Title: License to Kill Director: John Glen Year: 1989 Run time: 2hrs 13m
“Shortly after an important drugs bust, CIA Agent Felix Leiter is married, but when the drug lord he arrested escapes, kills his wife and mutilates Leiter his old friend British Agent James Bond seeks revenge. When “M” orders 007 to drop the matter and start a new assignment, Bond deserts her Majesty’s Secret Service and embarks on a world wide personal vendetta to kill those responsible.”
2:53 - How to tell the audience you’re a bad guy in just one or two sentences! Great (or terrible) first impression. 4:26 - “Stay here James.” That doesn’t seem likely. 14:02 - Dalton does a good withering look. 18:44 - Aww, Mrs Bond reference. It still gets to me. 22:18 - Getting married is not advisable in a James Bond film. 25:36 - I have so got the hump now. Not poor Felix. 31:51 - Do electric eels really do that? 35:47 - “Your license to kill is revoked.” Nooooo! 38:39 - Manta ray disguise is kinda awesome. 46:17 - They’re going to see some really drugged up marine life soon. 52:10 - She tutted at his small gun. 54:11 - Has James been attacked by a swordfish before? 1:09:12 - “Well travelled man.” I bet Bond gets through many passport pages. How much of the world has he covered? 1:13:07 - I want an Uncle Q! 1:39:01 - What the… I cannot deal with death by pressure. Not. At. All. 1:50:22 - Benicio is really good at acting the psychopath. It’s all in the eyes. 1:54:33 - Ugh, this is like a horror film. 1:59:32 - Big American tankers are amazing. 2:07:46 - Good grief, now he’s set someone on fire. We probs should have stopped watching when Felix got eaten by a shark.
I’ve grown to really quite like Timothy Dalton as James Bond, even though it’s only been two films. But, as Paul said to me on Twitter, the guy really wasn’t given the best of scripts to work with. The last film was passable, but this one, oh boy, it was not great. I can’t get over how horrific some of it was - and okay, you always expect a few nasty things to happen in a Bond film, but the list was endless.
Felix being tortured, Benicio being ground up into a million pieces, someone falling into an electric eel tank, a guy being set on fire and screaming to death, ugh, so many bad things. Poor Felix, it made me so grumpy whilst watching, and it still makes me sad to think of it now. I know they showed him sitting up and talking on the phone at the end, but how do you really get over being fed to a shark?
There were some good parts too, I really enjoyed the big tanker scene at the end (minus the fire) and I thought the bad guys were hugely menacing and properly scary. I love that we got to see some more of Q, and I thought Pam was brilliant (except when she was being a little bit sulky).
What’s interesting, to us at least, is that this is the film that started the entire Watch ALL the Bonds process. We caught a glimpse of the last ten or fifteen minutes on TV and decided we should work on our Bond knowledge. Now, having seen the whole film, I can’t believe this is the one that set this great Bond scheme in motion, it was one of the worst!