Licence to Kill

Directed by
John Glen
Produced by
Albert R. Broccoli
Michael G. Wilson
Screenplay by
Music by
Michael Kamen
Timothy Dalton
Carey Lowell
Robert Davi
Talisa Soto
Licence to Kill James Bond 007 Movie Poster

Licence to Kill is the sixteenth Eon Productions spy film in the James Bond series, and the second to star Timothy Dalton as MI6 secret agent James Bond 007. The story has elements of two Ian Fleming short stories and a novel, interwoven with aspects from Japanese Rōnin tales. Licence to Kill was the final Bond film for actors Robert Brown (as M) and Caroline Bliss (as Moneypenny), screenwriter Richard Maibaum, title designer Maurice Binder, editor John Grover, cinematographer Alec Mills, director and former Bond film editor John Glen, and producer Albert R. Broccoli, although he would later act as a consulting producer for GoldenEye before his death.

DEA agents collect James Bond (MI6 agent 007) and his friend, now DEA agent Felix Leiter, on their way to Leiter's wedding in Miami to have them assist in capturing drugs lord Franz Sanchez. Bond and Leiter capture Sanchez by attaching a hook and cord to Sanchez's plane in flight near The Bahamas and pulling it out of the air with a Coast Guard helicopter. Afterwards, Bond and Leiter parachute down to the church in time for the ceremony.

Sanchez bribes DEA agent Ed Killifer and escapes. Meanwhile, Sanchez's henchman Dario and his crew ambush Leiter and his wife Della. Leiter is maimed by a tiger shark and Della is raped and killed. When Bond learns Sanchez has escaped, he returns to Leiter's house to find Della dead and Felix alive, but seriously wounded; Bond swears to take his revenge on Sanchez. As the DEA refuse to help because Sanchez is out their jurisdiction, Bond, with Felix's friend Sharkey, start their own investigation into what happened to Felix. The pair discover a marine research centre run by Milton Krest, one of Sanchez's henchmen.

After Bond kills Killifer by pushing him into the tank with the shark that maimed Leiter, M meets Bond in Key West's Hemingway House and orders him to an assignment in Istanbul, Turkey. Bond resigns after turning down the assignment, but M suspends Bond instead and immediately revokes his licence to kill. Bond flees from MI6 custody and becomes a rogue agent, bereft of official backing but later surreptitiously helped by MI6 armourer Q.

Bond boards the Wavekrest (a ship run by Milton Krest) and foils Sanchez's latest drug shipment, stealing five million dollars in the process. Bond recruits Pam Bouvier, an ex-CIA agent-pilot whom he rescues from Dario at a Bimini bar, and journeys with her to the Republic of Isthmus. In Isthmus City, Bond is met by Q. He finds his way into Sanchez's employment by posing as an assassin looking for work. Two Hong Kong Narcotics Bureau officers foil Bond's attempt to assassinate Sanchez and take him to an abandoned warehouse. They are joined by Fallon, an MI6 agent who was sent by M to apprehend Bond either dead or alive. Bond is about to be sedated via injection and sent back to the UK in disgrace when Sanchez's men rescue Bond and kill the officers, believing them to be the assassins. Later, with the aid of Bouvier, Q and Sanchez's girlfriend Lupe, Bond frames Krest by placing the five million dollars he had stolen into the hyperbaric chamber on board the Wavekrest. An angry Sanchez traps Krest in the chamber and then rapidly depressurises it, killing him; meanwhile, for Bond's perceived loyalty, Sanchez admits him into his inner circle.

Sanchez takes Bond to his base, which is disguised as a meditation retreat. Bond learns that Sanchez's scientists can dissolve cocaine in petrol and then sell it disguised as fuel to Asian drug dealers. The buying and selling are conducted via the televangelist Professor Joe Butcher, working under orders from Sanchez's business manager Truman-Lodge. The re-integration process will be available to those underworld clients who can pay Sanchez's price. During Sanchez's presentation to potential Asian customers, Dario discovers Bond and betrays him to Sanchez. Bond starts a fire in the laboratory and attempts to flee, but is captured again and placed on the conveyor belt that drops the brick-cocaine into a giant shredder. Bouvier arrives and distracts Dario, allowing Bond to pull Dario into the shredder, killing him.

Sanchez flees as fire consumes his base, taking with him four articulated tankers full of the cocaine and petrol mixture. Bond pursues them by plane, with Bouvier at the controls. During the course of a stunt filled chase through the desert, three of the four tankers are destroyed and Bond kills many of Sanchez's men. Sanchez attacks Bond with a machete aboard the final remaining tanker, which loses control and crashes down a hill side. Soaked in petrol from the leaking tanker, Sanchez attempts to kill Bond with his machete. Bond then reveals his cigarette lighter (the Leiters' gift for being the best man at their wedding) and sets fire to Sanchez, taking revenge for Felix and Della. Sanchez stumbles into the wrecked tanker, blowing it up and killing himself. Bouvier, driving the tractor from one of the destroyed tankers, rescues Bond.

Later, a party is held at Sanchez's former residence. Bond receives a call from Leiter telling him that M is offering him his job back. He then rejects Lupe's advances and romances Bouvier instead.