm more of a problem eliminator"

    Overall Rating: 8/10 (Great)
  • ThomasCrown76ThomasCrown76 Augusta, ks
    Posts: 757
    It's a great James Bond film. Unfortunately, coming on the heels of twelve years of Roger Moore, some people were still expecting the silly jokes and wondering when Sanchez would unveil his secret space station or waiting anxiously for Bond to shag his 5th conquest of the movie.
    As I have gotten older, I have grown to like Dalton, Connery, and Craig a lot more, and have grown to despise the Roger Moore Bonds. Brosnan is a good actor when given the right material and people to work with. He was just not served well at all by the directors and writers of his films, with the exception of Campbell. I still enjoy Tomorrow Never Dies for what it is.
    Back to Licence to's James Bond at his most James Bondy-est. That's right. I just typed that;)
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    That was Licence To Kill. Final Thoughts? Amazing

    So to begin with, we have a really good gunbarrel to kick off the film. Now unlike The Living Daylights, we get a really good cast of characters. We have Sanchez the main baddie played by Robert Davi and he is just the perfect blend of evil, sinister, cocky, classy and badass and Davi does it amazingly. We also have probably my favorite Bond girl with Pam Bouvier, who is pretty skilled and badass but also adds lots of fun humor and moments to the film such as when she reacts to the Vodka Martini, the Camera Laser and of course the famous scene of her mocking Lupe.

    This film also has imo Desmond's best performance as Q in the film series, not only is he more involved here but he's also up to his usual humorous self here and I very much appreciate it. I also think Dario and Milton Krest were pretty decent henchmen and played their roles well. And of course we get the return of David Hedison as Felix and he's as great as ever. This film also has imo a pretty good and underappreciated score that works really well with each scene.

    There's also great action, Great Humor filled moments and Tension. I also quite liked the more serious and dark tone, this movie pulled it off very well imo because while it was more dark it kept the signature bond elements that make Bond what it is, and imo it's the only time Bond going rouge was done correctly. And last but not least I wanna mention that the plot is very simple but effective which is a star contrast from the previous film, oh and we get a good performance by Dalton as Bond here.

    Now This movie isn't flawless I'm afraid. For starters I think that Bond often overacts and argues with people far to much, I get that Felix nearly died but him constantly bickering with Pam when she's right and telling her to go home so many times is just tiring to see. Speaking of Pam that love scene between her and Bond on the boat made 0 sense and felt incredibly forced, I feel their moment should've been saved for the end of the film.

    Another flaw was up with those Ninjas and that MI6 agent working for sanchez? They weren't exactly explained very well which is not exactly a good thing. Another thing with this film is that well sometimes the movie looks cheaply made, granted it doesn't take me out of the film or ruin it but it is something worth noting. I also feel as if the character of Lupe is just plain bad and feels like a parody of a typical bond girl, like her love for James is so ridiculous and just stupid, she feels like she's there for Eye candy alone but she isn't a total waste I suppose.

    And last but not least I need to say this, whoever was the hair stylist for Dalton in the Casino needs to be fired, that count Dracula haircut is awful plain and simple.

    But in the end, Licence To Kill is a fantastic Bond film and it's a lot of fun to watch, sure it has its issues but I don't think they overshadow the overall greatness of this one, and imo they finally got Dalton right with this one, just a shame this would be his last

    My final rating is a 9/10
  • LocqueLocque Escaped from a Namur prison
    edited July 2020 Posts: 259
    I've always preferred Bond movies that deviate from the formula, that dare to take the franchise down new paths.
    The madman-with-a-bomb plot was fun in Goldfinger, but after a dozen or so movies that end with Bond disarming a nuclear device in the nick of time, it gets pretty stale.

    Licence to Kill is probably the film that veers the furthest from what you'd expect a Bond movie to be. Bond disobeying orders and going rogue to avenge a friend, it is a gritty, violent tale of revenge, with few of the winks and nods you'd find in the previous films. But just when you think it starts to feel like a generic eighties action flick, out of nowhere the writers throw in a bunch of ninjas to remind you that, yes, you are indeed watching a Bond movie.

    While Bond girl Talisa Soto clearly wasn't cast for her thespian abilities, there are some great performances here: Robert Davi creates one of the best villains of the series: charming, yet menacing; intelligent yet unpredictable. While he may be more grounded in reality than some of the over-the-top bad guys of the past, he's just as memorable, if not more so.
    Anthony Zerbe and a very young Benicio del Toro are also very good as henchmen/underlings and Timothy Dalton himself is a lot better here than in The Living Daylights: he's more confident, more at ease in the role and it helps that the writers have figured out they shouldn't give him Roger Moore style one-liners.

    The movie culminates in a meticulously planned, choreographed, and executed chase sequence, a mechanical ballet starring four trucks, two cars, and an aeroplane. It is truly one of the best chases in the series, if not movie history.

    While I consider Licence to Kill a franchise highlight, general audience didn't seem to take to the new direction and it was, and still is, the least profitable Bond movie in the series.
    So, after six years of legal battles resulting from the bankruptcy of MGM, Eon would cast a new Bond; a funnier, more lighthearted Bond, who could do Roger Moore style one-liners and who'd once again be up against madmen-with-a-bomb.
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