How come a lot of Bond fans do not like Licence to Kill?

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I've always liked this one and thought it had one of the more serious, darker, grittier stories, and I think I would put it in my top 5 Bond movies perhaps.

However, a lot of fans don't like it but they can never really say why. They act like it's obvious, and the reason they always give is, is that, it feels too much like a few episodes of Miami Vice they feel. Now I have never seen Miami Vice, so I can't compare, but if this is like Miami Vice, than Miami Vice, must have been the most bad ass show of the 80s, or the '24' of the 80s pretty much.

So was the show that good then, and if so, why is it an insult to say the movie is like that then? Or are there other reasons why this one is not well liked by many fans?



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The Miami Vice comments are more to emphasise just how much it broke from the established Bond formula in order to chase what was trendy in an attempt to stay relevant (much like how Moonraker copied Star Wars or the earlier Craig films borrowed from the Jason Bourne series). The plot of a government agent going rogue to take down the drug lord who attacked his friend sounds like a pretty generic '80s action plot that just so happens to involve James Bond, who usually fights crazy supervillains or evil syndicates or anything not quite as mundane as a drug lord. Also, this was back in the '80s where comparing a movie to a TV show was meant to be an insult on account of how Movies = Big and TV = Small, so comparing the latest film in a 40-year-old franchise to an episode of a TV show is meant to reflect how small-minded and inconsequential it is (even by James Bond standards).
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I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.



James Bond, who usually fights crazy supervillains or evil syndicates or anything not quite as mundane as a drug lord.
There's Kananga in Live and Let Die though. I can't remember in the film if he's affiliated to Spectre or not.



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Oh okay, I thought this kind of plot was new at the time because I have never seen a spy betray his country and go rogue out or revenge that came out before Licence to Kill. It didn't seem like that happened until later movies. What are some movies that did that before?



Licence to Kill is my favourite, and maybe it was handy that I wasn't familiar with Miami Vice at the time I've still never seen it in fact. Very familiar with Michael Kamen though.



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Yeah, but there's a lot of overlap with "crazy supervillain" what with the voodoo stuff and "Mr. Big" disguise and everything like that so he feels very distinct from a more realistic version like Sanchez.



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Well it's just that whenever Bond is brought back down to a more grounded and more realistic story, fans always seem to like this. They like For Your Eyes Only for doing it and The Living Daylights. They like Casino Royale for doing it. Yet when Licence to Kill does it, people say it feels like Miami Vice. But maybe that is a more ground realistic world then?



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You could argue that those are still recognisably Bond-style spy adventures underneath their more grounded surfaces - Casino Royale is still about a high-stakes poker game, after all.



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Well I guess the stakes of LTK is going undercover in an organization and infiltrating it, but isn't that Bond style, or spy style as well though?



Yeah, but there's a lot of overlap with "crazy supervillain" what with the voodoo stuff and "Mr. Big" disguise and everything like that so he feels very distinct from a more realistic version like Sanchez.
I feel like the same is true of Silva as well.



Well I guess the stakes of LTK is going undercover in an organization and infiltrating it, but isn't that Bond style, or spy style as well though?
Do we reckon then that it's the 'Bond going rogue' aspect of Licence to Kill that people dislike most? If so it's funny that that is one of my favourite parts .



Problems with "LIcense to Kill"

1.The Villain was a drug dealer. Not some evil genius with a complex plan to rule the world.
2.Bond doesn't drive a cool car with weapons and a ejector seat.
3.The Bond girl isn't exotic and sexy enough.
4.Bond isn't on a mission for MI6, he's out for revenge.
5.Not enough gadgets like the previous films.



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Oh okay, I felt that LTK has enough gadgets. In fact, there are more gadgets in LTK than Casino Royale, or For Your Eyes Only. Those Bond movies are more liked compared to LTK, so why does the lack of gadgets in LTK bother fans, if they do not mind even less gadgets in other entries.

As for the Bond girls, I thought they were sexy in this one, especially Taliso Soto.

As for the villain not being an evil genius, other Bond movies, also do not have evil geniuses like For Your Eyes Only, or Casino Royale, or The Living Daylights, etc, and those ones are still more well liked, than LTK though. I've heard these criticisms said about LTK before, but I don't understand them since fans did not mind the same things in other entries it seemed.



Problems with "LIcense to Kill"

1.The Villain was a drug dealer. Not some evil genius with a complex plan to rule the world.
2.Bond doesn't drive a cool car with weapons and a ejector seat.
3.The Bond girl isn't exotic and sexy enough.
4.Bond isn't on a mission for MI6, he's out for revenge.
5.Not enough gadgets like the previous films.
I do agree that bond always needs to drive a cool car and this was missing from that film, i would say if we had more car action scenes and a better bond girl meaning more complex it would have been the perfect 80s bond adventure film



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I would say that the downhill truck chase that ends the film is one of the best vehicular chases in the whole franchise, though - even without a cool car.



Against the opinions of many, Dalton is actually my favourite Bond. It is a bit of a shame that there are only the 2 entries that he made and both are quite distinct from each other as much as they are distinct from all else that had proceeded it, while adding complexity to the character that had been virtually AWOL for the entire Moore era. LTK not only draws a line under all things Bond from Dr No right through as well as gave rise to a Bond theory.



With The Living Daylights having been written initially with Moore in mind, once RM had announced his retirement think that there was a conscious effort made to make TLD less cartoonish compared with most of the RM era Bonds, and it is evident of the transition taking place here.



Licence to Kill takes that next step and tells a much darker story. Not one of doing it for Queen and Country. This is Bond doing this for Bond. This is revenge mode Bond, pure and simple. It's not exotic, he's not trying to solve some world threatening mystery and it doesn't matter if it were. This is about vengeance. Using all the training without the same level of resources, how volatile and dangerous someone who is used to being able to kill with impunity would be if completely gone rogue. Indeed LTK features quite possibly the most cold blooded act that any Bond has committed, when traps one of his targets in the compression tank. Even the thought of it makes me wince, and while it would not fit in any other Bond, here it belongs and fits the character in this situation.



Personally i do prefer TLD but LTK is both an important entry and curious outlier to the pantheon of Bond films. It's perhaps a missed opportunity that there wasn't a follow up Dalton entry to see where they would have taken the character after having gone off the proverbial rails. If they had just picked up and left off without explaination it would only have diminished the dark and danger that Dalton's Bond had become and drawing such a strong distinction from the previous men who had been Bond.



Perhaps taking a hiatus and rebooting the franchise with Brosnan in itself also was accidently fortunate. That there is a new Bond. It answers a question about the longevity and the different men that have portrayed Bond. as much about what would happen if the wrong agent became a 00 agent. That there is no James Bond. He doesn't exist and never did.



That Bond is as much a assigned code name as 007 is.



The movie that ticks all the bond trademarks is probably : Goldfinger, still the reboot in goldeneye goes well but still lacks that cool car chase however here was substituted by that famous tank chase scene, talking about the reboot in 95 i really wouldn t have found where and how it could have continued with timothy dalton after LTK, and it was a nice breath of fresh air with goldeneye, and the rest is history



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Golfinger is good, I just always found it to not be the best, like some others do. I just find it to be kind of vanilla flavor, where as other entries, you get chocolate or strawberry flavor, if that makes sense. But it's a pretty good one.



It's one of my favourite Bond flicks. But my vote is largely based on my crush on Pam Bouvier. She is the kind of woman you fall in love with and want to spend the rest of your life with. She is cute, funny and wee bit goofy. The perfect woman.



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Well it's strange cause a lot of fans do not like this Bond entry, and when they list their reasons, I often feel they are looking too hard or are being too picky, and you think, really, this is the reason you put your finger on, etc. But do you think maybe it has significant weaknesses, that I am not picking up on since a lot of fans consider it to be one of the misses, as oppose to pass?