License to Kill

release year: 1989
genre: James Bond
viewing setting: home Bluray 1/30/19 and 12/27/12 and home laserdisc 1/23/00

synopsis: After Felix Leiter is maimed and his wife killed by a drug lord, Bond seeks revenge.

impressions: Death and violence galore. Bond was determined to get some revenge, no matter what the cost. Notable: multiple shark mutilations, Bond resigning and fleeing from the British Secret Service, big drug operation, Hong Kong narcotics agents posing as ninja, fake televangelist setup, Q helping out, cliffside tanker chase/fight. Of special note was the way Bond infiltrated Sanchez' organization, causing strife and constantly changing his game plan as the situation warranted.

acting: Dalton was even more serious this time around - and after the long and goofy tenure of Roger Moore, this may not have been what audiences wanted. Be that as it may, I personally think Dalton did a great job here; this was the essence of what James Bond is supposed to be: an assassin. Of equal note was Robert Davi as Sanchez - a truly dangerous and ruthless villain. Carey Lowell did well as a reasonably competent AND good-looking female lead. Talisa Soto also made a memorable impression as Sanchez' kept woman. Wayne Newton plays a televangelist who's part of Sanchez' criminal empire. Benicio del Toro has his first significant movie role as Sanchez' sadistic, ruthless right-hand man.

chase scenes: 2 (helicopter & plane chase at beginning, multi-18-wheeler chase at end)

mass fight at end: none, but a temple/drug lab blew up

neat gadgets: camera sniper rifle, explosive toothpaste

confirmed Bond kills: 7

confirmed Bond seductions: 2

obnoxious female names: none

defining Bond moments: 

(note found on Felix) "He disagreed with something that ate him."

Bond: (to Pam) "This is Q, my uncle. Q, this is my cousin."
Q: (to Pam) "We must be related!"

Gogol: "That's the first time I've ever been grateful that James Bond is a good shot."

Bond: "In my business, you prepare for the unexpected."
Sanchez: "And what business is that?"
Bond: "I help people with problems."
Sanchez: "Ah...a problem-solver."
Bond: "More of a problem eliminator."

final word: Very strong revenge story; as a Bond story, your mileage will vary.

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