Licence to Kill (1989)

Rating: C+

Dir: John Glen
Star: Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi, Talisa Soto

[22] The approach here is radically different to other Bond films, with a viciousness from both heroes and villains which borders on the unpleasant. 007 enters ‘Death Wish’ mode – a kinder, gentler Bond this is not – after his friend Felix Leiter undergoes a wedding day shark-putation, at the hands of the ferociously impressive Roberto Davi. Bond is drummed out of the Secret Service, but this facet is largely ignored, Q still supplies him with technology, and indeed, gets significantly more to do than his usual “Pay attention, double-oh seven” spiel. Bond’s twin assistants probably should have been combined into one, though Davi’s drug-smuggling method (dissolved in petrol) does make for gratifyingly impressive explosions. The style fits Dalton well, and it’s a shame he never got to develop it further.