14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
An outstanding Bond thriller,
By A Customer
This review is from: Licence To Kill [DVD] (DVD)
Licence to Kill is one of my all time favourite films. James Bond adventures mean a lot of things to a lot of people and for this reason Bond films have always been about balancing different elements. Licence to Kill is almost purely a thriller with the comedy and fantasy elements being played down. The story is more down to earth and the other Bond films that Licence to Kill mostly resembles are From Russia with Love and On her Majesty's Secret Service. The film succeeds in firmly establishing an atmosphere of menace and danger that is maintained ... Michael Kamen's music, though less rhythmic and tuneful than other Bond scores, is very effective in adding to the tension and drama. Rather than creating ridiculous situations to gain cheap laughs the makers of Licence to Kill set about creating a more dramatic film. For the first time in a long time the viewer is made to feel afraid on Bond's behalf as both Bond and the villain play for keeps.
And what a villain! Robert Davi plays the charismatic, sadistic Sanchez with relish and appears to be genuinely malevolent. Dalton's portrayal of Bond is also excellent but is fundamentally different from all the other actors who played the role. Whereas the other actors (Lazenby aside), through their different acting styles presented a Bond as an invincible fantasy superhero, Dalton presents a character that is more real, human and believable. Dalton's Bond moves and talks purposefully and has a darker, brooding quality about him that makes him seem all the more dangerous. Dalton truly shines in the dramatic scenes and in the action sequences. Timothy Dalton is by far my favourite Bond.
The main action sequences, the underwater-aerial fight and the tanker chase are exceptionally well done and the two Bond girls are great as well. There are bad bits though, the fight aquarium is repetitive and the barroom fight is silly. The climax is tremendous though. Bond and Sanchez have been at each other's throats for the whole film and only have two lines to say to each other, lines which sum up their different characters.
This film is fantastic, exhilarating stuff. The DVD extras are fine.