Characters / Licence to Kill

Characters specific to the James Bond film Licence to Kill. For those in the entire film franchise, see here.

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     Franz Sanchez 

Franz Sanchez
"There are worse things than dying, hombre."
Played by: Robert Davi

The most powerful drug lord in Latin America, having been wanted by the DEA for years. He is captured in the beginning of the movie, only to escape shortly afterwards and wreck havoc on Felix Leiter's life. Is arguably based on the version of Francisco Scaramanga as seen in the original novel, but is considerably nicer, ironically.
  • Ax-Crazy: He goes nuts with a machete by the end of the film.
  • Bad Boss: He becomes this late in the film after he suffers a Villainous Breakdown, causing him to kill his own men.
  • Benevolent Boss: Subverted. Bond manipulates him into a state of paranoia, causing him to kill his own men.
  • Berserk Button: Let's just say that he doesn't take disloyalty very well.
  • Big Bad: The main antagonist of the film.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    Perez: [about blood-stained money] What about the money, patron?
    Sanchez: Launder it.
  • The Cartel: His cocaine business is described as an "invisible empire from Chile to Alaska".
  • Composite Character: He has elements of Le Chiffre, Mr. Big, and Francisco Scaramanga (from the books), right down to the latter's name.
  • Domestic Abuser: He whips Lupe with a stingray tail when he catches her in bed with another man.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Upon catching Lupe with another man, he orders the man's heart cut out and he personally whips Lupe.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Sanchez is a hospitable enough guy that you almost forget at times that he beats his girlfriend, has a guy's heart literally cut out, has Leiter's wife raped and murdered right before feeding Leiter to a shark, and shoves Krest into a decompression chamber (wrongfully thinking that he'd betrayed him).
  • I Own This Town: In his discussions with Kwang, Bond, and Lopez, Sanchez effectively states that he is the true president of Isthmus.
  • Karmic Death: He dies after getting soaked with the gasoline mixed with his cocaine, and set ablaze by Bond with the very lighter Felix and Della offered him as a Best Man gift.
  • Kill It with Fire: He gets drenched in drugged gasoline in the final chase, and Bond uses the lighter the Leiters gave him to light Sanchez up and burn him to death. His tanker also explodes just to let you know he's Deader Than Dead.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The movie is already Darker and Edgier. Sanchez obviously doesn't help.
  • Lack of Empathy: He's doesn't register any emotion when subjecting his associates to his cold-blooded punishments, or when he feds Felix Leiter to the shark. More notorious in the latter case, where Krest is clearly nauseated watching, and Killifer almost faints.
  • Machete Mayhem: He uses a machete in his climatic fight with Bond.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Not really for the "taste" part, if the kitsch style of his Big Fancy House is any indication. Franz has very much the taste of a thug off the streets even his immense wealth.
  • Man on Fire: Bond uses the gift cigarette lighter at the end of the climax to ignite Sanchez's gasoline soaked clothes and turn him into a Roman Candle.
  • Nothing Personal: So he says to Leiter.
    Sanchez: I want you to know this is nothing personal. It's purely... business.
  • Oh, Crap!: The moment when Bond fires up his lighter.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Him vs. Bond and Leiter. Timothy Dalton was 45 when he starred in the movie, David Hedison was 62 and Robert Davi was 36.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Sanchez's whole philosophy, such as preferring to pay off politicians or law enforcement officers rather than violently threatening them. He gradually slips out of it because of Bond's manipulations.
  • President for Life: Sanchez is the real ruler of the Banana Republic that is Isthmus. He even has a meeting with "el Presidenté", where he informs the man that he is "replaceable", meaning that El Presidente is just a puppet.
    Sanchez: Remember, you're only President... for life.
  • Psychotic Smirk: He's a very cheerful guy... for all the wrong reasons.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He wears a pink shirt in a few scenes, and it does nothing to make him less intimidating.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Would have gotten away with his new scheme of smuggling cocaine by blending it with gasoline if not for his Disproportionate Retribution against Felix Leiter.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Remember what was said above about him having kitschy tastes? Well, he has a Right-Hand Iguana, complete with a little diamond necklace that is seen in Lupe's possession at the end of the movie.
  • Supervillain Lair: His drug refining facility, which is hidden behind the Olimpatec Meditation Institute.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Does this right after finding his missing millions of dollars stashed in Krest's decompression chamber, when Krest claims that it isn't his money. "That's right, amigo. It is mine!" What follows is one of the most gruesome and disturbing death scenes in the whole series.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • He doesn't lose his cool when he thinks that he discovered that Krest was stealing from him. When his mook asks him what to do about the money, he looks like he's about to shrug it off.
    • He spends most of the third act in this state; he doesn't show much emotion, but after an hour of Faux Affably Evil Benevolent Boss posturing he suddenly becomes incredibly quick to start feeding people to cocaine grinders, impaling them on forklift trucks, machine-gunning them for getting a bit lippy, and so forth.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He's treated like he's a legitimate businessman in Isthmus, but only there. The DEA recognizes him as a drug lord.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Toward the end of his reign. He doesn't lose his cool so much, but compare how he is towards the beginning, where he's confidently asserting the loyalty of his men and genially agreeing to drop $2 million dollars at a time for a payoff, to the end, where he's gunning his accountant down for being annoying and ready to impale his henchmen on forklift trucks at the slightest hint of disloyalty.

     Pam Bouvier 

Pam Bouvier
"Sweet dreams, Mr. Bond."
Played by: Carey Lowell

The last CIA agent alive on Leiter's list of contacts on the Sanchez file, she meets Bond in a bar in Bimini. She ends up helping him in his crusade against Sanchez.
  • '80s Hair: Subverted. When she and Bond arrive in Isthmus, she cuts the massive perm she sports throughout the first half of the film.
  • Ace Pilot: A former army pilot, she's apparently flown to some of the worst hellholes in the world. She shows off her piloting prowess during the climax by providing Bond with air support, notably by crop dusting a bunch of mooks that were about to shoot him.
  • Action Girl: One of the best examples in the entirety of the Bond franchise. She never really needs to be saved by Bond; in fact, she saves him on several occasions.
  • Battle Couple: She and Bond kick a lot of ass together through the film, and end up together in the end.
  • Betty and Veronica: She's the Betty to Lupe's Veronica.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Lowell's hair was naturally short. Her first scenes actually have her wearing a wig, so in-universe, we have Bouvier get a haircut to allow Lowell's naturally short hair to shine in her "Miss Kennedy" persona.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    Dario: Ha-ha-ha... You're dead!
    Pam: You took the words right out of my mouth! [she shoots him]
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She was at Felix's wedding party and left early, with Bond walking in just as Felix was done with her, prompting the "strictly business" line.
  • Crazy-Prepared: She brought a shotgun and a bulletproof vest for the rendezvous with Bond, just in case. Turns out it was a wise decision because of Dario's arrival. She also keeps two small pistols with her when she arrives in Isthmus.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Bond, clearly. Bond even underestimates her.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: She does not take it well when Bond dresses her down over what he perceives as inexperience, and she goes through hell to convince him that she can handle herself.
  • Girl of the Week: The main Bond Girl of the film.
  • Holy Backlight: Her first appearance to Dario after he apparently shoots her has her in a white robe and really overexposed lighting, with the implication that Dario's thinks he's actually seeing her ghost, but the Special Effects Failure means that the effect is far too subtle to be noticed on the first viewing.
  • The Lancer: She helps Bond in his crusade against Sanchez.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Through the film there's a lot of shots focused on her thights, helped by the fact that she has a thigh holster for her gun. She also strips down to a one-piece bathing suit as she and Bond load Sanchez's money on to the Wavekrest to frame Krest (and Bond even stops briefly to enjoy the view), and it doesn't take much of a close look to see that Pam isn't wearing anything under the dress she has on during the climax.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: She's not thrilled about being Bond's "secretary" in Isthmus City. She even asks him why he can't be her secretary. The latter, at least, is justified by the fact of South American nations such as Isthmus typically being rather socially conservative when it comes to women's role in society, as Bond explains.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Bond does a Double Take when he sees her after her makeover in a Sexy Backless Outfit.
  • She's Got Legs: As shown whenever she draws her .25 from her thigh holster.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: In bar brawls especially, which is why she brings one to the bar where she meets Bond.
  • Show Some Leg: Uses this tactic towards Joe Butcher to enter Sanchez's drug factory.
  • Universal Driver's License: Land, air and sea. The "air" part is justified in that piloting is her specialty, while, technically speaking, all she did with the "sea" part was wiggle the steering wheel a bit and send it into full speed ahead.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Bouvier calls Bond out when she and Q catch up to him in Isthmus for letting his personal vendetta against Sanchez endanger a critical DEA plan to cripple Sanchez's operations.
  • Woman in White: When she enters Sanchez's facility. There was supposed to be a glow effect when Dario sees her for the final time, but Special Effects Failure meant it got fudged.

     Lupe Lamora 

Lupe Lamora
"Don't you men know any other way?"
Played by: Talisa Soto

Sanchez's mistress.
  • Betty and Veronica: She's the Veronica to Pam's Betty.
  • Broken Bird: Her introductory scene has Sanchez beating her with a stingray's tail, while his henchmen kill her lover and cut his heart out.
  • Domestic Abuse: Sanchez whips her for cheating him.
  • Gold Digger: A subversion. There are some elements of it, as by the time Bond goes to Sanchez's casino is seen that she and Sanchez apparently reconcilied and she enjoys the lavish gifts he gives her, but she shows to still be afraid of him when she's not in his presence. At the end of the film, she takes Sanchez's iguana's diamond collar as a bracelet for herself.
  • Lady in Red: She wears a red dress in a lot of her scenes.
  • Meaningful Name: "Lamora", "L'amour"...
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her scenes aboard the Wavekrest have her only in a red robe (although it becomes Fan Disservice when the scars from her whipping are shown), and her red dress at the casino had some considerable cleavage.
  • Neutral Female: Besides helping Bond in framing Krest and getting Bond out of Sanchez's mansion (and even that comes after prodding from Bond), she doesn't do anything proactive to help him, and isn't even involved in the climax. In fact, she tries to convince him to leave Isthmus and let Sanchez be, for fear of what Sanchez would do to him, to no avail.
  • Spicy Latina: While she doesn't have the fiery temper associated with the trope, which is expected being the scorned and threatened mistress of a drug lord, she fits the rest of the tropes, right down to the tight, red clothing.
  • The Starscream: She chooses to aid Bond in bringing down Sanchez as a means to escape his abuse.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Given who Sanchez is, can you honestly blame Lupe for cheating on him?
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her unfaithfulness to Sanchez sets off a chain reaction where he unwisely attracts the attention of not just the DEA, but of James Bond himself, which ultimately spells doom for him and his criminal empire.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Her opening scene has Sanchez catching her in bed with another man. Sanchez himself beats her with a stingray's tail while his henchmen kill the boyfriend and cut his heart out.
  • The Woobie: She's a self-admitted runaway who got herself mixed up in a bad situation when she and Sanchez became enamored with each other. On top of his abuse, she also must endure the advances of Krest and is brutally punished for her unfaithfulness to Franz. When Bond comes along she sees him as her only hope to escape Sanchez's grasp, and even then he is often cold and cruel to her before he's convinced of her loyalty to him.


"Ha ha ha, you're dead!"
Played by: Benicio del Toro

Sanchez's main and most loyal henchman.
  • Ax-Crazy: He completely loses it by the end of the movie. His expressions would make Jack Torrance proud.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Cuts out Lupe's lover's heart in his first scene.
  • *Click* Hello: During Sanchez's demonstration, Dario secretly puts a pistol to Bond's back once he recognizes him.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Bond pulls him into the cocaine grinder, where the blades shred him to pieces. It's very slow and Dario's agonized screams don't help.
  • Dark is Evil: Always dressed in dark clothes.
  • The Dragon: He's Sanchez's right-hand man.
  • Eye Scream: While trying to cut Bond's rope cuffs to get him to fall into the cocaine grinder, several shots show that his right eye became bloodshot, possibly due to Bond head butting him before.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Best shown when Felix Leiter asks where's his wife, and Dario tells him to not worry... because they gave her "a nice honeymoon", most likely as an Implied Post-Rape Taunt.
  • Giggling Villain: He giggles constantly, although it does evolve into Evil Laugh by the time of the climax.
  • Karmic Death: He tries to have Bond shredded in the cocaine grinder but falls in himself thanks to Pam's intervention.
  • Knife Nut: His Weapon of Choice, pulled out in a distinctive fashion every time.
  • Knight of Cerebus: In terms of Bond henchmen, while Sanchez is a Knight of Cerebus of Bond Big Bads, Dario is one of the henchmen. He even manages to be more Ax-Crazy, creepier and scarier then the other previous and later memorable and equally efficient henchmen (including the outlandishly gimmicky ones) such as Oddjob, Jaws, Necros and May Day, without any outlandish gimmick.
  • Large Ham: Some of his lines come off as Narm Charm.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Him vs. Bond. Del Toro was the youngest actor to be cast as a Bond henchman as he was 21 at the time of filming.
  • Only One Name: Only called "Dario" through the film.
  • Psycho for Hire: To the point that he was fired by the Contras, according to Pam.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • It's strongly implied that he raped Leiter's wife before killing her.
    Leiter: Where's my wife?
    Dario: Don't worry. We gave her a nice honeymooooon!
  • Red Right Hand: Downplayed. He's got one metal tooth on his upper jaw.
  • Say My Name: Screams "Sanchez!" as the cocaine grinder shreds his body.
  • Slasher Smile: Especially when he says the "honeymoon" line.
  • Spanner in the Works: His sudden return to Isthmus City ends up royally screwing Bond over, since he's the only one of Sanchez's crew who knows who Bond really is and is able to expose him as The Mole.
  • Terrible Trio: With Perez and Braun.
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: He was bad enough to get kicked out of the Contras.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Sanchez. He stays behind in Sanchez's drug refining facility, even through it's exploding, to finish off Bond, and that's where he dies, but through a cocaine shredder rather than flames, which was reserved for his boss.

     Milton Krest 

Milton Krest
"That's not my money, I swear!"
Played by: Anthony Zerbe

Sanchez's henchman who operates the Wavekrest Marine Research as a front for Sanchez's drug trade.
  • Asshole Victim: Let's just say that his incompetence and perversion cost him dearly, though his Cruel and Unusual Death is quite excessive.
  • Blatant Lies: When Bond meets him.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Sanchez throws him inside his boat's decompression chamber and begins raising the pressure of the chamber. Once the pressure reaches a critical point, Sanchez, taking an axe, hacks through the air-pressure vent. The rapid decompression causes Krest's head to rapidly expand, then explode.
  • Death by Materialism: Subverted. Sanchez is led to think Krest died this way.
  • Dirty Old Man: Drunkenly hits on the considerably younger Lupe early in the film.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: As with Kilifer, he's clearly nauseated watching Leiter being fed to the shark.
  • Eye Scream: One of his eye seems to be always squinted.
  • Karmic Death: At least in the eyes of Sanchez, who kills him while he's locked with the money that Sanchez thinks he stole from him. In the book, he's choked with the Hilderbrand Rarity in his sleep.
  • Mistaken for a Traitor: Krest may have been loyal to Sanchez the whole time, but between Bond's convincing tip to Sanchez about a possible traitor in his organization, and the presence of a huge pile of Sanchez' money on his boat, he ends up looking guilty as sin.
  • Reality Ensues: Krest essentially ends up having to be the unfortunate mook who has to explain to his unimpressed boss exactly what happened when James Bond performed one of his awesome-but-completely-unbelievable stunts that completely fouls up the boss's operations. It ends about as well for him as you'd expect.
  • Wealthy Yacht Owner: And "marine biologist".
  • Your Head Asplode: Along with the rest of him when Sanchez locks him in a decompression chamber.

     Colonel Heller 

Colonel Heller
"You're not going to believe who this guy is."
Played by: Don Stroud

Sanchez's head of security, he is the head of the Isthmus military.
  • All There in the Manual: A deleted scene has Pam explaining to Bond that Heller had served in the Green Berets before resigning disgracefully.
  • Asshole Victim: Was a loyal member of Sanchez's entourage until his boss sought to use stinger missiles against American civilians to blackmail the DEA. His attempt to return the weapons landed him on the receiving end of a forklift courtesy of Sanchez.
  • Double Agent: Turns out he was a CIA grass who was planning on sending back Stinger missiles that Sanchez has stolen in exchange for immunity by the DEA.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He doesn't appear to have too much problem with the drug-running operation that Sanchez masterminds but it appears that Sanchez acquiring Stinger missiles and threatening to shoot down civilian aircraft is a step too far.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Gets killed by being impaled with a forklift.
  • The Mole: He was one within Sanchez's operation.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Leads the Isthmus military, as witnessed in a strike against Kwang's base, uniform and all.
  • Names to Run Away From: With a name like "Heller"? Hell, yeah.
  • Only One Name: No first name given.
  • Villainous Rescue: Saves Bond from the Hong Kong and British narcotics agents who kidnapped him to bring him back to the UK.

     Truman Lodge 

Truman Lodge
"This setup cost us $32 million! We've got to try and save it!"
Played by: Anthony Starke

Sanchez's financial advisor and accountant.

     Ed Kilifer 

Ed Kilifer
"Sorry, old buddy, but two mil's a helluva chunk of dough."
Played by: Everett McGill

A DEA agent who was bribed by Sanchez to help him escape and betray Felix Leiter.

     Professor Joe Butcher 

Professor Joe Butcher
"Bless your heart!"
Played by: Wayne Newton

Sanchez's middleman and TV evangelist for Olimpatec Meditation Institute.
  • Affably Evil: Never raises his temper, even when Pam threatens him with a gun and steals back the money she brought in the first place.
  • Catch Phrase: "Bless your heart!".
  • Corrupt Church: His church is a front for Sanchez's drug operation. A bonus in that he rakes in plenty of legitimate profit in his own right.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Pam seduces him to get him out of the way before pulling a gun on him.
  • Karma Houdini: Besides the lizard, Lamora and El Presidente, the only top-level associate of Sanchez's that doesn't die a brutally horrible death.
  • Laughably Evil: His Affably Evil persona, constant Catch Phrase ("Bless your heart!") and the fact most of his scenes are humorous in contrast to the dark tone of the film.
  • Light is Not Good: A televangelist running a sham cult that hides a drug-dealing operation.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Acts as this for his scenes to give audiences a breather due to the film being Darker and Edgier.
  • Preacher Man: A televangelist.
  • Sinister Minister: He's actually part of Sanchez's criminal organisation with his church being a front. This front is so successful that he legitimately turns a profit himself.
  • Worthy Opponent: Granted, the main reason she's 'worthy' is because Professor Joe would very much like to get into her pants, but he frequently reacts with good humour and slightly amused and impressed that Pam keeps getting the drop on him.

     El Presidente Hector Lopez 

El Presidente Hector Lopez
"There has been a mistake with my cheque. Look at it! It's half the usual amount!"
Played by: Pedro Armendáriz Jr.

The President of Isthmus.
  • Banana Republic: He's the Presidente of one, Isthmus, which is a clear analogue for Panama.
  • Chest of Medals: As fitting for a (puppet) Generalissimo.
  • Corrupt Politician: Sanchez has been sending him a monthly stipend to keep him under control. He complains when Sanchez slashes that figure in half when he fails to condemn Sanchez's arrest.
  • The Generalissimo: Is basically a pastiche of every South American dictator over the last fifty years.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sort of. With Sanchez gone, Lopez is no longer under any obligations with him and attends a party at Sanchez's residence at the end of the film. He is last seen meeting Lupe Lamora and falling in love with her.
  • President for Life: As long as Sanchez approves, that is. Because Lopez is just a puppet and Sanchez is the real ruler of Isthmus.


"Chainsaw my ass, I know a shark bite when I see one!"
Played by: Frank McRae

A friend of Felix Leiter, he owns a boat charter business and was chosen by Leiter to be his Best Man alongside Bond for his wedding. He later helps Bond to investigate Krest's facility and yacht.

     Della Leiter 

Della Leiter, née Churchill
"That's a custom, you see. The bride always gets to kiss her best man."
Played by: Priscilla Barnes

The bride of Felix Leiter, she is raped and killed by Sanchez's men on her wedding night.
  • Disposable Woman: She is introduced only to be raped and murdered, thus motivating Bond to avenge her and her husband. Unlike her, though, her husband actually survives.
  • Happily Married: Doesn't last even one day, sadly...
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Her death and Leiter's maiming early on are the catalysts of Bond's revenge.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: She's killed shortly after her wedding at the start of the film.
  • Woman in White: It's her wedding day after all.

Played by: Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

A Hong Kong narcotics agent posing as a drug lord to infiltrate Sanchez's organization.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: He is cornered by Sanchez and Heller after Bond's failed assassination attempt, and decides it better to poison himself before Sanchez can make any effort to interrogate him.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Is more than happy to hand Bond over to the British when their man comes to arrest him. To be fair though, Bond did endanger his effort to cripple Sanchez's operations.
  • The Mole: Has been working for years to bring down Sanchez, and was one step closer to accomplishing this before Bond came in to the picture.
  • The Stoic: Never loses his cool until Bond screws all of his plans up.