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With: Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi, Talisa Soto, Anthony Zerbe, Frank McRae, David Hedison, Wayne Newton, Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Starke, Everett McGill, Desmond Llewelyn, Pedro Armendariz, Robert Brown, Priscilla Barnes
Written by: Michael G. Wilson, Richard Maibaum, based on characters created by Ian Fleming
Directed by: John Glen
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for action violence and drug content
Running Time: 133
Date: 06/13/1989

Licence to Kill (1989)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Licence Revoked

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The second of two Timothy Dalton James Bond movies, Licence to Kill has a good reputation for its attempt to "go darker." It was the first PG-13 rated movie of the series, and the first time Bond acts on his own after being suspended. It contains a bit more swearing and blood as well. But these superficial touches don't necessarily make a darker or better Bond movie.

Dalton was never a strong casting choice. He's passable, but his competition is too strong. Moreover, the girls in this one are perhaps the weakest in the entire series; their performances here are particularly bad. And while the producers tried rebooting the series, they still kept on board the tired old director John Glen, whose lethargic approach never really created much of a spark.

The story begins, more or less, at the wedding of Felix Leiter (David Hedison). Unfortunately he has angered a powerful drug lord, Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), and he's attacked. His wife is killed and Felix is chewed up by a shark. Bond seeks vengeance, and disguises himself as a businessman to gain access to the Sanchez's lair. He gets some help from an American freedom fighter (Carey Lowell) and Sanchez's girlfriend (Talisa Soto). It all ends in a chase scene with huge gasoline trucks (the drugs are dissolved inside the gasoline). Benicio Del Toro has one of his first movie roles as thug, and Wayne Newton plays a TV hustler.

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