24. July 2013 04:59
Gene Siskel felt that Licence To Kill was very "uneven", ranging from "quite exciting to tedius", and that it has a sort of "dirty, unfinished look" that he can't quite explain. Timothy Dalton is solid as James Bond 007 (Siskel was never a fan or Roger Moore's Bond) and Davi makes a truly evil villain, if not a very powerful one. (He's not likely to try to take over the world). Ultimately, Siskel says he can't enthusiastically recommend the film, and somewhat reluctantly gives it a thumbs down.
Roger Ebert, on the other hand, gives it a thumbs up, liking the fact that they are finally trying to make the Bond films a little more contemporary, even though the villain is just another drug kingpin.
Both critics agree that Dalton makes a good James Bond, being more "matter of fact, a little tougher, a little leaner, less obsessed with sex" and brings 007 back from the verge of becoming obsolete in a market full of action movies (Indiana Jones, Rambo, Die Hard, and the Schwartzenegger movies).
Personally, I think Siskel is pretty much spot on this time. Licence To Kill has never been one of my favorite Bond movies and is perhaps the one I have watched the least number of times, I found the scenes featuring Wayne Newton, just too exruciatingly bad to watch - worse even than Sherrif J.W. Pepper in The Man With The Golden Gun. They amped up the level of violence to the point where it became the first Bond film rated 15 in the UK, and I think it needed a little extra humor to offset some of that, a lightness that was missing. Like, Siskel, I can't quite put my finger on what went wrong, but something was wrong with the formula this time...
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