The James Bond production team has found its second wind with Licence to Kill, a cocktail of high-octane action, spectacle and drama.
Presence for the second time of Timothy Dalton as the sauve British agent clearly has juiced up scripters, and director John Glen.
Out go the self-parodying witticisms and over-elaborate high-tech gizmos that showed pre-Dalton pics to a walking pace. Dalton plays 007 with a vigor and physicality that harks back to the earliest Bond pics, letting full-bloodied actions speak louder than words.
The thrills-and-spills chases are superbly orchestrated as pic spins at breakneck speed through its South Florida and Central American locations. Bond survives a series of underwater and mid-air stunt sequences that are above par for the series.
He’s also pitted against a crew of sinister baddies (led by Robert Davi and Frank McRae) who give the British agent the chance to use all his wit and wiles. Femme elements in the guise of Carey Lowell and Talisa Soto add gloss but play second fiddle to the action.