The last of Timothy Dalton's time as James Bond is a nice piece of revenge drama, that feels like an 80's film starring Stallone or Schwarzenegger. Bond goes after the drug kingpin that mutilated his best friend and murdered his best friends wife. The British Secret Service takes a dim view of revenge and has basically disavowed Bond. The original title was to be "Licence Revoked" but someone at EON was afraid American audience would not know what revoked meant. 007 tracks down the kingpin and uses a seed of disloyalty to bring down his empire. The movie is filled with more violence and torture than the usual Bond film. This would never have been a movie that starred Roger Moore. Dalton's more cold blooded and realistic take on Bond is a perfect match for this gritty story, with one of the best Bond villans ever, Franz Sanchez AKA Robert Davi.
This entry in the series is extremely spoiler heavy. Proceed with caution if you have not seen the film.
001 Another Plot Point from the Novel Live and Let Die, adds to a film with a different story.
Felix Leiter has been Bond's CIA counterpart since the first Bond novel. In the movies he has been an underused character, but in this film, he gets a bigger role. Making a return to the part is David Hedison, who played Leiter in "Live and Let Die". Temporarily assigned to the DEA, Felix is tortured by Sanchez using a shark and a pulley system.
002 Secondary Bad Guy gets what is coming to him.
As I said, the movie is full of sadistic moments, fortunately most of them are turned on the bad guys. Milton Krest, the diving company owner who is partners with Sanchez, is framed by Bond to appear as if he is trying to steal from his partner.
Then he tells his men to launder the money was was hidden there, and he does not mean simply run it through their dummy companies.
003 Action Scene from Act 2.
John Glen, who was the director for all of the Bond films made in the 1980s, knew his way around the action scenes. His Bond films are filled with great stunts and this film featured one of the best. Bond sneaks aboard the Wavekrest, the ship used to guide all the smuggling operations, and discovers a whole bunch of information. His companion is killed and he has to make a venge filled escape himself. As he fights Krest's men under water, he shoots a spear-gun with a rope attached into the pontoon of a smugglers plane. It yanks him from their clutches and he performs a series of amazing stunts to get away.
He skies on the balls of his feet as he is dragged by the plane, and then whips around to grab onto the plane.
Once the plane takes off the water, he has to get aboard still.
004 Robert Davi as Franz Sanchez
The Drug Kingpin Sanchez has basically bought himself a country to hide in, which renders him immune from extradition. Robert Davi plays Sanchez as a sadist with a smile. A smart guy who values loyalty, but who can be dragged down with suspicion.
He beats his cheating mistress with the tail of a stingray and has the heart of her lover cut out.
He treats his pet iguana as well as most of the people who work for him, and he employs a sick murderer, played by a young Benicio DelToro, to do his dirty work.
Bond ingratiates himself into his camp and begins a campaign to take down the kingdom from the inside. Following the Godfather's advice, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
005 Uncle Q
Q has been in almost all the Bond films before this, often supplying 007 in the field. Here he takes a much more paternalistic interest in James. Having been abandoned by the Secret Service, Bond is persona non grata , but Moneypenny tracks him down and sends Q to assist unofficially. Desmond Llewelyn gets to play spy a little and have a grand adventure with James and not just chastise him for ruining equipment.
A fun piece of extra business, maybe it is fan service, but you got to keep the fans happy, and it did that for me.
006 Revenge Death Number 3
Dario, Sanchez hired thug, recognizes Bond and blows his cover. Sanchez attempts to drop Bond into the grinder used to break up the bricks of heroin he is smuggling as liquid in gasoline.
Of course at the last minute Bond gets hooked on the conveyor belt and hangs over the grinder, Dario decides he needs to help Bond along.
The result is a blood soaked ending, similar to the snow plow in "OHMSS". I'm afraid I love it too much when the bad guys get the reward they deserve, This is the third villain to get his comeuppance on my list.
007 A Climax to a picture, that really is a climax.
Bond pursues a caravan of gas trucks, loaded with liquefied heroin and mayhem results.
Multiple explosions ensue.
James Bond Will return in: "Goldeneye"