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Licence to Kill (1989)

James Bond Films
Dr. No (1962) | From Russia With Love (1963) | Goldfinger (1964) | Thunderball (1965)
You Only Live Twice (1967) | On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) | Diamonds are Forever (1971)
Live and Let Die (1973) | The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) | The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Moonraker (1979) | For Your Eyes Only (1981) | Octopussy (1983) | A View to a Kill (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987) | Licence to Kill (1989) | GoldenEye (1995) | Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World is Not Enough (1999) | Die Another Day (2002) | Casino Royale (2006) | Quantum of Solace, 007 (2008) | Skyfall (2012)

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See Bond Girls in Licence to Kill (1989)

Licence to Kill (1989)
d. John Glen, 133 minutes

Opening Credits, Title Sequence


Gun-barrel Sequence: Designed by Maurice Binder
Main Title Sequence: Designed by Maurice Binder
These were the 15th - and last opening sequences by Maurice Binder.
Title Song: "Licence to Kill" (sung by Gladys Knight), the longest song of the Bond films. It was the only Bond film that didn't mention the name of the song or its artist in the opening credits sequence.

Film Plot Summary

In the pre-title credits sequence, an unauthorized Cessna plane landing at Cray Key (near Miami) was detected by an AWACS surveillance plane. The local American Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in Florida was alerted. As best man, Bond (Timothy Dalton) was accompanying ex-CIA ally Felix Leiter (reprised by David Hedison 16 years after his first appearance) to his wedding, accompanied by burly boat-charter deep-sea fisherman pal Sharky (Frank McRae). Dressed in formal-wear, Leiter (head of the DEA in South Florida) was notified by a swooping Coast Guard helicopter with a sign: "Follow me" -- and the group was told they were given the 'green light' opportunity to seize recently-arrived Latin American (banana republic) drug lord Baron Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi). Leiter's wedding to blonde fiancee Della Churchill (Priscilla Barnes) was postponed when he and Bond were whisked away.

Nearby, the infamously sadistic Sanchez risked capture in the US when he assaulted the Florida residence of a male rival who was sleeping with his mistress, sultry Lupe Lamora (Talisa Soto). His henchmen garrotted one guard (# 1 death), then seized the man. Outraged, Sanchez confronted the disobedient Lupe: "What did he promise you? His heart?" before ordering: "Give her his heart" - the man's beating heart was savagely cut out (# 2 death, off-screen). He then mercilessly whipped the naked back of his errant lover with the tail of a sting-ray. The Coast Guard helicopter (with Bond and Leiter) flew to the small airstrip, where they (and DEA agents) engaged in a fierce gunfire-fight against Sanchez's men. Bond aided, and was able to seize Sanchez's lover. Causing a diversion during the chaos, Sanchez flew off in a single-engine Cessna to attempt to reach Cuban airspace. They pursued in the helicopter - and Bond ("Let's go fishing") was winched down onto the fleeing aircraft. In a spectacular airborne arrest, the dangling Bond hooked his winched cable to the body of the plane and the helicopter hauled both the aircraft (with Bond clinging on) and Sanchez away. Above the location of the church wedding, both Bond and Leiter parachuted down to begin the long-delayed ceremony.

Sanchez was taken into custody and faced 139 felony counts (936 years), when he mentioned he maintained a standing bribe-offer of $2 million for anyone who facilitated his escape. In Leiter's office, Bond briefly met one of his Leiter's associates, short-haired and tall Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell), although she said nothing to him as she left. He was unaware that she was getting information to use against Sanchez - Leiter had to reassure Bond of their professional association: "Strictly business, my friend." Leiter mentioned that Sanchez hadn't been out of his home base for years, and now that he was captured, he was to be taken to FBI headquarters at Quantico (Virginia) for incarceration that afternoon by Leiter's trusted colleague, police-cop Ed Killifer (Everett McGill). As Sanchez was being transported and accompanied in a convoy by armed troops, the likeable Killifer turned opportunistic - he had engineered a highly-orchestrated escape plan to send the police security van holding a shackled Sanchez off an under-repair bridge. A team of scuba divers aided Killifer and Sanchez to breathe underwater. They cut Sanchez's chains and the two were directed to a small, two-seat, black/yellow underwater submersible, dubbed Sharkhunter II, to facilitate their escape.

Bond was the last to leave Della and Leiter following the reception, with the gift of an engraved cigarette lighter (with a strong flame), and Della's garter (reluctantly accepted, since he still harbored grief over the death of his wife Tracy, as Leiter stated: "He was married once, but that was a long time ago"). When the newly-wed couple retreated to their bedroom, they were confronted by three thugs. Leiter was knocked unconscious and Della was taken captive. In a warehouse in the Miami area, the site of the marine biology research laboratory of boat captain Milton Krest (Anthony Zerbe) - a "cover" or front for Sanchez' illicit drug activity, the crime lord was about to be transported away to the 12-mile limit via the rechargeable submersible and then on a "fast boat to Cuba." Sanchez was awaiting the arrival of his ruthless and psychotic hitman Dario (Benicio Del Toro), to exact revenge upon Leiter. He vowed to keep his word and pay-off Killifer with the promised $2 million bribe ("Loyalty is more important to me than money"). Bound and blindfolded, Leiter was brought to Sanchez, where he learned that his newlywed wife had been possibly raped and murdered by Dario, and that Killifer had betrayed him. Leiter was lowered into a shark tank where the swimming predator was primed with a dolphin carcass - Leiter was dismembered in a gruesome scene.

As Bond was departing from the airport for a Pan Am flight to London, he received word of a drug dealer's escape. Sensing trouble, he immediately drove to Leiter's residence, where he found Della dead (# 3 death, off-screen) on the bed and Leiter barely alive on the sofa, mutilated with a missing left leg below the knee and a mangled arm (and a blood-stained note: "He disagreed with something that ate him"). All of Leiter's files were taken by Sanchez after the place was ransacked. At the hospital, Sharky disagreed with the police account of the cause of the damage: "Chain-saw, my ass. I know a shark bite when I see one!" Because Sanchez was out of Florida's jurisdiction, now that he had fled to the Republic of Isthmus, extradition would be impossible - Bond claimed: "There are other ways." [Bond was undoubtedly recalling how he had also lost his bride on his wedding day.] On a "shark-hunting" investigation, Bond and Sharky came to the last possible location in the Keys - Krest's research facility, where Bond posed as the London representative of Regents Park Zoo to arrange a great white shark shipment. He briefly was allowed to speak to Krest, who described his legitimate project to breed genetically-engineered male fish (who were fed maggots) to supply Third World countries with food. As Bond left, he noticed Leiter's discarded button-hole flower from the wedding in a pile of swept-up trash on the floor.

Under cover of night, Bond and Sharky infiltrated Krest's facility in a rubber raft, after watching the small Sharkhunter II submersible depart (piloted by Krest). Bond was nearly bitten by the man-eating shark as he entered the deserted building. A security guard held Bond at gun-point as he discovered Colombian drug-bundles hidden in a large drawer of maggots. Bond tossed a handful of the crawling white maggots in the guard's face and threw him into the drawer ("Bon appetit") (# 4 death, # 1 Bond kill). When a second guard opened fire, a cat-and-mouse gunfight ended when he hooked the guard's belt and dislodged him into an electric eel tank (# 5 death, # 2 Bond kill). Awaiting his departure, Killifer (with his cache of bribe money) held his gun on Bond, until he met a well-deserved fate. When the crooked cop lost his balance and dangled precariously by a rope above the same tank where Leiter had been mangled, he offered to split the money with Bond, but 007 coldly refused - sending him into the water with the weighted case of cash: "You earned it. You keep it, old buddy" (# 6 death, # 3 Bond kill) (Sharky: "God. What a terrible waste - of money").

Bond commissioned Sharky to travel to the Cay Sel bank (about six hours away in the Bahamas) where Krest was collecting specimens with his larger marine research vessel, the WaveKrest. Before leaving, Bond was hassled by local law enforcement for his suspected killing of Killifer and two others in Krest's warehouse. He was summoned to the Hemingway House, a local tourist spot where a mysterious man surrounded by cats [a veiled reference to Blofeld], revealed on the balcony to be M (Robert Brown), was angered that Bond had engaged himself in an emotionally-charged, obsessed, personal (and reckless) "private vendetta" as a rogue British agent to bring down the vicious drug lord. He reminded the infuriated Bond that Sanchez was an American crime matter, and to forget his quest. In fact, Bond was supposed to be investigating a case in Istanbul. M was worried that Bond could "easily compromise Her Majesty's government."

Refusing to comply, Bond officially resigned but M refused it: "We're not a country club." However, Bond insisted and his "licence to kill" was revoked by the British Secret Service. He declined to turn in his Walther PPK weapon when asked (Bond: "Then I guess it's a farewell to arms," an in-joke related to Ernest Hemingway's novel, and his house in Key West), fought off M and fellow agents, and eluded them to continue his vengeful pursuit.

The WaveKrest vessel's radar detected something under the surface, as Krest visited with Sanchez's mistress Lupe, kept captive in his own cabin watching television. He partially blamed her amorous escapades on causing Sanchez to seek her out in Florida, adding expense and leading to the DEA's investigation of his own Key West warehouse ("You cost me a lot of dough...You'd better watch yourself, girlie...I've seen a lot of girls like you come and go"). She was upset with his attitude toward her, for peeking through her windows, and for accusing her of having won in a beauty contest fixed on her behalf. Krest was alerted to the radar's findings, but thought it was only a large manta ray. In fact, Bond was wearing a unique outfit, a Manta Ray cover, to swim undetected past the Sentinel - a remote-controlled, underwater vessel with video camera probe. After entering the WaveKrest through a bottom hatch, incapacitating one guard, and noticing wrapped bundles of money ready for a drug pay-off, Bond stealthily encountered the seductive Lupe sleeping naked in bed, and threatened her with a knife to keep silent. When he noticed (with disgust) recent bloody whip marks on her lower back as she put on her red robe, she admitted she had wrongly made Sanchez angry.

The next morning, Bond witnessed the body of his murdered partner Sharky being brought onboard - horrified, he told Lupe: "You'd better find yourself a new lover." She retaliated: "Don't you men know any other way?" He thought she liked Sanchez' brutality, although she replied: "You know nothing. Please go." On deck, Bond used a harpoon gun to eliminate one of Sharky's killers (# 7 death, # 4 Bond kill), and then dove overboard and grabbed the dead man's scuba-gear to escape - Bond was thought dead. At the same time, a few of Sanchez's men arrived on a drug-laden Cessna seaplane - their cargo of cocaine was transferred into the Sentinel underwater vessel in exchange for wrapped blue bundles of cash. As the Sentinel returned to the WaveKrest, Bond caught up with it, opened the hatches containing the drugs, and slashed open the bundles - although he was spotted on video cameras. With his oxygen running low, Bond fled when harpoon-armed divers swam after him. After struggling with them and having his air-hose cut, he fired one of the harpoon guns at the departing seaplane. He was dragged by the harpoon line and literally water-skiied behind the plane as it took off. Hemanaged to climb aboard the skids of the plane. When efforts to dislodge him were unsuccessful, Bond tossed the co-pilot from the cockpit (# 8 death, # 5 Bond kill) - and then threw out the pilot (at a lower altitude), and successfully took control to avoid crashing the plane.

Back in Florida at Leiter's residence (heavily guarded by police), Bond snuck into Leiter's office, where hidden behind a framed picture of Della, he took a CD-sized disk loaded with evidence against Sanchez (his Swiss accounts, US investments, warrants, indictments, and informants). All nine informants were "deceased" except one: P. Bouvier. He learned that Bouvier was a CIA Contract Pilot, had Familiarity with Sanchez' operation in Isthmus City, and was scheduled for a meeting Thursday evening at Barrelhead, Bimini, in the West Indies. Bond arrived by speedboat at the raunchy, wharf-side Barrelhead Bar in Bimini to meet with the DEA informant. He was surprised to see that she was the same unresponsive woman he had seen in Leiter's office during the wedding reception. He warned her that since Sanchez had Leiter's files, she was his next target. She noted the arrival of Sanchez' deadly and psychotic young henchman Dario (who was kicked out of the Contras) and other thugs in the bar, ostensibly to kill her. They plotted how to escape, as she showed him her high-powered weaponry hidden under the table. When Dario approached their table and offered her a job as a charter-plane pilot, a brawl broke out that spread throughout the entire bar.

They fled in Bond's speedboat, and although Bouvier was shot in the back by Dario, her Kevlar jacket protected her from serious injury. The hard-nosed, feisty, and experienced female bickered with Bond about how she had saved his life ("If it wasn't for me, your ass would have been nailed to the wall"). When Bond objected and told her she should "Leave it to the professionals," she was vehement: "I will not have you lecture me about professionalism!" Their boat cruised to a stop as the sun was rising, due to bullet holes from the skirmish (Pam: "Out of gas. I haven't heard that one in a long time"). He requested help from the tough-as-nails, in-charge resourceful female - to acquire a complete run-down of Sanchez' operation, and to have her fly him in a private plane to Isthmus City for $50,000 (she slickly bargained for a higher fare of $75,000). She thought his plan for the two of them to take on Sanchez was "crazy," but reluctantly was convinced to help. She sealed the negotiated deal by approaching him for a kiss, but Bond complained afterwards: "Why don't you wait until you're asked?" She smiled back: "Well, why don't you ask me?" - and they passionately kissed a second time before going below the deck to make love (# 1 tryst).

In London, Miss Moneypenny (Caroline Bliss) was criticized by M for making typing mistakes, and for being unduly concerned about the agent's well-being after he went missing to hunt down Sanchez. M asserted he had alerted his "man" in Isthmus to stop him [the man was later revealed to be Fallon]. She phoned gadgets-master "Q" (Desmond Llewelyn) at Q branch to come to Bond's aid.

Bond checked into a luxurious hotel suite in Isthmus City (and ordered a case of Bollinger R.D. sent to his room). He was accompanied by Bouvier reluctantly posing as his "executive secretary Miss Kennedy" (she insisted on the title "Ms. Kennedy" - a reference to Jackie Kennedy's maiden name). When he attempted to pay her off for her completed task, she refused to leave - "I won't be safe until Sanchez is dead. Besides, you could use my help." To deposit the suitcase full of drug money (that he had taken from the seaplane), Bond drove in a Rolls-Royce to the Bank of Isthmus (owned by Sanchez, who had a "cash surplus of a million a day"). While Bond met with the bank president Senor Montelongo (Claudio Brook) and deposited $4,900,000, Sanchez (the bank's chairman) was engaged in leading a tour of Asian businessmen. Bond was shocked to see Bouvier with new clothes, looking more the part of his secretary. He opened a line of credit of $2 million in the local casino (also owned by Sanchez). [Sanchez was running a complex money-laundering operation, through his casinos and banks, for his cocaine processing and smuggling operations, selling to a worldwide clientele.]

Professor Joe Butcher (Wayne Newton), a crooked television evangelist, was holding a telethon to raise funds (CALL 555-LOVE) for his religious retreat (the fictitious Olympatec Meditation Institute or OMI, that espoused "The Secrets of Cone Power") near Isthmus City, as Sanchez (with his pet iguana decorated with a diamond collar on his shoulder) questioned Lupe about the rip-off of his money that occurred onboard the WaveKrest. In Sanchez' casino, Bond (accompanied by the exquisitely-dressed Pam) requested a private table to play blackjack (with a $2 million line of credit). Sanchez was advised by his young, yuppie financial advisor Truman-Lodge (Anthony Starke) that the price per kilo could be raised to $22,000. Flamboyant fund-raiser Butcher simultaneously broacast that the goal was to raise $22,000 from each of the meditation chapters -- obviously, Butcher was announcing the new daily price of cocaine to a network of international buyers, who then made a charitable pledge (or bid for drugs) at the new higher price. Meanwhile, Bond was allowed to play with no limits to his bets, and he won the next doubled-down round of blackjack, taking him $250,000 ahead. Sanchez summoned the sexy Lupe in a low-cut red dress to take the place of the blackjack dealer - to change his luck. To speak to Lupe privately, Bond sent Pam off to order a medium-dry vodka martini ("shaken, not stirred"). Lupe predicted that he would lose, and warned that he should immediately leave Isthmus City. She told him that Sanchez was in his office, planning a party for the visiting Orientals the following evening. Bond convinced the pliable Lupe to take him upstairs to meet Sanchez. Pam drank Bond's ordered vodka martini when he left, apparently not liking his association with Lupe.

In Sanchez' armored-glass office, Bond disclosed his real identity, claiming that he was looking for work as a hired gun -- a "problem-solver" (or "problem-eliminator"): "I help people with problems." He said he was "temporarily unemployed" and his talents could be useful to a man like Sanchez. The intrigued villain suggested waiting a few days to consider his request. Upon his return to the hotel suite with Pam, Bond found "Q" (his "uncle") there, traced by Miss Moneypenny ("She's worried sick about you"). He was on a leave of absence - also offering his assistance: "If it hadn't been for Q Branch, you'd have been dead long ago." He provided Bond with a suitcase full of gadgets "for a man on holiday": an explosive alarm clock, Dentonite toothpase (plastic explosive), an instant-Polaroid-style laser camera (with laser-beam flash and X-ray photo capability), and a signature camera gun (with optical palm reader).

The next evening, Bond again vainly attempted to persuade Pam to leave with "Q" (who was serving as his chauffeur): "Your job's done." He claimed: "I work better alone," but she preferred to stay. Alone, Bond snuck onto the roof of the casino, then lowered himself on a rope (from a rappelling cummerbund rope) and listened as Sanchez spoke to the group of Asian businessmen ("Drug dealers of the world unite"), flanked by his associates, Truman-Lodge and head of security Colonel Heller (Don Stroud). The visitors were part of his plan to expand the drug-dealing venture into the Pacific ("I want the Pacific to be our little puddle"), and to offer them exclusive franchises at $100 million per territory, guaranteed for five years for quality and price. When questioned about viewing hardware as "reassurance" by Japanese drug baron Mr. Kwang (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), Sanchez promised to show off his main production and distribution plant (the OMI Meditation Center) the following day. Outside the window, Bond readied the Dentonite toothpaste as an explosive (to be detonated by a radio-controlled device disguised as a pack of cigarettes), to blow out the 2-inch reinforced windows of Sanchez' casino office. He also assembled the signature camera-gun (a personalized, high-powered sniper rifle with gun-sight), positioning himself in a building directly across from the casino.

Meanwhile, Sanchez was meeting with the republic's corrupt leader President Hector Lopez (Pedro Armendariz), paying him off with only half his usual amount and threatening him. As Bond was about to assassinate Sanchez, he sighted Pam handing over an envelope to Heller in the office. He paused, then triggered the explosive, but was unexpectedly attacked by two martial-arts ninjas and knocked out with the butt of his gun. When he regained consciousness and found himself tied to a table, he discovered he had been captured by Kwang, who was actually a Hong Kong narcotics agent, with his deadly accomplice Loti (Diana Lee-Hsu). They were accompanied by corrupt MI6 agent Fallon (Christopher Neame), sent by M to "take him back, one way or the other" to London - Bond was identified as "a rogue agent...a loose cannon on deck." Kwang was furious that Bond was disrupting their years-long operation to penetrate to the "heart" of Sanchez's illegal drug empire, with his ill-advised attempt on Sanchez' life.

As Fallon was about to lethally inject Bond and ship him back to London, an explosion rocked the safe-house facility - they were surrounded by an army detachment from Isthmus City, ordered and led by Sanchez himself. During the bloody attack, Fallon was killed and Kwang committed suicide (with a cyanide capsule) instead of facing capture, while his people were annihilated (number of deaths unknown, although at least four, # 9-12 deaths). Bond was seized, unconscious on the table, and after regaining consciousness the next morning, he found himself recovering in Sanchez' palatial home. He wandered around the luxurious grounds, where he was greeted by Sanchez as an "amigo" - having convinced the drug lord of his trustworthiness. Lupe informed Bond that the WaveKrest was docking that evening with Krest onboard. Bond convinced Sanchez that the assassination squad that had attacked his office was a "freelance hit team." He claimed he had been captured by them, because they feared he would warn Sanchez about their plan. He had known of them in his previous position as a British agent. Bond appealed to Sanchez' paranoia, telling him that the assassins were "well-briefed" obviously by someone on the inside of Sanchez' operation - he specifically hinted at Milton Krest.

With Lupe's aid, Bond left the mansion, hiding on the side of the powerboat she drove to the city for shopping. In his hotel room, he grabbed Pam and at gunpoint (with her own thigh-holstered gun) accused her of working with Heller. She explained background regarding the note she had given Heller. Sanchez was arranging to buy four Stinger missiles from the Contras, and was threatening to shoot down an American airliner if the DEA didn't lay off. She was delivering the letter given to her at Leiter's wedding, granting immunity from the Attorney General if the Stingers were returned. When the assassination attempt occurred, she claimed that Bond had ruined the Attorney General's deal when Heller called it off. Her life was in greater danger, and Sanchez had tripled his security, making it difficult to reach him. With "Q" as his driver, Bond fled the hotel, and withdrew all his money from the bank.

At the Isthmus City dock, Bouvier continued to provide indispensable support to Bond, disguising herself as a harbor-master pilot (with "Q") to guide the arriving WaveKrest vessel. She sabotaged it by ramming the bow into the jetty, as Sanchez, Lupe, and his men watched from the dock. Bond entered the WaveKrest through the mini-submarine underwater hatch, as Sanchez was questioning Krest about how his drug money was stolen. Krest's truthful explanation wasn't convincing to Sanchez, whose suspicions about a double-cross increased when he found the money (planted in a 'sting operation' by Bond and Bouvier) in the WaveKrest's vault. Sanchez wrongly believed that Krest had ripped off the money and then used it to pay an assassin to kill him. Outraged, Sanchez tossed Krest into the pressurized chamber, increased the pressure inside, and then used an axe to cut the intake pipe-hose, causing rapid decompression that resulted in his head exploding (# 13 death). When asked about the money (now splattered with blood) by his guards, Sanchez ordered: "Launder it." Back at the dock, Bond insisted that "Q" and Pam leave him and take a plane to Miami, believing he would be safer on his own. Upon his return to Sanchez' villa, Bond was paid off for his tip that led to Krest.

Lupe entered Bond's bedroom and told him where Sanchez was planning to take him the next day - the drug production lab. Lupe asked to be rescued from Sanchez ("I ought to be safe with you"). Bond was skeptical, but kisses and love-making helped to convince him (Lupe: "How can we tell unless we try? I think it's going to work out very well") (# 2 tryst). Lupe risked detection the next morning when she told Pam in the hotel that Bond was potentially in danger - he was being checked by Sanchez. Pam became madly jealous after learning of Bond's overnight love-making with Lupe (Lupe: "Last night he stayed with me...I love James so much"). The foul-mouthed female thought it was "bulls--t" that Bond had used every means at his disposal to achieve his objectives ("Q's" words), but in the next scene had calmed down and resorted to helping him again.

After being notified by "Q" (with a disguised broom two-way radio) that a convoy of cars had left the Sanchez villa for the OMI (Meditation Institute), Pam found Sanchez' men dismantling her plane at the airport, supposedly for an overhaul ordered by the drug lord. Sanchez was flying by helicopter (with the Stinger missiles delivered from Dario) to meet the Hong Kong businessmen (and Bond) who were being driven to OMI - Professor Butcher's profitable front for his drug business. In a secret manufacturing/production area beneath the Institute, Truman-Lodge explained to the tour group how ingenious research scientists in the laboratory had discovered a formula to allow cocaine to be completely dissolved and undetectable in gasoline, and then later reconverted back to powder. The gasoline was to be loaded into tanker trucks for shipment and monthly deliveries by ocean-going tankers, and then reconverted. Meanwhile, Pam had rented a tiny crop-duster airplane and flown it to the local airport, and then hitch-hiked to OMI, claiming she had a personal delivery of a purse full of cash for Butcher. In the institute's laboratory before a demonstration, the businessmen pledged their support for Sanchez, with $100 million in bearer bonds each. Pam met with Professor Butcher and presented him with the cash funds, but then held a gun on him ("another surprise") after she was taken to his private "humble sanctuary" (meditation chamber) equipped with a bed. She locked him inside, and then donned the white-robed disguise of an OMI client, to search for Bond.

During the laboratory tour, Dario recognized Bond (from the Bimini bar incident) and held a gun at his back. To cause chaos and escape, Bond started a fire in the lab, but Dario captured him and identified him as an informer - a deadly enemy. After Sanchez ordered four tankers loaded with gasoline (and dissolved cocaine) to drive off to the port and abandon the facility (as explosions destroyed it), he tied Bond's legs and hands and ordered him put on the conveyor belt carrying bricks of cocaine to be shredded into powder. As Sanchez escaped with some of his men and everyone else fled in different directions, Bond was held back from falling into the crusher by only the rope tied around his hands. Dario used his knife to slice through the rope, when Pam appeared. Dario laughed at her, thinking he had killed her earlier: "You're dead" - she pulled out her own concealed gun and shot Dario ("You took the words right out of my mouth"), and saved Bond from death. Bond grabbed Dario's boot and he tumbled into the conveyor and into the chute, momentarily saved by dangling from Bond's legs. At first, the shredder chewed up his legs, then he was reduced to chopped flesh as his entire body was consumed (# 14 death, # 6 Bond kill). Bond yelled up to Pam: "Switch the bloody machine off!" As the two escaped, the suspicious Sanchez found Heller at his helicopter making sure the Stinger missiles were secure, where he ordered the rockets transferred to his car. Believing that Heller was conspiring against him, Sanchez had him murdered - he crashed through a wall, impaled on a fork-lift (# 15 death) (Bond: "Looks like he came to a dead end").

Bond and Pam took a golf cart to the crop-duster aircraft - she piloted the plane to pursue Sanchez' car and the four tankers on a winding mountain road. Bond dropped down onto one of the tankers, ejected the driver, and took control of the wheel. One of the four tankers was destroyed by a misdirected Stinger missile fired by Sanchez' men in a Jeep, when Bond masterfully balanced his tanker onto its left set of wheels and the missile passed beneath him. But then the men shot and flattened his rear tires, causing Bond to lose control of the tanker as it perched on a cliff's edge. After Pam crop-dusted the four gang members with chemicals, Bond released the tanker from the truck-cab and sent it down the cliff-side, timing it to collide with a third tanker on the road below. Now that three of the four tankers had exploded in flames, Truman-Lodge yelled out crazily: "Another $80 million dollar write-off!" - the outraged Sanchez became so exasperated that he murdered him in cold-blood (# 16 death) ("I guess it's time to start cutting overhead"). Bond then performed a "wheelie" to successfully drive his separated truck-cab through a flaming inferno of wreckage on the road. While evading gunfire, Bond followed closely behind the fourth tanker, now holding Sanchez. He set his truck-cab on 'cruise-control' and lept onto Sanchez' tanker-trailer just before his cab crashed down the hillside. At the same time, the flaming, out-of-control truck of pursuing gang members sailed off the road, barely missing Pam in her light aircraft as she flew by, and crashed (# 17-18 deaths). Bond emptied the liquid cocaine-gasoline from the final tanker, spreading a trail of fire down the road when it ignited. Pam made a rough emergency landing after one of the Stinger missiles struck and damaged her tail.

A final fight to the death occurred atop the tanker between Bond and a machete-wielding Sanchez. When the tanker lost its brakes (and the driver bailed out), it careened down an incline and overturned. Sanchez was soaked with gasoline and Bond was seriously injured. Bond was about to be hacked to death by Sanchez' machete, as the villain mocked: "You could have had everything!" Bond rejected the idea and then asked if Sanchez wanted to know why he rejected being part of his drug empire: "Don't you want to know why?" To answer his own question (and explain his personal vengeance), Bond pulled out the engraved cigarette-lighter wedding gift he had been given earlier by his dismembered friend Felix Leiter and set Sanchez ablaze. His flaming body caused the remaining leaked gasoline to explode (# 19 death, # 7 Bond kill). Pam arrived in one of the remaining undamaged truck cabs to drive them back to Isthmus City.

The film ended during a party at Sanchez' former villa (where Lupe served as hostess). Bond received a call from Leiter from his hospital bed, about how M had restored his former job with the British Secret Service. Lupe was now taking care of Sanchez' pet iguana ("Iguanas are a girl's best friend"). She thanked him for everything and kissed him, in clear view of Pam and "Q" who were attending the celebration. As Pam ran off hurt, Lupe proposed: "You could stay here with me," but Bond excused himself. He proposed that Lupe and the republic's President would make a "perfect couple," and then jumped into the swimming pool next to where Pam was standing. He dragged her into the pool with him, and the film ended with a clothed Bond and Pam in a clinch in the water. As they were kissing, as they had done earlier, Pam asked: "Why don't you wait until you're asked?" Bond responded: "So why don't you ask me?" (# 3 tryst)

Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)

The 16th film in the series. This was the fifth and last Bond film directed by John Glen in the 1980s. It took six years until the next Bond film was issued, for numerous reasons (including the fact that this was screenwriter Richard Maibaum's last Bond script before his death). It was also the last film for producer Albert R. Broccoli.

This was the second and final Bond film for Timothy Dalton. Likewise for Caroline Bliss as Miss Moneypenny. It also marked the last appearance of Robert Brown as Bond's superior M.

The film's original title was "Licence Revoked," although it was changed to "Licence to Kill" when it was thought that American audiences wouldn't know the meaning of the word 'revoked'. It was also changed to avoid confusion with the 1981 James Bond novel "Licence Renewed." The title kept the British spelling of the word licence (without an s).

It was the first Bond film to not take its title (or story) from an Ian Fleming James Bond novel or short story.

The screenplay was inspired by the Akira Kurosawa classic Yojimbo (1961) in its brutal tale of personal vengeance by an undercover and rogue 007 against a billionaire drug lord in South America. The film's villainous drug lord Franz Sanchez referenced real-life corrupt drug-kingpin Manuel Noriega in Panama, and also seemed based upon Colombian drug-lord Pablo Escobar.

With a production budget of $32 million, and gross revenue of $35 million (domestic) and $156 million (worldwide). It was one of the lowest-grossing Bond films in the domestic market.

One of the more violent and dark of the Bond films (with a number of gruesome deaths, including death by pressure chamber and via electric eel). It was the first Bond film to be rated higher than PG - it was given a PG-13 in the US. Some of the more grisly images were edited or cut (i.e., Krest's head-exploding death) to avoid an R-rating.

In this film, Agent 007 uncharacteristically went rogue during a relentless pursuit of the drug lord villain Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), leading to Bond's suspension from MI6.

Due to expensive UK tax code changes, this was the first Bond film without scenes filmed in Britain.

Set-pieces: the airborne arrest in the pre-title credits sequence, the extended fight sequence (underwater against divers, then on a seaplane's undercarriage and inside the plane's cockpit), and the tense oil-tanker chase on a mountain road in the finale.

Bond Villains: Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), Dario (Benicio Del Toro), Ed Killifer (Everett McGill), Milton Krest (Anthony Zerbe), Professor Joe Butcher (Wayne Newton), Truman-Lodge (Anthony Starke), Colonel Heller (Don Stroud)

Bond Girls: Lupe Lamora (Talisa Soto), Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell)

Number of Love-Making Encounters: 3

Film Locales: Florida Keys (Cray Key) and Key West, Florida and accompanying locales, Cay Sel Bank and Bimini Island, The Bahamas (West Indies), Westminster, England, the fictional South American city of Isthmus City in the republic of Isthmus

Gadgets: Manta Ray Cover (cowl for scuba-diving), harpoon gun, explosive alarm clock, Dentonite toothpaste (plastic explosive with radio-controlled detonator disguised as package of Lark cigarettes), instant-Polaroid-style laser camera (with laser-emitted beam from flash, and X-ray photo capability), a signature camera gun (an infra-red high-velocity sniper rifle at 0.220 calibre, also with optical palm print reader in its handle programmed so that only Bond could use it), rappelling cummerbund rope, Q's broom radio transmitter (hidden two-way radio in handle)

Vehicles: Coast Guard helicopter, Cessna 172 Skyhawk (4 seat, single-engine), a two-seat black/yellow underwater Sharkhunter II - an exploratory mini-submersible, and a larger WaveKrest marine research vessel, and the Sentinel (a remote-controlled underwater vessel with video-cameras), Cessna 185 seaplane, Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, Pirata Speedboat, four Kenworth petrol tanker trucks (lorries), Cessna 2-seat crop-duster plane

Number of Deaths (Bond Kills): 19 (7)


James Bond:
(Timothy Dalton)

Bond Regular: Miss Moneypenny
(Caroline Bliss)

Bond Villain: Franz Sanchez
(Robert Davi)

Bond Villain: Dario
(Benicio Del Toro)


Bond Girl: Lupe Lamora
(Talisa Soto)


Bond Girl: Pam Bouvier
(Carey Lowell)

 


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