Friday, January 23, 2015

Timothy Dalton Week: Licence to Kill

Felicitations good readers and welcome to Day 4 of Timothy Dalton Week and here's to a fun week thus far. As many of you know, Dalton wore the guise of Bond only twice given the delays, arguments and lengthy litigation causing the grinding halt of the third movie. While waiting for this to right itself, he was kept busy with Christopher Columbus: The Discovery but ultimately lost the role to Gerard Depardieu Columbus movie causing bankruptcy. Thankfully the mini-series: Scarlett had appeared in time and gave him the funding needed for the year as well as endearing himself to the American public allowing him to grace the small screen. Tired of the run-around and the need for new challenges for his acting chops. He took his leave and forfeited his latter three Bond movies. This is Licence to Kill.
Gasp!  Bond gets the girl!

In route with Felix Leiter's (David Hedison of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Romance Theatre, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, The Colbys and Mach 2) impending nuptials, He and Bond (Timothy Dalton) get a tip that known druglord Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi of The Goonies, Die Hard, Maniac Cop 2, Predator 2, Profiler, Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence and Night Trap) with James at his side, they manage to capture Sanchez before he made it to international waters, dropping him in the clink and arraigning him for prison as the groom and best man made it in the nick of time for the wedding. The happy couple are ended abruptly as Sanchez was released at a costly amount dispatches Leiter's wife and leaves Leiter to a man eating tiger shark. The joint effort of CIA and DEA found Leiter and informed Bond.

Not on assignment, Bond proceeds to look into Leiter's attack and Sanchez's miraculous escape, creating some international incident with local PD, and CIA. So much destruction and mayhem causes MI-6 agents to accompany M (Robert Brown of Kill Me Tomorrow, Ivanhoe, Shake Hands with the Devil, It Takes a Thief, Escape by Night, Octopussy, A View to a Kill and The Living Daylights) to collect Bond, bring him in for questioning, reprimand and cancelling his authority as a Double O. Our seasoned veteran disables his fellow MI-6 agents without killing them and fled into the day.

So who is this Kaiser Soze anyway?

Trailing the money, Bond encounters Lupe Lamora (Talisa Soto of Licence to Kill, The Mambo Kings, Hostage, Harts of the West, Mortal Kombat, Spy Hard, Vampirella and The Island of the Dead), Sanchez's gilded lover who warns James to not anger a man as powerful as Sanchez but Bond views this as a matter of honor for his fallen friend. Managing to get a hold of Sanchez's laundered money and finding more information for the lovely CIA agent Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell of Club Paradise, Me and Him, Sleepless in Seattle, A League of Their Own, Leaving Las Vegas, Fierce Creatures and Law & Order), which of course requires a fist and fire fight and naturally she is smitten by James and well... you know how that works. Will James be able to thwart Sanchez? Can he get his revenge? Will he ever return to MI-6??

Just a few observations at this time. This is a loosely re-write of Live and Let Die dealing with political corruption fueled by a drug cartel that only Bond seems to be able to handle. While I am not a huge fan of this era getting away from the latter Roger Moore standing, this is a vastly underrated Bond movie, providing both an amazing pace of action and story with a solid running time of 130 minutes. Granted the truck chase scene took a bit longer for my tastes but all in all, it was a good flick.

The most impressive aspect of this movie was Robert Davi's villain was not camp but sinister and on par with Bond's convictions and morals. A well flushed out character bringing his "A" game for it. Director John Glen is a pro at this game with Bond films (For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, Checkered Flag and Christopher Columbus: The Discovery) as well as an editor for several of them gives time, love and effort and in this critic's humble opinion felt he did the name of Bond justice. Besides how many films can you say have Wayne Newton and Benicio Del Toro's film debut?

Truly miss my Beretta.