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TIMOTHY DALTON SEEKS REVENGE WITHOUT HIS 'LICENSE TO KILL'

Timothy Dalton in LICENSE TO KILL Year: 1989 Rating: ***1/2

A gritty and severe revenge plot makes Timothy Dalton's second of two James Bond vehicles, LICENSE TO KILL, a kind of standalone with built-in irony from the title since, after Roger Moore-era Felix Leiter is mangled and his new wife killed, the vengeful Bond's deadly License is taken away...

Because the charming spy from The Queen's Secret Service is making more like an American Action Movie Hero under a balmy, drug-dealing, hidden-coke-packaging MIAMI VICE influence... 

Benicio Del Toro and Robert Davi in LICENSE TO KILL

Providing Robert Davi an energetic Bond villain who, despite being surrounded by crooked businessman or thugs ranging from Benicio Del Toro, Everette McGill, Don Stroud and Anthony Zerbe, takes violence in his own hands instead of simply giving orders behind a desk from a hidden fortress...

The latter he doesn't need, not only owning a multi-tier casino but running his very own Spanish country... yet the best scenes happen before he and Dalton's suave-gambling Bond are aware of each other in the same second-half location...

Timothy Dalton in LICENSE TO KILL

When 007 traipses around the Florida Keys, jumping from a plane, dodging not only bullets but deadly sharks and even impersonating a stingray to chase a submarine (before meeting a contrived Bond girl followed by an even more contrived manner of bringing Q back into the mix), he's not just a spy, he's downright sneaky...

Which has distinguished Dalton as the edgiest actor in the legendary role, surpassing even the grimacing, navel-gazing Daniel Craig, whose own rogue agent seeking revenge second outing... QUANTUM OF SOLACE... owes LICENSE TO KILL pretty much everything. 

Timothy Dalton in LICENSE TO KILL
Timothy Dalton in LICENSE TO KILL
Talisa Soto and Anthony Zerbe in LICENSE TO KILL
Carey Lowell in LICENSE TO KILL
Timothy Dalton in LICENSE TO KILL
Benicio Del Toro in LICENSE TO KILL
Live and Let Die Felix actor David Hedison in LICENSE TO KILL
Priscilla Barnes as Felix's wife LICENSE TO KILL
Christopher Neame in LICENSE TO KILL
Don Stroud in LICENSE TO KILL

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