Licence to Kill (1989)


Action | Thriller


John Glen




Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi, Talisa Soto, Anthony Zerbe, Frank McRae, Everett McGill, Wayne Newton, Benicio del Toro, Anthony Starke, Pedro Armend├íriz Jr., Desmond Llewelyn, David Hedison, Priscilla Barnes, Robert Brown, Caroline Bliss, Don Stroud, Grand L. Bush, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Christopher Neame, Diana Lee Hsu


James Bond (Timothy Dalton) goes rogue and sets off to unleash vengeance on a drug lord (Robert Davi) who tortured his best friend, C.I.A. agent Felix Leiter (David Hedison), and left him for dead and murdered his bride after he helped capture him.


The second and final movie of the Timothy Dalton era, "License to Kill" is a serious and dark entry in the Bond franchise.

This film is radically different from nearly all the previous installments. The story is an original one, not from Ian Fleming's novel, and the revenge plot fits perfectly to the kind of James Bond Dalton played, and shows the spy at his merciless best.

Despite the film shows a different Bond that doesn't work for the British government anymore and pursues his personal vendetta, the film, at first, doesn't seem very different from previous entries. Maybe it's because of the spectacular underwater shots that we have seen over and over again. I don't know.

Anyway, what makes this film better is the transformation of the main character. Bond goes from being an impeccable agent, loyal to his superiors - even though in the previous film his obedience began to wobble - to being a human being that acts for personal purposes only.

Also Q finally has the screen time he deserves. He would usually appear at the beginning or later is the movie, just to give Bond his gadgets and send Bond off on a mission. But not this time. For once, he is part of the mission. And let me say it, he's just amazing.

Timothy Dalton may not be the best James Bond - he's my favourite though - but he really embodies and brings emotional depth to the character. On the other side of the coin we have a terrific Robert Davi - a very underrated actor - as drug lord Franz Sanchez. He's genuinely terrifying, and one of the best villains so far. Finally for the joy of men there are two Bond girls, both gorgeous, and for the ladies a young Benicio del Toro, who also happens to give an excellent performance.


  1. Glad you enjoyed this one. It is an underrated movie in the canon.

  2. Glad you enjoyed this one. It is an underrated movie in the canon.

  3. Yeah...another who likes Timothy Dalton! I don't know why so many don't like him but I do because I feel the actor gave Bond some soul.