Friday, October 19, 2012
License to Kill (John Glen, 1989) Review
After capturing drug selling tycoon Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), James Bond (Timothy Dalton) attends the wedding of his good friend Felix Leiter (David Hedison) who we've seen working with Bond since Dr. No. The celebration is short lived when Sanchez breaks out of prison, has his henchman Dario (Benicio Del Toro) kill Felix's wife and feeds Felix to a shark. Bond wants revenge on Sanchez but his vendetta could jeopardise his role as an MI6 spy...so he quits. M (Robert Brown) takes away Bond's licence to kill and seeks out Dario with the help of Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell).
My God is this film violent! If ever you wanted to see someone's head explode from explosive decompression, someone fall into a cocaine grinder, someone lose their leg to a shark or someone be set on fire and blown up. Yeah, it gets pretty bloody. It's one of two Bond films to be rated 15 (the other being Goldeneye).This is one of the only films where Bond doesn't have that many one-liners because of how horrifying everything is! Honestly, it works...but only as a one time thing. If I see another Bond film like this, it probably won't be that great (Tomorrow Never Dies came very close).
Pam Bouvier is one of my favorite Bond girls. She's even more competent than Bond is. She is easily one of the best Bond girls (GASP!)...Lupe is alright, I guess. Robert Davi is excellent as the villain, Sanchez. He is brutal as hell and doesn't give second chances. You feel like he can strike at any second even when he's just sitting a room...he has a creepy presence. He reminds me of Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2...sorry, I've been playing it a lot and had to put it in somewhere...
Licence to Kill is a very interesting addition to the franchise since it takes a WAY more dark tone on the Bond license...to kill. Sanchez is one of best villains because of his omniscient presence and even Dario is a sinister character, despite not being in it that much. Yes, this is incredibly violent almost of a Saw level but it's fine....for now.
An incredibly violent version of the classic spy, this one has a great villain, well written characters and one of the best plots.