LICENCE TO KILL ***
*NOTE* The eternally fabulous JAMES BOND PROJECT initially sprang from the towering intellect of one CRAIG KENNEDY, the equally awesome proprietor of LIVING IN CINEMA
I’ll have more tomorrow.
So find me here if you want me…
If you’re looking for a hard, fast, tempestuous tale of revenge, LICENCE TO KILL blows QUANTUM OF SOLACE right out of the water.
This is the way it should be done…
TIMOTHY DALTON is back as BOND. It’s an immense tragedy that he only made two films as 007. It’s difficult to live with the fact that he had such a short run.
JAMES goes renegade here. After the torture of his close friend FELIX LEITER and the death of Felix’s bride DELLA CHURCHILL, BOND refuses to go off the case even when M orders him to.
James is stripped of his title. His licence to kill is revoked and he decides to take matters into his own hands.
James can’t let go. He’s emotionally shackled. He’s too angry. Too frustrated. He won’t rest until justice is served – and it will be his way. No one else’s. Not the courts…and not the American or British governments.
TIMOTHY DALTON’S JAMES BOND is dark, lethal and dangerous. This is not a man that you would come up against and survive. His adversaries have no idea how far he’ll go and what measures he’ll undertake to get what he wants.
This time the villain in question is FRANZ SANCHEZ (ROBERT DAVI), a Mexican drug lord who finds incidental and creative ways to kill and cripple his enemies. Let’s just say that he has a lot of genetically engineered fish. Sharks included.
Mr. Davi’s underplaying is admirable. But a BOND adversary has to be larger than life and more menacingly malevolent. He’s a bit too calm and laid back for someone so incredibly twisted.
But his chief henchperson MILTON KREST is portrayed by the great ANTHONY ZERBE. He’s definitely interesting to watch.
TALISA SOTO (as Sanchez’s girlfriend LUPE LAMORA) has little to offer besides her obvious beauty.
But PAM BOUVIER (CAREY LOWELL) is an entirely different matter…
Pam is a CIA informant who is also a skilled pilot. She’s a good looking hardass who’s seen plenty of combat in her relatively young life. Ms. Bouvier is smart, resourceful and she knows which way the wind blows. She can handle herself in a bar fight. Or anywhere else for that matter.
This is one of the few times that BOND has ever been paired with his feminine equal. Pam even saves James’ life. So it’s definitely no surprise that there is an astounding heat between them and that they fall for one another.
CAREY LOWELL makes a solid foil for TIMOTHY. Their sparring heightens the drama and adds even more tension and texture to the all ready combustible mix.
At one point, Pam wears an eyecatching beaded purple gown. She takes off the bottom in the lift with James and it automatically becomes a mini. She has a piece jauntily strapped to her thigh.
God, I need to find a dress like that…
The art direction is impressive even by the standards of the fabulous BOND films. Sanchez’s villa – down by the water – is unbelievably glorious. It’s made up of subtle sophisticated tones and breathtakingly exotic views.
The cinematography by ALEC MILLS (another frequent BOND craftsperson – he was the camera operator on HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, MOONRAKER, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and OCTOPUSSY) is always beautiful, clear and pristine. It doesn’t matter if it’s deep blue twilight or an astonishing sunrise.
JOHN GLEN returns as the director of this particular chapter in the BOND series. It’s a masterful job. He knows precisely what he’s doing.
LICENCE TO KILL is, of course, a complete 360 degree turn from the film that immediately preceded it, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS. The latter was subdued and romantic…for a BOND film.
LICENCE TO KILL is gritty and edgy in a way that IAN FLEMING would certainly have approved of. These people are deliciously wicked, savage and nasty. It’s a harsh world that they’re playing in…and they all play to win.
MAKE NO MISTAKE. Though this is easily one of the better BOND films, the only reason it rises to that level of success is because of TIMOTHY DALTON.
It is his star power, his presence and his sheer charisma that gives this motion picture the stature it deserves.
TIMOTHY DALTON is the most magnificent JAMES BOND in all creation.
The moviegoing public will be forever grateful.