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YMMV: Licence to Kill
  • Angst? What Angst?: Felix Leiter turns up at the end of the film, and is remarkably chipper for a man who lost his wife to a murderer and his leg to a shark.
  • Base Breaker: It's fair to say that Pam Bouvier is one of the less popular Bond Girls. Pam does get points for being one of the few Bond girls as capable as he is, and one of the very few who never needed to be rescued. Plus, their scene at the end rivals the The Living Daylights in WAFF.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: The closing theme "If You Asked Me To", sung by Patti LaBelle, which has also been covered by CÚline Dion.
  • Complete Monster: Franz Sanchez can be charming, but he's also uncommonly brutal and ruthless in dealing with his enemies or those he perceives as disloyal to him - he brutally whips his mistress, Lupe Lamora, with a stingray-tail whip as a punishment for infidelity. It is also implied that under his orders, his top henchman Dario removed the heart of the man she has slept with. He feeds Bond's best friend, Felix Leiter, to a shark (he had his newlywed wife raped and killed right before), and he kills one of his collaborators, locking him in a decompression chamber, believing he stole his money. Towards the climax, he also decides to start "cutting overhead" and shoots his financial advisor.
  • Contested Sequel: Critical opinion of the film was divided when it came out and is still divided now. Notably, fans of the novels hold both of Dalton's films in high regard.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Sanchez' response after he murders Krest. Possibly the only Bond movie where the villain gets a better Bond One-Liner than Bond himself:
    Perez: What about the money, Patron?
    Sanchez: (Beat) Launder it.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • The title song by Gladys Knight, "Dirty Love" by Tom Feehan, "If You Asked Me To" by Patti LaBelle.
    • Also, the triumphant Bond theme that rings out as Bond "fishes" Sanchez' plane or jet skis in a moving plane, among other cool scenes.
    • One of the more... unusual renditions of the Bond theme is played by ricocheting bullets when Sanchez opens fire on Bond as he climbs onto one of the tankers at the end.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Dario.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Dario, by virtue of being played by Benicio del Toro (who was 21 at the time and remains the youngest Bond villain in the series). He's not as sexualized as Necros from The Living Daylights, but still has a... killer smile.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Some people saw it on Sanchez's part to Bond.
    • Not to mention some straight-up Ho Yay between Sanchez and Dario.
  • Fridge Brilliance: A tragic instance of it. Thanks to this movie, Bond and Leiter now share the same misfortune of losing their brides on their wedding days.
    • And it makes the ensuing Roaring Rampage of Revenge understandable when you realize that seeing this happen to Felix must have reopened a very traumatic wound...
    • Also, Sanchez was first taken down by Felix Leiter, and in the end again, by Felix's lighter.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Benicio del Toro is a bit of a Knife Nut.
  • Love It or Hate It
  • Magnificent Bastard: Bond's plan to systematically dismantle Sanchez's Empire before destroying him is particularly cruel. He then sets Sanchez on fire with the lighter Felix's bride gave him at the wedding. Seconds later, Sanchez's aimless, agonized running took him into the wreck of a crashed and leaking gasoline tanker, blowing it up and him along with it..
    • Sanchez himself would probably qualify in a world where he did not piss off Bond- he has "an invisible empire from Chile to Alaska" and is ready to expand; he is the de facto ruler of a Banana Republic due to bribing and intimidating its dictator; he keeps his For the Lulz attitude even in the face of a 1000 year jail term because he knows he'll escape in less than a day; casually hands out $1-2m bribes....really, if Bond hadn't made him so paranoid and ended up killing him, he'd probably have ended up the most succesful crime lord in history, even considering that some of that paranoia turned out to be justified.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Shortly after the movie's release, Robert Davi, who played Sanchez, was taken to see an actual drug lord in South America. Apparently, he loved his portrayal of Sanchez.
  • Narm: "Don't worry. We gave her a nice honeymooooooooon."
    • "I love James, so much." Possibly lampshaded by Pam when she repeats it in a mocking tone.
    • The scene where Bond is captured... by ninjas. It honestly feels like a scene lifted from one of the campier Roger Moore films.
  • Narm Charm: Krest's death scene. Sure, the image of his head inflating like a balloon before it explodes is utterly ridiculous, but that doesn't make it any less horrific.
    • Dario's "We have her a nice honeymooooooon!" is pretty silly, but the line's still pretty chilling due to the implications.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Benicio Del Toro as Dario (He was twenty-one at the time, making him the youngest actor to play a Bond villain).
  • The Scrappy: Truman-Lodge has very few fans even as far as secondary henchmen go, which was likely intentional.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: With Daniel Craig's portrayal of Bond, it's difficult to appreciate Timothy Dalton's portrayal of Bond here and in The Living Daylights.
  • Special Effects Failure: The maggots in Krest's marine lab are obviously white rubber fishing lures, complete with long flat tails.
  • Tear Jerker: Bond discovering Della murdered and Felix near-fatally maimed.
  • Vindicated by History: At the time it came out, it was initially considered a disappointment, partly from competition with Lethal Weapon and Tim Burton's Batman but especially from comparisons to the Bond films that had preceded it, mainly due to Roger Moore's soft take on he role. This, combined with legal issues over the franchise, ensured that another Bond film would not be made for six years, and that Timothy Dalton would not return to the lead role. License to Kill has since been re-evaluated by a number of Bond fans, who prefer its unique atmosphere. Whether it's one of the better films of the franchise or a misfire is still hotly debated, but at least the hate is far from universal.
  • What an Idiot: Killifer is dangling above a Shark Pool, and he desperately offers to split his payoff with Bond if he helps him. However, Killifer's in no position to be making such offers, as Bond could easily: A.) Take the cash and leave Killifer dangling. B.) Not take the cash, though still leave him dangling. What seals the deal, though, is that the cash is blood money, used to maim Bond's best friend and murder a bride-to-be. Therefore, since this is a pissed-off Bond, he: C.) Throws the cash at Killifer, making him fall in and become shark bait.
  • What The Hell Casting Agency: The casting of Wayne Newton as Professor Joe Butcher still confuses some fans.
    • Becomes Fridge Brilliance with the fact Wayne Newton is harmless and (to his detractors) artificial. Which is perfect for Professor Butcher.

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