The 007 Collective – ‘Licence to Kill’

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The 007 Collective is a bi-monthly column in which I revisit every official feature in the James Bond franchise and review how they hold up today. Along with a review of each film, each article in this 10-month-long series will dive into the historical place and production of each film in question. It will also feature a dossier i.e. a fact sheet with superlatives, ratings, rankings, best, worsts and other fun stuff in line with the format you’ve seen in my annual Year in Superlatives articles. This project isn’t meant to be the final word on the Bond franchise. It’s merely my take on the series. For previous entries, click here.

I end Timothy Dalton’s tragically short tenure as Bond with the most underrated movie of the franchise, the dark and violent revenge thriller LICENCE TO KILL.

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Mission Title: Licence to Kill
James Bond: Timothy Dalton
Release Date: July 14, 1989
Source Material: Original story
Tagline: His bad side is a dangerous place to be.

 

MISSION BRIEFING

After drug kingpin Franz Sanchez throws widowed CIA agent Felix Leiter to the sharks (literally), James Bond goes on an unsanctioned, vengeance-fueled rampage against Sanchez and his empire, destroying it from the inside by strategically playing the drug lord against his men. Bond’s obsession and single-minded vendetta costs him his 00 status but, for the first time in the series history, reveals his anti-hero side.

 

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MISSION REVIEW

They say that your first Bond movie tends to be the one you never forget. If that’s the case, I’m supremely glad that my first Bond was Licence to Kill and not something like A View to a Kill.  Unquestionably the most criminally underrated and under-seen movie of the Bond franchise, Timothy Dalton’s second and final turn as James Bond, is also one of the series best movies—a gritty and violent revenge thriller that saw the character, for the first time in his cinematic history, stripped off his 00 status, and out on a personal revenge mission against a drug lord, dealing ruthless and gruesome pain to those who crossed his friend.

Licence to Kill was a concentrated attempt by producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and director John Glen to take the series into a grittier direction that had been established in Timothy Dalton’s first Bond movie The Living Daylights, released two years earlier, as well as to update it in the vein of contemporary action movies of the late 80’s like Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. Since the majority of Ian Fleming’s novels and short stories had already been adapted by that point, writers Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson (who also co-produced the film with Broccoli) decided to craft an original story with elements taken from previously adapted novels like Live and Let Die. The plot and themes of the film, which were tailored to Dalton’s darker interpretation of the character, were to revolve around revenge. Indeed, Wilson noted that the film was inspired by films such as Yojimbo, A Fistful of Dollars and Death Wish. Interestingly, the film was originally titled Licence Revoked before being changed to Licence to Kill when a survey of American audiences revealed that nearly 50% of them didn’t know the meaning of the word Revoked. Bizarre!

What’s refreshing about Licence to Kill is that it marked a drastic departure from the Bond formula that had been established from 1962 and over the course of 15 movies. If The Living Daylights was akin to taking the franchise back to the Connery era, then this film was a case of the franchise going back to the Fleming novels—completely divorced from the family-friendliness and tongue-in-cheek nature of the Roger Moore era.  Not only did it do away with many of the series tropes such as the initial briefing session with M, megalomaniac villains with schemes of global domination, and trips to various exotic locations but it also did away with Martinis, and even “Bond, James Bond.” What’s more, its plot is surprisingly stripped down and straight-forward—single-minded in its mission of vengeance. There are no detours into slapstick stupidity here either. The only humor comes in the form of Desmond Llewelyn’s Q whose role is expanded here to add some levity to the somber proceedings.

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Other than Q, this is straight-up thriller about Bond going after the villain (Sanchez) and his allies, and slowly pitting them against each other, destroying their drug empire from the inside while dishing out pain like the cold-hearted bastard that he is. That isn’t just refreshing; it’s flat-out ground-breaking in terms of this series because for the first time, the mission isn’t for Her Majesty’s Secret Service, its personal: we feel for Bond, we feel his pain, and we want him to get his revenge. We even fear for him because of how unhinged and vulnerable he looks. This is a man who knows that no good will come of what he’s embarking on but he accepts the consequences and continues. The Daniel Craig Bonds routinely get praised for emphasizing the personalization of the character, and for good reason; it makes a killing machine relatable. Just remember that Licence to Kill pioneered that personalized angle over 25 years ago.

Similarly, while Daniel Craig is the actor most credited with bringing the Bond franchise from the brink of death to its current heights, re-instilling the grit, personal stakes and killer instinct that the Brosnan years lacked, he merely fine-tuned what Timothy Dalton crafted in this film and The Living Daylights in the late 80’s. As I noted in my review of The Living Daylights two months ago, Dalton’s Bond is a tough, brooding and introspective enigma. You can never tell what’s going on in his head, but that’s what makes him dangerous, unpredictable, and sexy. The Welshman’s iteration of the character is one of only three (Connery and Craig being the others) who I truly believed could be a stone-cold killer.

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It’s to the filmmakers’ credit that they were able to craft an antagonist who could go toe-to-toe with Dalton’s Bond: Robert Davi’s ruthless and terrifying Sanchez. The drug lord is a figure who instills the fear of God into anyone who crosses his path, and Davi’s wonderful performance is the reason why the character makes for such a realistic and menacing villain. The actor is at once charismatic, scary, sophisticated and cool. He’s scarier because you know that guys like him exist out there in the world. Apparently, Davi modeled Sanchez on Pablo Escobar. Sanchez doesn’t simply kill his enemies; he makes them feel every bleeding drop of their agonizing deaths. And Glen and company ensure that as audience members, we’re made privy to every shocking moment of his brutality. From feeding people to sharks to impaling others with forklifts to carving out hearts with pen knives to throwing a guy into a compression chamber only to watch the guy’s head explode into a blob of goo—this is one shockingly violent movie. It wasn’t a surprise when I found out that this was the first Bond movie that had to be edited down to avoid an R rating.

Alas, Licence to Kill proved to be DOA when it opened in the summer of 1989. Although reviews were generally positive—Roger Ebert gifted it with a 3.5 out of 4 rating—the picture’s hard edge, revenge story, and shocking violence divorced from the humor, weren’t met with enthusiasm by audiences who were still in the process of getting over their 12-year Roger Moore hangover. To many of that generation, Roger Moore was Bond. Dalton was just a wannabe who lacked charisma and charm. Dull as dishwater was the word around the campfire. Moreover, in a summer ruled by Tim Burton’s Batman, Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Richard Donner’s Lethal Weapon 2, James Cameron’s The Abyss, and Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters 2, it seemed like there wasn’t any place at the table left for Bond. It severely underperformed at the box office, opening embarrassingly in fourth place below three movies that had already been out for a couple of weeks or more. Ever since its failure that summer, every Bond movie has opened during the November-December period.

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With the financial dispute over the ownership and rights of the series between MGM and its investors consuming the attention of EON productions for the next six years, Licence to Kill would end up being the swan song for the majority of the talent involved. Director John Glen who directed five movies, and served as film editor on three others, left EON Productions to seek other projects. Screenwriter Richard Maibaum, who had a hand in writing 12 Bond movies died in 1991; as did title designer Maurice Binder who designed 14 credit sequences. This was also to be the final film for cinematographer Alec Mills, editor John Grover, composer Michael Kamen, and cast members Caroline Bliss (Miss Moneypenny) and Robert Brown who had taken over the role of M starting with Octopussy in 1983. Most importantly, this would also be the end of the road for both, Timothy Dalton and series founder, producer Albert Broccoli. Dalton would abruptly announce his retirement from the role in 1994 as pre-production of GoldenEye got underway while Broccoli would transfer producing duties on to Wilson and his daughter Barbara before his death in 1997. In fact, the only major talents who would return to the series would be longtime production designer Peter Lamont and evergreen Desmond Llewelyn (Q) who would continue appearing in the movies until his death shortly after the release of The World is Not Enough in 1999.

Licence to Kill marked a moment in EON Productions’ history where the filmmakers were willing to experiment with a darker tone and take creative risks with their iconic character by departing from a formula that had grown stale. It was a movie that was fresh then and that still feels fresh today. It may have its flaws but the fact that Broccoli and company actually tried something different is an immense credit to them. It really is a tragedy that the risk didn’t pay off at the box office, and that its release came at the advent of a financial crisis that would put the series in a state of limbo for more than half a decade. I would have loved to have seen what Dalton would have brought to the table in his third outing, especially considering how successful Goldfinger, The Spy Who Loved Me and Skyfall were for their respective Bonds. It was a film ahead of its time.

 

THE DOSSIER

Illustration by Mike Mahale at DeviantArt

Illustration by Mike Mahale at DeviantArt

COLD OPEN

From the very first musical notes that accompany its gun barrel scene, we’re given a taste of Licence to Kill’s serious tone. The notes are striking, brooding, and full of anger and intensity—much like the mood of Bond throughout this adventure. The action kicks off with drug lord Franz Sanchez finding his mistress Lupe Lamora in bed with another man and brutally whipping her as punishment. As for the unlucky bastard who just had the luckiest night of his life? He gets his heart literally ripped out by Sanchez’s sadistic henchman Dario. Then it’s off to the Florida Keys as Bond and Felix Leiter, draped in tuxes, make their way to Felix’s wedding, where Bond is the best man. That’s when DEA agents without wedding invitations interrupt the trip by informing them of Sanchez’s return to US soil. Desperate to apprehend the drug czar before he leaves the country, Felix and Bond engage in a nasty gun battle with Sanchez’s men before helplessly watching as Sanchez escapes on a small airplane headed out to Cuba. While pursuing Sanchez in a helicopter, with time soon running out before Sanchez enters Cuban airspace, Bond strikes a crazy idea: He’ll use the helicopter’s skyhook as a lasso and fish in Sanchez’s plane, thereby bringing it back to US territory. The filmmakers accomplish the sequence via a daredevil stunt that sees a stuntman dive from the helicopter and grab on to the airplane’s tail before tying it. The sequence, which turned out to be a major inspiration for the breathtaking opening sequence of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, ends with Felix and Bond skydiving from the helicopter and to the front door of the church for the wedding ceremony. Cue credits.

Grade: B+

 

TITLE SEQUENCE

Title Designer: Maurice Binder
Title Song: “Licence to Kill” performed by Gladys Knight
Famous Quote: “Please don’t bet that you’ll ever escape me/Once I get my sights on you/I Got a licence to kill/And you know I’m going straight for your heart.”

Like the movie the follows it, Gladys Knight’s title song doesn’t get its fair shake. Routinely accused of being dull and forgettable, this is a song that never fails to do the trick for me, especially with its sublime reworking of the opening horns of Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger,” and Knight’s soulful vocals. It’s possible that I may have a fondness for the song due to it being played on repeat in my household as a pre-teen in the early 90s. It may not be one of the best theme songs but it certainly is one of the Bond songs I listen to the most. Fun fact: Gladys Knight’s official music video was directed by none other than Daniel Kleinman, a filmmaker who would, starting with GoldenEye, take up title designing duties on every Bond movie save for Quantum of Solace.

Speaking of Maurice Binder… this was to be the last sequence designed by the legendary title designer as he would pass away two years later at the age of 65. Over the course of his career, Binder designed titles for more than 80 films and television shows, including 14 out of the 16 Bond films until that point. While Binder’s work felt phoned in across much of the 80’s, he ended his work on the series on a high note. Along with incorporating his trademark motif of naked dancing women with guns, Binder also includes classic imagery associated with 007 such as casino tables, poker chips, moving targets, the gun barrel, and a lot of images of photographs. It’s all done to keep in mind that this mission is a personal one.

Grade: B

 

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VILLAINS

The Big Bad: Ruthlessly efficient Latin American drug czar Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) whose cool and charismatic demeanor can turn violent and terrifying in a heartbeat. Fiercely intelligent, sophisticated and sadistic, Sanchez is one of the most menacing… correction, terrifying villains Bond has gone up against, and is easily among my favorites of the entire series. This guy won’t just kill you, he’ll make sure you die in the most painful way imaginable. Over the course of the movie, he feeds one adversary to a shark, throws another into a compression chamber and watches his body explode into goo, rips out another one’s heart, and tries to put Bond into a cocaine grinding machine. He would be despicable if it weren’t for Robert Davi’s fantastic performance that levitates the character with shades of charm, cockiness and dry humor. Sanchez’s defining trait, and what eventually proves to be his downfall, is his commitment to and rewarding loyalty. Also, no primary villain, save for Alec Trevelyan, has had a more memorable death than Sanchez.

 

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Henchman: The psychopathic rapist and sadistic Dario (Benicio Del Toro) who Sanchez sends on his most sensitive missions. Dario rapes and murders Della Leiter, and brags about his deeds to a grieving Felix. Accomplished at both guns and knives, Dario meets a particularly gruesome end at the hands of Pam and Bond when they flush him down a grinder. This was one of the first roles for Del Toro, who was back then a mere 21-year-old trying to make his name in the business. At the age of 21, he was also the youngest actor to ever play a Bond villain. Del Toro would eventually become one of only four Oscar-winning actors to play a villain in a Bond movie. Unlike Christopher Walken (A View to a Kill), Javier Bardem (Skyfall) and Christoph Waltz (SPECTRE), he’s the only one who won an Oscar after his dalliance with Bond although I do maintain that he deserved to be in the conversation for a Best Supporting Actor nomination solely for his line delivery during this scene.

 

Milton Krest: Sanchez’s creepy drug-runner who owns a Key Wes-based business that acts as a front for one of Sanchez’s drug operations. Krest is the first pawn in Bond’s scheme to destroy Sanchez’s operation.

 

Organization: Down in Latin America, it’s Sanchez’s world.

 

World Domination Plan: No world domination plan. Come to think of it, Sanchez doesn’t really have any scheme at all. All he wants to do is expand his drug empire to Asia, but even that isn’t really central to the plot, unless you count the mini-sub-plot involving Hong Kong narcotics, which I’m not. This movie is fueled by Bond’s mission of revenge and for the most part, it doesn’t stray from the course.

 

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BOND GIRLS

Primary: Tough-as-nails and sassy ex CIA agent/former army pilot Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) whose appearance in the series comes as a welcome respite after the annoying Kara in The Living Daylights, and the inane Stacey Sutton in A View to a Kill. Pam, who goes toe-to-toe with Bond during action scenes and dramatic ones, is less of a damsel-in-distress than an ally who is an equal to Bond. Although Bond often behaves condescendingly to her, she puts him in place, and even impresses him on more than one occasion with her professionalism and efficiency with weapons. And unlike the last two Bond girls, Pam is no innocent bystander either. She’s been hired by the CIA on an operation to capture Sanchez before Bond’s rogue mission throws everything into chaos. While Lowell’s performance is a bit hit-or-miss, she nails many of the character’s best moments, including one of the few moments of humor in the film. Oh, and did I mention that she’s sexy? Yea, that too. A rare mix of strong and drop-dead seductive—she’s arguably be the first feminist Bond girl but she’s without doubt, the best American Bond girl ever.

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Others: Lupe Lamora (Talisa Soto), Sanchez’s mistress who stays with the drug lord as a prisoner, always scheming a way to escape. When she is caught with another man during the film’s cold open, she is brutally punished by Sanchez who uses a whip made out of coral skeleton and shark’s teeth. She tries to use Bond as her meal ticket but also saves his neck on more than one occasion.

 

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ALLIES

Q (Desmond Llewelyn): Of all of Llewelyn’s record 17 appearances in the Bond franchise, this was the movie that offered him his largest part. Q is informed about Bond’s whereabouts while on vacation, and decides to help 007 with his mission to kill Sanchez by offering him an arsenal of gadgets, a couple of which Bond makes good use of. He also becomes a field agent by first acting as Bond’s chauffeur, then being the driver of a tug boat that brings Milton Krest’s ship into the Bay of Isthamus, and by reporting on Sanchez’s movements at his headquarters during the finale. As he reminds Bond, “If it hadn’t been for Q branch, you’d have been dead long ago.” Damn right, Q.

Felix Leiter: This was actor David Hedison’s second appearance as 007’s famous CIA pal Felix Leiter after playing the part in 1973 in Live and Let Die. In doing so, he became only the first actor to play the character more than once. After Hedison, only Jeffrey Wright has been able to play the role twice—appearing in both of Daniel Craig’s first two films, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Felix’s role in Licence to Kill is limited to the cold-open and the post-credits sequence in which he is fed to the sharks by Sanchez and company. Surviving the attack, but without a leg, Felix spends the rest of the film in intensive care.

Sharkey (Frank McRae): Felix’s fellow CIA buddy who aids Bond on his mission of vengeance in Florida but who is apprehended and killed by some of Milton Krest’s men.

Miss Moneypenny (Caroline Bliss) who helps Bond by alerting Q about Bond’s whereabouts in South America. This was to be Bliss’ second and last turn as the character in the Bond franchise.

 

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NOTABLE GADGETS

Signature Camera Gun: Used by Bond during the scene where he tries to assassinate Sanchez in his office. His plan fails when he is attacked by Hong Kong narcotic agents dressed as ninjas who try to kill him using his own gun but fail due to the gadget’s security mechanism which only allows the owner of the gun to use it. Among the gun’s other special features are an infra-ray scope, sniper add-on, and a mock-film cartridge that could be used to store up to six .220 caliber bullets.

Manta Ray Cover: Used by Bond as a cover to avoid detection when sneaking unto Milton Krest’s boat.

Dentonite toothpaste: Used by Bond to destroy Sanchez’s bullet-proof window during the scene where he tries and fails to assassinate the drug lord.

Broom radio transmitter: Used by Q to alert Pam about Bond’s whereabouts.

 

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ODDS & ENDS

Most Memorable Quote:

A TIE

[Sanchez to Bond who has just been tied to a conveyor which leads to a cocaine grinder]
Sanchez: When it gets up to your ankles, you’re going to beg to tell me everything. When it gets up to your knees, you’ll kiss my ass to kill you.

AND

[The note Bond finds on a bleeding Felix who has been mauled by a shark]
He disagreed with something that ate him.

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Most Embarrassing Quote:
[A goon of Milton Krest who has just found and killed Bond’s friend Sharkey is bragging to his friends]

Goon: Nice work! Guess what? His name was Sharkey.
[Bond picks up a harpoon and coldly harpoons the guy]
James Bond: Compliments of Sharkey!

Sure,  it’s a really memorable and cold-hearted kill but couldn’t the filmmakers come up with something more creative than, “Compliments of Sharkey”? I guess, “He got the point” was already taken.

 

Most Memorable Moment:
There are plenty of moments that stand out in Licence to Kill, including the emotional payoff during the terrific finale and the thrilling cold open but one moment the one moment that defines the movie for me is the scene at Milton Krest’s marine warehouse where Bond confronts Ed Killifer, the corrupt DEA agent that betrayed Felix to Sanchez and his goons for $2 million. When a fight with Bond ends with Killifer hanging on to a rope, clinging on for dear life over a pool with Great White Sharks, Killifer attempts to bribe Bond by offering him $1 million to let him go. A dead-eyed Bond responds, “You earned it. You keep it” before throwing the full suitcase on Killifer causing the man to fall straight into the tank and be torn to pieces by the shark. This isn’t a heroic figure but an anti-hero who isn’t above straight up murdering a bad guy. Some may say it isn’t “Bond” but if that isn’t, then what is? Roger Moore’s jovial cradle-robbing Grandpa?

 

Most Cringe-Worthy Moment:
Probably the brawl in the Bimini bar scene which simply feels like a cheap and stupid rip of Roadhouse. The attempts at humor during the sequence are silly and dumb too. It’s not helped by the atrocious scene on the speedboat after that in which Bond and Pam inexplicably begin to flirt and have sex—despite having met only 20 minutes earlier. WTF?

 

Funniest Moment:
The scene in which Lupe comes to Q and Pam telling them that she spent the night with Bond and that she’s in love with him. Watching Q roll his eyes upon hearing this, and watching Pam’s blood-boiling reaction to this is the high point of hilarity in the movie. The following exchange between Q and Pam after Lupe has left the room seals the deal.

Pam: [Mocking Lupe] I love James so much. [Normal voice]  I’ll be damned if I help him.
Q: Look… Don’t judge him too harshly, my dear. Field operatives much often use every means at their disposal to achieve their objectives.
[moment of silence]
Pam: [Shouting] BULLSHIT!

 

Most Touching Moment:
The moment early on in the picture where Della attempts to throw her garter at Bond, to which Bond replies, “No.” Perplexed at Bond’s reaction as he walks to his car and leaves, Della looks at Felix and asks,

Della: Did I say something wrong?
Felix: He was married once. But it was a long time ago.

That one scene tells you everything you need to know about Bond’s emotionally-vulnerable state, and perhaps why the death of Della hurt him so much. After all, his wife was brutally killed on his wedding day too in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

 

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Most Shocking/Outrageous Moment:
Hands down, the inane scene in which a furious Sanchez throws Milton Krest into a decompression chamber, and then increases the pressure to the point where Krest’s head expands and then explodes into a mass of bloody goo. Horrifying! The best part… when Sanchez’s bummed out henchman asks Sanchez what they’re going to do with all the money that was left in the chamber with Milton, Sanchez coolly looks back at him and says,

“Launder it.”

 

Best Pun/Double Entendre:
[M has cornered Bond at the iconic Hemingway House in Key West]

M: This private vendetta of yours could easily compromise Her Majesty’s government. You have an assignment, and I expect you to carry it out “objectively” and “professionally!”
James Bond: Then you have my resignation, sir!
M: [incensed] We’re not a country club, 007! Effective immediately, your licence to kill is revoked, and I require you to hand over your weapon.
James Bond: I guess it’s, uh… a farewell to arms.

Get it? Farewell to Arms? Hemingway? Ah, fuck it! “Launder it” it is.

 

Worst Pun/Double Entendre:
[Upon seeing the impaled body of Heller being rammed through a wall with a forklift]
Pam: Oh, God, its Heller.
Bond: Yeah, looks like he came to a dead end…

 

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Best Stunt/Action Scene:
I really enjoy the sequence where Bond escapes from Milton Krest’s ship and then escapes his enemies by harpooning a water-plane full of Sanchez’s money, skiing to it and taking the controls of the flight but I’m going to go with the entire climax – starting with the tankers leaving Sanchez’s lair all the way to the explosive finale in which a battered Bond gets the better of Sanchez using Felix’s Lighter. Really though, the entire sequence defines the kind of action sequences that made the Bond franchise a game-changer for fans worldwide: No CG, no effects, just straight up jaw-dropping stunt work. How about that scene with the tanker doing a wheelie? Great action filmmaking at its finest!

 

Most Dated Reference:
The Bimini Bar sequence is perhaps the only scene in the movie that dates it to the late 80’s.

 

Number of Times Bond Has Sex: 3 (once with Lupe, twice with Pam)

 

Number of people Bond kills: 12

 

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Best Kill:
There’s a buffet of great kills in this movie. Bond kills a guy by dumping him into a drawer full of maggots; he kills another by throwing him into a tank full of electric eels. He throws a suitcase full of money at a corrupt DEA agent causing the goon to fall into an aquarium full of Great White Sharks. He also harpoons a guy at point blank! And there was Sanchez, who he burns alive using a lighter given to him by Felix and Della. But for my money, Bond’s best kill in Licence to Kill goes to the particularly gruesome death of Dario at the hands of both, Bond and Pam.

 

Locations visited (In order of appearance): The Bahamas, Key West, Bimini, Florida, London, Isthmus City (fictional), Isthmus (also fictional but loosely based on Panama).

 

Misogyny Meter: 7/10
Being a product of the 80’s, Licence to Kill doesn’t really fare very well in the misogyny department. Lupe gets brutalized by Sanchez during the pre-credits sequence, punished for cheating on him. Later on, when Bond asks her how she got those wounds, Lupe simply tells him that she deserved it. WTF? There’s also the case of Della, Felix’s wife, being raped and murdered. This crime is the primary instigation for all the events in the movie; a poor ‘80’s movie trope. There’s also Bond’s casual condescending behavior towards Pam, and his rough treatment of her during the scene where he nearly kills her while interrogating her. His retort at her, frankly badass line, “It’s Ms. Kennedy! And why can’t you be MY secretary?” – “We’re south of the border. It’s a man’s world” is another one that shows his misogynistic attitude towards women. But perhaps the film’s biggest problem in this category is undermining Pam’s independent and tough characteristics by having her get extremely jealous of Lupe, constantly having her get worked up about it, and then constantly nagging Bond like a lost puppy. She deserves better than him.

 

Homophobia Meter: 0/10
N/A

 

Racism Rating: 5/10
Essentially every minority character is given minimal roles and is killed off rather swiftly. There’s Sharkey and there’s the three Hong Kong narcotic agents in a subplot that is shamefully under-developed. Even Benicio doesn’t get much to do.

 

Box Office: $34.6 million ($72.8 million adjusted for inflation; last overall).

 

Oscars: None

 

007 Chronological Listing: 16/24

 

Overall Grade:

B+ Grade

 

LICENCE TO KILL

Director: John Glen
Screenwriter: Richard Maibaum, Michael G. Wilson
Cast: Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi, Talisa Soto, Benicio Del Toro
Producer: Albert R. Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson

Editor: John Grover
Cinematographer: Alec Mills
Music: Michael Kamen
Production Design: Peter Lamont

Running time: 133 minutes
Companies: EON Productions, MGM
Rating: PG-13 (for action violence and drug content)

 

The 007 Collective will return in:

CASINO ROYALE (2006)

 

Previous entries in The 007 Collective:


Data References:
MI6, IMDb, WikipediaBox Office Mojo

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