Timothy Dalton is better in Licence to Kill than in his first James Bond endeavor (The Living Daylights), but he still seems uncomfortable on the right side of the law. This time around, Bond is working on his own rather than on behalf of the British Secret Service. His American friend Felix Leiter (David Hedison), an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has been seriously injured by drug dealer Robert Davi, and 007 is out for blood. There is precious little time for the usual Bondian quippery and directorial campiness, resulting in a marked increase in bloodletting (including the "implosion" of secondary villain Anthony Zerbe). A climactic highway chase involving an oil tanker and a helicopter is stretched slightly beyond its value, but is still one of the best action setpieces in any Bond film. Licence to Kill was a refreshingly serious change of pace for the series, albeit one that tended to lessen Bond's box-office value.
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