Thursday, 9 June 2016

LICENCE TO KILL - REDISCOVERING A CLASSIC

From the opening bars of the James-Bond theme, Michael Kamen's score hints of something new. 007 meets Die-Hard maybe. The gun-barrel scene gives way to a caribbean scene; a Grumman 'Hawkeye' airborne-early warning aircraft is on patrol. In the cramped surveillance suite, an operator reports a mid-flight deviation; a Learjet is landing at Cray Key. They send a message to Key West Drug Enforcement. If they hurry, they might just catch the bastard...
The Poster.
Driving along the impossibly-long expanse of bridge that links the keys is a white Rolls Royce. Inside, in Wedding dress are Felix Leiter and James Bond. The normally sufficient space is gone, however, the massive bulk of Sharky – a friend of Felix, is wedged in-between the two spies. An unusually nervous Felix asks Bond if he's got the ring; his best man produces it with a smile as a coastguard helicopter comes up alongside the Royce. A hand-written sign 'FOLLOW ME' in the door window. Friends of Leiters?; his partners in the D.E.A.

A careless sentry dozes on duty on the steps of a clap-board house. His sleep becomes eternal as a garotte is thrown around his neck. Several armed men approach.

The chopper lands and Felix demands to know what's going on of the two D.E.A. agents in body armour who rush up to him. D.E.A man Hawkins put him in the picture – Sanchez is in the Bahamas!. They've cleared it with Nassau – they've got the green light!. Felix makes to go with them, but Sharky reminds him he's forgotten something... Leiter asks Bond to explain to Della (His soon-to-be Bride), but he refuses. Bond is coming along as well, though Felix insists strictly as an observer. The helicopter lifts off leaving a bemused Sharky wondering how he's going to explain this.

Director John Glen on his last Bond film. Glen had previously edited and directed 007 films beginning with On Her Majesty's Secret Service, through to a five-film stretch beginning with For Your Eyes Only.

The armed men enter the bedroom to find a man asleep with a beautiful woman of Latin blood. Waking, the man reaches for the Beretta on the bed-side table, but two shots into the furniture make it clear he'll never make it. A heavy holds the man, helpless as the shooter approaches, ripping the mosquito net from the bed. This is Sanchez, feared drug-lord and cartel magnate. Still in bed, Lupe – his girl watches, fear and pain in her eyes. Cruelly, the drug-lord asks; 'What did he promise you, his heart?. Give her his heart.' His side-kick, Dario produces a vicious-looking blade. As his men drag the hapless lover out to his awful fate, Sanchez goes around to the bed, producing a whip made from an iguana tail. He beats her with the vicious implement as the screams from her lover reach her ears.
Talisa Soto is Lupe Lamora. Robert Davi is Franz Sanchez, Drugs Baron. Lupe is his girl.
The church and Sharky runs across to Della's limo to tell her to go around the block again. A beautiful blonde in her mid-thirties, Della's concern is for her guests. Her Father sits in a magnificent silent rage until he boils over. 'I told you this was a mistake!.' If only he knew. The groom's chopper slices through the warm clear air as Felix hands Bond a pistol – just in case.
Timothy Dalton returns for his second - and final, Bond movie.
As Sanchez and his goons exit the house by jeep, the Coastguard chopper roars overhead to the nearby airstrip. The drug-baron jumps from the jeep and slips into the undergrowth. This man started with nothing, but his wits and they haven't deserted him.


Felix cautions Bond to stay with the chopper as, Hawkins leading the charge, the well-armed three-man joint DEA-CIA team storm across to the waiting Learjet. As the jeep arrives, a burst of machine-pistol fire hits the chopper, a round going through Bond's top-hat. The jeep races off, the chopper in pursuit, Felix and the team left running in it's wake. Bond is right where he needs to be, signalling the pilot to go for an area to one side of the road. 
Jumping down, he takes cover behind some oil drums, shooting back to score a hit on something vital. The jeep careens across and crashes into some old boats, the henchmen fleeing, leaving Bond to wonder about the pretty girl sitting alone in the abandoned vehicle.
Bond's offer of help is rejected fierily, but then a little Cessna fires up and makes for the runway. Sanchez!. Waving the chopper over, Bond bundles the team into it and it takes off in pursuit of the plane as it takes off. (Watch this scene for an incredible take-off by the Cessna pilot, Mark Juckett.)



Felix despairs that Sanchez will be in Cuban airspace in twenty minutes. Pulling on a parachute, Bond retorts 'He hasn't got away yet.' As Sanchez flies along happily, Bond decides to go fishing. Dangling from the chopper's winch, Bond is lowered down to the fuselage of the little plane, throwing the winch hook around it to fasten onto the cable, snaring the Cessna. To Sanchez' disbelief, the Cessna is hauled along by the powerful helicopter, to hang like a lure from an angler's rod.
At the church, the crowd looks up at the bizarre sight of a plane hanging from a chopper. Now also in a parachute-rig, Felix jumps from the chopper as James dives from the Cessna. The two agents free-fall down to an astonished crowd outside the church. 
Resplendent in her bridal gown, Della rushes to hug both. The priest hurries out to coax everyone inside and Felix hands James his topper. As the two agents walk in, their canopies trail behind them in bridal fashion, the bridesmaids picking them up as well as Dellas!.
Felix and Della are married. Priscilla Barnes is Della, Felix is portrayed by David Hedison.
For the last time, Maurice Binder's artistry graces a James Bond film as Gladys Knight's title song plays. (A moderately superior pop number, this reached number 6 in the British Top Ten.) Starting with a fairly glaring advert for Olympus cameras, we cut to a pretty girl shooting the words 'Licence to Kill' from a Walther PPK while Bond turns to shoot in all directions behind a cloud of smoke, a naked girl pirouettes with a PPK, images of crossed hands over a roulette table, naked silhouettes spinning in front of it. A $10 chip vanishes, an image of a girl, blurred as if behind opaque glass is targeted by the reticules from unseen sniper's rifles. The naked silhouette dances. A photographer's proof sheet shows a pretty oriental girl, female hands hold a photograph of a woman that rotates and animates – a gymnastic red-silhouetted woman dances past a giant PPK which shoots her, the green version that follows, the yellow and the blue. A well-developed woman in a see-through sheer top spins round – just this side of the censors, projected '007's' overlaid onto the image. In flowing robe and little else, a woman dances, versions of herself sans robe spins and jeté's across the screen, hunted by the crosshairs (This is Diane Hsu, ex-Playboy playmate and actress who plays Loti, a Hong-Kong narcotics agent in the film). Finally, the pretty girl returns to fire a shot as '007' slides across the screen and the camera is back, rushing towards us as the film proper begins.

Killifer (Left) and Hawkins interrogate Sanchez; Everett McGill is Killifer, Grand.L.Bush is Hawkins. Robert Davi (Centre) plays Sanchez.
At the seizure pier a military truck offloads a squad of armed men. In the background the coastguard chopper sits on her mother ship, the Dauntless – and amongst all the impounded drug-runner's boats a Cessna now rests against a building just as the chopper left her. An armoured truck backs up ready to receive its human cargo. Inside, in a cell, DEA man Killifer tells the captive Sanchez he's facing 139 felony counts. That's 936 years. Even one of his famous million dollar bribes can't get him out of this one. 'Two.' Smirking Sanchez tells Hawkins and Killifer the standard offer to spring him is two million. Does he think this is a banana republic?. Sanchez boasts he'll be home soon and an enraged Killifer attacks him, Hawkins having to restrain him. The angry DEA man promises he'll personally see the drug-lord to his cell in Quantico.


Felix's house and the party is getting started. An ecstatic Della gives Bond a friendly kiss and they nearly knock the cake over. As Della helps the caterers move the cake, Bond goes across the garden to Felix's private study to fetch him for the cake-cutting. Inside, Felix hands an extremely attractive girl an envelope and she leaves – strictly business. No sooner do we learn her name – Pam – than she's gone. James tells Felix to switch the computer off, but Felix has to save his report first. Sanchez hasn't left his home base for years. Opening the famous cigarette case, Bond asks why he wasn't extradited. Sanchez has bribed half the officials from here to Chile. Plomo o Plata... Lead or Silver. There's only one law down there; Sanchez' law. Bond lights up and Killifer bustles in to tell Felix to take his time on the honeymoon. Bond isn't impressed by his over-friendly arm-punching routine, but graciously shakes hands. Killifer has to get back and leaves with the parting shot 'I only came by to kiss the bride.' Bond reminds Felix it's cake time and the CIA man quickly tucks the disc he's saved behind a picture of Della.
The guests applaud as the cake is cut. Smiling, Sharky offers Felix a box of fishing lures which he tied himself. Smiling, Della tells Felix he's not going fishing on her Honeymoon.


Under heavy guard, a handcuffed Sanchez is lead from the interrogation block to the waiting armoured truck. Reporters crowd round, asking questions. Impudently, he turns to smile for a picture. Killifer ensures he's chained to a strongpoint inside and they set off, two officers in the back with the prisoner. Killifer rides shotgun, literally. Two six-by-six Army trucks full of SWAT men bookend the truck as the Coastguard helicopter provides top cover. Sanchez is on his way to Quantico.


The party is in full swing. Everyone dances by – and in, the pool. James dances with Della, then she takes him over to Felix who presents him with a box. Inside, a lighter engraved with 'James. Love always, Della and Felix. When he tries it, it flares up giving the trio a start. 
 

On the bridge, the convoy proceeds, police outriders adding to the already unbreakable ring of steel around the drug-lord. They approach a construction zone. Killifer smiles at the truck driver. Then he butt-strokes him with his shotgun, knocking the man cold before reaching over to wrench the wheel across, sending the armoured truck through the wooden railings into the water some forty feet below. Soon, the heavy vehicle is on the bottom as, above, chaos reigns. Chained, Sanchez is doomed. The two guards open the rear doors and swim for it... just as two scuba divers approach!. The lead diver shoves a regulator into Sanchez' mouth for him to breath. The other does the same for Killifer, who has remained with the vehicle holding his breath. A recovery diver from the chopper dives in to save the two guards as, below, Sanchez' chain is cut and he is free. The divers hand the two rescuees masks and lead them off to a swimmer delivery vehicle, a Shark Hunter II from the design on it's side. As the guards are winched up, Sanchez and the treacherous Killifer are spirited away beneath the waves.


James is the last to leave. Della wants him to have something – her garter. You know what they say... but no, James thanks them both. It's time for him to go. Laughing, she throws it and James catches it. As Bond drives off in his hire car, Della wonders if she did something wrong. Felix answers; 'He was married once. But it was a long time ago.' Felix carries his bride through to the bedroom – and his face drops. Two armed thugs are standing, guns trained. Gallantly, Felix offers himself if they let Della go. Emerging from behind the door, Dario knocks Leiter cold. Petrified, Della is helpless.


The Ocean Exotica warehouse sits by the sea, well-lit, silent. Inside, Milton Krest enters his office to find Sanchez feet up on his desk. Krest, an oily moustached character with slicked-back hair isn't happy. He wants to move the drug-baron out tonight; the sub's batteries recharged they can go to the twelve-mile limit, then a fast boat to Cuba. Sanchez is waiting for Dario to finish his business at the Leiter home. Krest wants Killifer killed; he can finger him and he's spent a fortune on this cover. Sanchez, however is a man of his word. He made a deal with Killifer and he'll stick to it. Loyalty is more important to him than money. As Krest brings in Killifer, Sanchez hauls a heavy suitcase onto the desk. $2,000,000 all in twenties. Heavy, but hard to trace. (In fact, $2,000,000 in twenties would fill the boot of a family car.) Dario arrives to whisper in his Boss' ear. They leave together with a warning from Sanchez not to touch Lupe, who is aboard Krest's yacht. After what he did to that guy in the islands?; he must be kidding.


On the warehouse floor, a blindfolded Felix is led between the brightly-coloured tanks to stand on what appears to be a trap-door of some kind. Two stooges unwrap a massive piece of beef; Clearly something is about to be fed. His blindfold is ripped off and Leiter sees Sanchez and Dario standing in front of him. Felix asks after Della, to be told 'Don't worry. We gave her a nice 'honney-moon''. If it weren't for the strong arms holding him back, Felix would have torn Dario's throat out. Sanchez tells him this is nothing personal. Strictly business. Felix's tied hands are hooked onto a rope, the other end of which holds the weight of the side of beef. At a nod the trapdoor is opened revealing water, a shark swimming lazily beneath waiting for its dinner. The final insult comes when Killifer joins the grim party. 'Sorry, old buddy, but two mil's a helluva chunk of dough.'


Betrayed, bereaved, Felix is hauled into the air as the meat is kicked over the side. After the first few bites, the remaining meat weighs less than him. Inevitably, he enters the water.
Felix – 'Killing me won't stop anything, Sanchez!.'
Sanchez – 'There are worse things than dying, hombre.'
                   
'See you in Hell!'. As Felix screams the words, the shark rips his leg off. Only Sanchez and Dario remain unmoved – even Krest winces at the hideous spectacle. Killifer runs off to be sick.


Key West Airport and Bond parks his Lincoln, popping the trunk as cop cars race everywhere. At the Pan-Am check-in desk* Bond asks what's going on. 'Some big drug dealer just escaped.' By the time the girl looks up, he's gone. Racing up to the Leiter home, Bond finds the door unlocked. Seeing draws dishevelled and Della's shoe, he draws his PPK. Cautiously entering the bedroom, he finds Della, dead. Still in her wedding dress. Another bride dead on her wedding day. In Felix' study, everything has been turned over, large blotches of blood on the floor leading to the sofa where Bond sees a body bag. Opening it, he sees his friend - and a note; HE DISAGREED WITH SOMETHING THAT ATE HIM. Crumpling the note, Bond is careless of crime scene etiquette; especially when Felix lets out a gulp and the single word 'Della.' The phone rings and Bond snatches it up to Hawkins' voice, 007 calls for an ambulance.
*Watch to the left of shot; the customs officer is Bob Martinez, the then-Governor of Florida in a walk-on.


Sharky arrives to find Bond surrounded by Police and a crime-scene photographer. The news isn't good; Felix has lost his left leg below the knee and may lose an arm. The Detective in charge leaves with an unwelcome comment that it was probably a chainsaw. At the hospital, the Doctor leaves with the advice to wait and see. Felix lies unconscious and on life-support. 'Chain-saw my ass.' Sharky knows a shark-bite when he sees one. Hawkins arrives with more bad news. Sanchez has vanished, along with Leiter's files. Its out of their jurisdiction. Bond is aghast; they aren't going to do anything?. Taking Sharky he leaves. To go shark hunting.



Pulling up outside Krest's operation, Sharky remarks this is the last place in the keys. They'll have to try Miami next. Bond finds the place locked and rings the boat's bell outside. Inside, Krest ushers Killifer out of sight. A goon opens the door and tells him they're closed. Handing him a Universal Exports card Bond claims to have come from London to arrange shipment of a Carcharodon carcharias. The goon's never heard of one. Krest orders 'Bill' to let him in, telling Bond they sold all their sharks years ago. They do research now; feeding maggots to genetically-engineered fish to feed the Third World. Bond takes a look around and spots the Shark Hunter submersible. From his shark hunting days? Krest bluffs it's for sale and that he's busy. Bond glances down and says goodbye, his face tautening. As he leaves we see the carnation from Leiter's jacket.


Night and beneath the jetty at 'Ocean Exotica', a rubber boat paddles quietly towards the warehouse. Suddenly, Bond and Sharky see the Shark Hunter leaving with Sanchez aboard, staying still until it passes. Inside, a henchman tells an impatient Killifer the sub will be back for him in three hours. Handing Bond a boat hook, Sharky watches as he goes forward along a steel grated catwalk leading to a ladder. Suddenly, the shark crashes up into the grille, giving Bond a fright. Once inside, 007 pads stealthily between the tanks of brightly coloured marine life. Exotica indeed. Opening a temperature-controlled tray of heaving maggots, he rolls up his sleeves to rummage among the writhing creatures. Bags of cocaine are wrapped up inside, hidden beneath the maggots. Bond fails to notice the temperature gauge dropping rapidly and is rewarded with a pistol to the ear from Bill, the security guard. Frisking Bond, he removes his Walther and Bond asks if he can at least get his hands out of the maggots. As he turns, he gives Bill a faceful of the unpleasant things, punches him and judo-throws him over into the tray, hitting the button to trap him with a hearty 'Bon Appetite.'


A burst of sub-machine gun fire sends Bond rolling for cover beneath some tanks, his attempt to recover Bill's revolver met with a hail of fire. Outside, Sharky swallows nervously at the prospect of rescuing the Englishman – he'll have to go over that shark to get to the ladder. The guard is no fool; he's got an MP-5 and an overhead walkway covering the whole warehouse. Bond sneaks below and lifts a steel hook from its resting place. The guard takes the steps down to the electric eel tank, Bond beneath the stairs. Looping the hook over the back of the man's pistol belt, he drags him over into the tank to be electrocuted, the tank flashing and sparking. Bond emerges to the word 'Freeze.' Turning he sees Killifer, gun in one hand, suitcase full of money in the other. 'Over by the trap door, old buddy.' Opening the door, the shark is there, waiting. Killifer's mistake? - standing on the smaller trap door that Bond entered by. Bursting upwards, the massive Sharky knocks Killifer off-balance. Bond does the rest; punching him he sends him over the edge of the trapdoor above the shark, hanging on to a rope for dear life. The treacherous agent offers Bond a deal; he'll split the money. Coldly, Bond hefts the weighty suitcase. 'You earnt it. You keep it.' throwing the case down onto Killifer, the traitor falling into the water to be eaten alive. Sharky comments 'God, what a terrible waste.' As Bond shoots him a look he expands; 'The money...'


Morning and Bond makes his way along the busy quayside to where a jaunty sign advertises Sharky's charters. DEA-Agent Hawkins watches as Bond jumps onto Sharky's boat, the Pa-ja-ma. The fisherman has done his homework; the Wavekrest, a big marine-research vessel is owned by one Milton Krest. They're collecting specimens off the Cay Sal bank. Bond needs an hour to get some things together and warns Sharky to be ready. After this, Bond is button-holed by Hawkins who tells him the local Police got a tip off about a warehouse full of Colombian pure, a couple of stiffs and a piece of what used to be Killifer. Bond remarks at least someone's on the case. Hawkins replies that he can only cover up so much. By the Hemingway house, two heavies in suits block Bond's path. This is where it ends.
Timothy Dalton with one of the famous Six-Toed cats that live in the Hemingway House, Key West.
Leading Bond into the grounds of the villa, the famous six-toed cats watch him climb to the verandah, at the end of which M waits, smoking his pipe. 007 was supposed to be in Istanbul last night. This 'Leiter business' has clouded his judgement. He should leave it to the Americans. Angered, Bond responds that they aren't going to do anything; he owes his life to Leiter. M snaps at Bond 'Oh spare me this sentimental rubbish!. He knew the risks...' Testily, M tells Bond this vendetta could compromise Her Majesty's Government and expects Bond to take the Istanbul job. Bond flares up and offers his resignation. M accepts; effective immediately. His licence to kill is revoked. Bond is ordered to hand over his weapon – with the two heavies and a rifleman on the lighthouse across the road, he has little choice. As he draws the PPK, he makes time for a joke; 'Well, I guess it's a farewell to arms.' Suddenly, he lashes out and vaults the railing, as shots from the lighthouse start hitting it. Oddly, M has his men cease fire, claiming 'too many people.' The garden is deserted. Bond is on his own...
 
Robert Brown plays 'M'.

The Wavekrest sits at anchor, a drunken Krest slyly spying on Lupe through the blinds of his stateroom. She lies on the bed, reading in her borrowed quarters. On the bridge, the sonar sparks into life. Something in Sector C. As they investigate, Krest lurches in to Lupe's room and leers at her. She tells him to leave, but he persists; her tricks got Sanchez arrested and he had to risk his organisation to get him out. The DEA just raided Key West, she cost him a lot of dough. Getting up from the bed, Lupe tells the drunkard Sanchez will pay him the money. He tells her he doesn't work that way, he's seen a lot of girls come and go. Lupe tells him he's drunk and to go. Why is she so stuck up? - Sanchez fixed the beauty contest she won... she goes to slap him, but then the Captain arrives to tell Krest of the sonar contact. On the underwater CCTV from the probe a large manta ray is visible flying through the water. Disgusted, Krest orders the probe recalled. As the large remote-vehicle goes, the 'ray' is revealed as a rubber sham, under which is concealed Bond in scuba kit. Hitching a lift on a trailing cable, Bond is brought up into the Wavekrest through an underwater hatch. A crewman goes to un-tether the probe and is pulled into the water and choked into unconsciousness by Bond. Aboard, the former 007 strips off his gear and wastes no time hauling the limp body into the ship's decompression chamber. As he does, he can't help, but notice the large blocks of US dollars in plastic stacked inside.


Laughing, two henchmen arrive to wonder why the crewman isn't at his post. Drawing his dive knife, Bond retreats silently through a hatchway. Inevitably, the goons find the drenched crewman as Bond makes his way up to the staterooms. Finding Krest's name on a door, he goes in to kill the sleeping figure in the bed. Turning the sleeper over for a quick kill, he finds it's the girl from the jeep. Clapping a hand over her mouth the other holds his knife to her neck. One sound and she's dead. She explains Krest gave her his cabin – he's next door. Sanchez?; not aboard. She doesn't know where he is. But she's his girlfriend?. She says he doesn't share everything with her. A knock; it's Krest, asking if she's seen an intruder. With Bond's knife at the base of her neck she can hardly say anything. He tells her to bolt her door. As she does, Bond notices the welts from her whipping.


A boat comes alongside. The Pa-ja-ma. Sharky hangs from the transom rail. Dead. Krest praises his man for his work and he laughs back; 'And guess what? His name really was Sharky!.' His eyes full of death, Bond tells the girl she'd best find a new lover. 'Don't you men know any other way?.' He replies it's Sanchez' way – she seems to like it. Visibly upset, she tells him he knows nothing. Krest gives the order to sink Sharky's boat and stepping out on deck, Bond takes a speargun from a rack. As his friend's killer steps onto the Wavekrest, the last thing he sees is Bond aiming at his chest. 'Compliments of Sharky.' As the steel barb explodes into the killer's heart, Bond is spotted and dives over the side as Krest opens fire with a pistol. 


Milton Krest (Anthony Zerbe) opens fire on Bond
 
Under the water, Bond swims down to the bottom where the man he killed has sunk. Taking his dive gear, Bond can at least breathe. Lupe comes on deck to ask what's wrong, to be told to get back in her cabin. One of Krest's men calls up to his boss; surely the guy's drowned. Krest is skeptical, but then a seaplane (A Cessna Skywagon to be exact) comes roaring past. The drop!. Krest orders 'Launch Sentinel.' Beneath Krest's ship, Bond watches as the large probe drops back down from the underwater hatch and is steered out from the ship. A dive team has been despatched to, well despatch Bond, who watches the Sentinel probe go past with interest. Aboard the little seaplane, the two-man crew opens the hatch on top of Sentinel and starts unloading the blocks of money. The search for Bond continues, but so far, no no avail. By now, the air crew are loading the packets of cocaine from the plane into Sentinel. Bond's air gauge reads close to empty and he's got to make a move. Loading completed, Krest orders Sentinel recovered. Bond goes for it; grabbing the auxiliary cable again and pulling himself hand over hand to get atop the remote. The operator aboard ship notices the handling going awry and turns the CCTV periscope to see Bond stabbing the deadly packets with his knife. Noticing the periscope, Bond stabs that too.
The Sentinel is bought to surface, revealing Bond destroying the shipment. The local fish will be happy – and easier to catch. A boat roars up with a heavy firing short bursts from his MP-5. Bond goes back under, but is pursued by divers. Without fins, its an uneven contest and they soon catch up. One fires his spear, but it misses by an inch. The other throws his speargun around his neck and tries to strangle him. In a second, Bond is surrounded, his air hose cut. You don't get a 'Double-O' number for being weak, however and he elbows, kicks and lashes at the overwhelming odds. Above, the plane is preparing to take off; the thrum of it's propellor audible as a low hum. Getting ahold of a speargun, James Bond does the only thing he can; fire it up into one of the floats. Hanging on for grim death, he's hauled up from the clutches of Krest's divers and bursts onto the surface to be dragged along at a terrifying speed.

As Krest and his Captain watch in disbelief, Bond pulls himself up to bare-foot water-ski behind the plane. Pursued by a diveboat with guns blazing, Bond ducks down, managing to recover and swing out in a wide arc to come whip-lashing round to the plane. He crashes into the starboard float and – somehow - manages to get a hand-hold. The little Cessna lifts off from the water with Bond clinging on precariously. The crew spot him and the pilot jinks to port to throw him off. Looking out it seems as if it's worked, but James has worked his way across beneath the plane, to the port side where a small loading hatch gives him access. As the pilot's companion has his own door open the inrush of air isn't noticed. Bond pulls a pin to release the door and with a shove, the goon is airborne – with only a door to break his fall. The pilot elbows Bond, pulling a revolver. Using a block of dollars as an expensive shield, Bond is saved by the tightly-packed bills. Battering the pilot with the block, the notes begin spilling from the aircraft as the desperate pilot pulls hard to port, turning her onto her wing and sending Bond out of the door. He just manages to hang on to deliver a knock-out kick to the man's jaw. The Cessna goes into a dive. As Krest and co. rush out on deck, they see the seaplane right itself and fly low past the Wavekrest, the screaming pilot falling into the sea behind it. Bond is gone with millions of dollars.
Timothy Dalton between takes.
Intermission. Take a break. Have a coffee. Biscuit?, no, well lets take a moment to digest this last scene. In a long history of thrilling Bond scenes few have been as satisfying as this one; Bond goes from certain death underwater to flying off with millions of dollars in a pleasingly complete sequence. He's even ruined the drugs. As Fleming might have written, he's made quite a dent in Sanchez' machine. But where were we?, ah yes...


Night-time and the Police guard outside the Leiter home misses James Bond as he slips in over the fence. Light as a cat, he slices the crime scene tape and picks the lock. Slipping the disc from the photo of Della, he takes a risk and fires up Felix' computer. The disc contains details of Sanchez' Swiss accounts and US Investments, as well as Warrants, Indictments and so on. The last entry on the menu is more interesting; Informants. A long list appears – all listed as 'Deceased.' The last entry, however, is 'Active.' There's a name; Bouvier, P. Listed as a CIA Contract Pilot, familiar with Isthmus City, Sanchez' home turf. (A clear reference to Panama City.) The next scheduled meeting with Bouvier is Thursday, after midnight in Bimini. 
 

The Barrelhead bar, Bimini, Thursday. Around midnight. Bond burbles up in a 'cigarette boat*', a hand tying her up for him. Bond gives the man a note and tells him to put her stern in. Wise decision. Inside, the place is heaving – and so are most of the patrons. An assortment of villains, piratical figures and downright ugliness, this place could be twinned with the cantina from Star Wars. Scantily-clad girls dance on tables and loud music blasts out. At the bar, Bond asks for Bouvier and gets the nod. Bouvier,P is, of course, the same Pam we saw briefly at Felix' office. She doesn't look impressed at the Englishman's arrival, asking where Leiter is. Bond tells her, warning her she's next; Sanchez has Felix' files. Two uglies at the bar have been waiting to see who came to meet her. The waitress arrives and they order two Buds with Lime. The mood changes as Dario breezes in with a goon in tow. Pam informs Bond the killer was with the Contras until they kicked him out. Quite a distinction. More heavies arrive from the other end of the bar. Is Bond carrying?. He shows her the Walther and she tuts, showing him the Mossberg shotgun she's got under the table.
*So-called because racing boats of this kind typically featured sponsorship from tobacco firms. Bond's boat has, amusingly, the word 'Cigarette' emblazoned on the stern.


Dario sits across from Pam, the goon next to James. Death is in the air. Dario claims to recognize her, she used to fly charter planes for some friends of his. On the pretext of having a job for her, he invites her outside, placing his hand on her shoulder. 'Take your hands off her.' Bond's words come as an order, not a request. Pam rams the barrel of the Mossberg into Dario's crotch and his smile is pure malice. The waitress arrives and sets down the drinks, asking if the new arrivals want a drink. 



The goon finally finds his voice, offering to get it, while going for a weapon he gets Bond's elbow in his weapon. Night in the ruts... bouncing his head off the table Bond tells her 'He's had enough.' Pam asks how Bond got here and he tells her. Dario makes a move and the Mossberg goes off, sending a big ornamental plastic fish swinging into some of the thugs. Dario pulls a blade and stabs, misses, Bond wraps his hand round the knife hand and gives him a right cross, knocking him cold. A goon goes for Bond with an empty bottle; ducking, he gives him a right, sending him sprawling across a table. By now, a full-scale brawl has broken out. In British parlance – it's kicked off proper.


Pam is grabbed from behind, the thug grabbing her shotgun. Ramming it upwards, then down she sends him flipping over her. Coming to, Dario swings for Pam with a pool cue, getting her shotgun in his guts and under his chin for his trouble. Bond, meanwhile is fighting a tough-looking character, it takes several elbows and punches to drop the guy. Alarmingly, the next attack to Bond comes with a stuffed swordfish, James grabbing a chair to defend himself from getting the point.




Seeing the danger he's in, Pam takes the fish-wielding bruiser out with a bottle to the head. Next!. This time a black dude rocks up and lays Bond out with two decent punches, bloodying his mouth and making his head spin. Pam knocks him out with her shotgun. As he recovers, Bond is treated to a worm's-eye view of an exotic dancer, featuring a spectacular figure, but the show ends suddenly as, screaming, she makes a leap for it as a pool cue heads Bond's way. Grabbing a light fixture, he swings away then back to deliver a two-footed response. Pam blows a man-sized hole in the rear wall next to Bond's boat (What was she loaded with?.) Bond hops out to start the boat as Pam keeps the floor covered. 'Come on!.' Bond's shout is laced with urgency – getting away from this the piority now, but as she backs out and turns, Dario snatches a revolver and shoots her in the back – her body slumping over the stern of the boat.



Returning fire, Bond hits the throttle as a goon rushes out with a machine-pistol and shoots up the stern. Bond drops him with a shot and the man falls into the water behind the boat, dead. As the boat fades into the night, Dario smiles after it. It is not a smile that contains any warmth.


Moaning, Pam rolls over to reveal she's wearing a ballistic vest. (Lets not get into semantics about what 'bullet-proof' actually means.) Furiously, Bond tells her she's 'Bloody lucky to be alive.' They argue about professionalism – Pam telling him she was an Army pilot – and then, the boat's engines splutter and die. Out of fuel. They glide to a halt, with an amused Pam telling Bond she hasn't heard the 'out of fuel' line in a while. Bond decides to enlist her; he wants her to get a complete rundown on Sanchez' operation. Also, a discreet flight to Isthmus city. How many men has he got?. James has to admit it's just the two of them. Pam thinks he's crazy; Sanchez has an Army protecting him down there. The job pays $50,000 – she flies him in and leaves. $100,000 is her counter – false flight plans and pay-offs take money. Bond returns with $60,000, Pam $90,000. They settle on $75,000 and seal the deal with a kiss, Pam kissing Bond's battered lips. Teasingly he asks why she doesn't wait until she's asked. She fires back with why not ask her – and they kiss passionately, the air horns giving them a start when her backside bumps into the wheel. They go below as the boat drifts towards the sparkling lights of shore, the first light of a dramatic Caribbean dawn lighting the sky.

Whitehall, London; red buses, Nelson's column. Of course, Big Ben is chiming as it permanently does in movieland. Report in hand, M goes into Moneypenny's office. There are five typing errors on the first page alone. Spotting a piece of paper on her desk, he snatches it up to read; US Immigration has no reports of 007 leaving the US. Who authorized this?. Moneypenny herself; James is missing and she's worried. M wants him stopped, he's already alerted 'Our man in Isthmus.' As the crusty M leaves, his secretary picks up the phone to Q-branch. Hmmm...


Isthmus city and a small charter flights arrives. Armed guards watch over the city as does a sign promoting Presidente Hector Lopez promising 'Benefits for the people.' The public loudspeakers carry the same message. A Rolls-Royce pulls up outside a classy hotel, Bond and Pam alight and enter as more soldiers march past. Isthmus is not a country at peace with itself. The couple are shown up to the 007 Suite; one of those classic Bond-film hotel suites that make your jaw hang open. I've seen smaller airports. A flunky asks if the room is sufficient and Bond can't quite suppress a smile as he responds 'It's adequate.' He wants a case of Bollinger R.D. and fresh flowers, daily. Bond declines to sign the registration cards, stating his Executive Secretary, Miss Kennedy* will take care of that. Alone, Pam states it's Ms and why can't he be her secretary?. Smiling, james informs her south of the border its a man's world. He opens the suitcase to pay her off and she sees the fortune he's carrying and decides to stay. Enough people have died, he warns her – but she won't be safe until Sanchez is dead, besides, he could use her help. Handing her some more, James tells her to dress the part. He asks where Sanchez banks – frostily, she replies the Banco de Isthmus. Sanchez owns it.
*Bouvier-Kennedy, geddit?.
The Rolls rolls up to the Banco de Isthmus and Bond is shown into the manager's office. He's come to make a small deposit. Snootily, the official starts to tell him his people downstairs are quite capable of... but the arrival of Bond's cash-laden suitcase stops him in his tracks. All smiles, the manager invites his new best-client to sit.


Downstairs, Sanchez and his financial advisor, Truman-Lodge are explaining the operation to some potential investors from the far-east.
Truman-Lodge - 'We operate the world's
largest private investment fund.'
Sanchez – 'Our biggest problem – is what to do with all the money.'
(Polite laughter.)
Truman-Lodge – 'We have a cash surplus of ten million a day,
which we ship through our bank to the US Federal reserve...
thus establishing credits which can be used for any legitimate investment.
Sanchez – You see, someone has to help the gringos with their trade defecit.
(Laughter.)

Bond's money is counted; $4,900,000. Sipping champagne, Bond promises additional monthly deposits in the same amount. A woman's voice demands entry and Pam strides in, Bond doing a double-take at the sight of her in a stunning blue and white business dress. She's even cut her hair short. Bond would appreciate the manager establishing a line of credit for him at the casino; say $2,000,000?. This is no problem as Bond has excellent collateral. The chairman just happens to own the casino, too.
In his private office above the casino, Sanchez watches tv, his iguana perched on his shoulder. A necklace of diamonds sits around it's neck. On TV, Professor Joe Butcher thanks his audience as the famous tele-vangelist goes through his routine at the 'OMI'. 
 
Professor Joe at the OMI; played by Las Vegas icon Wayne Newton.
Only through continued generous donations can their work continue. Truman-Lodge taps away on a calculator in the background as Lupe enters, stunning in a vivid red dress. The Olimpatec Meditation Institute is an ancient-looking affair made of stone. Water falls from the giant stone decoration behind him, braziers burn and the Institutes call-centre personnel sit behind him in serried ranks awaiting the calls from the faithful. In the office, noticing Lupe's subdued mood, Sanchez questions her about her time on the Wavekrest. Krest told his boss some story about being ripped off – did she see anything?. She lies, saying she was in her cabin most of the time. Sanchez asks her what's wrong and her reply is she can't stand 'that thing' (the iguana.)


James Bond strides into the Casino, his 'secretary' following in a fabulous figure-hugging sparkling dress in purple. Bond asks for a private table; Blackjack and is shown through to the opulent salon privee. At the table, Bond asks for a quarter of a million dollars in chips and to raise box limits to $5,000. Unsurprisingly, this reaches the ears of Sanchez, who is promising Lupe a shopping trip tomorrow with Dario. He gives her a kiss and his pet iguana gets one for good measure. Colonel Heller, in charge of Sanchez' security arrives as Truman-Lodge tells his boss they can raise the price; $22,000 per kilo this month. Sanchez agrees and Lodge phones this through to OMI, where a placard is hurriedly written for Professor Joe who informs the audience that their goal is to raise $22,000. Professor Joe – the whole OMI set-up - is just a front for Sanchez' cocaine enterprise.

Between takes on the Casino set.
On the floor, Bond is losing. Badly. As Pam looks on with something approaching incredulity on her face, he boldly continues; 'Let me have half a million.' On TV, the smiling Professor Joe announces 'Our wonderful Manhattan branch has made a special $500 pledge.' Sanchez' accountant is ecstatic; they want 500 kilos!. Sanchez, however, is having more fun watching Professor Joe – he cracks him up. The phone for Sanchez; the pit boss has a British sucker who dropped a quarter of a million, now he wants to play no-limit. Turning to the bank of CCTV monitors behind him, the drug-lord gets his first look at James Bond. Heller notifies his Boss, this is the guy who flew in on a private plane and opened a $5,000,000 account at the bank. Weighing this up, Sanchez makes a decision; 'Let him play.'

Carey Lowell and Timothy Dalton in typical Bond/Bond girl pose. Unlike many Bond girls, Lowell's character Pam Bouvier is gutsy, determined and saves Bond on more than one occasion.
Bond doubles down and splits, his Eight and King/Eight and Ten beating the Dealer's Five/Eight/Ten. Pam's wide smile is matched only by the dyspeptic look of the pit boss. Above, Professor Joe's news from the Chicago chapel is good – everyone has accepted the new price. The phone again; the pit boss with the news the British guy is ahead. Should he close the table?. No. Sanchez wants Lupe...
A beautifully manicured pair of distinctly female hands execute a flawless fan shuffle, tipping the cards face down with the edge of a card. Bond looks up to see Lupe has replaced the dealer. They recognize each other and Bond asks 'Miss Kennedy' to fetch him a medium-dry vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred. She wants to know what's going on, but has little choice and goes for the drink, past a well-dressed Chinese couple, who were at a table earlier. Bond notes the new dealer's professionalism and she tells him she used to work here. Will he win, or lose?. He's going to lose, but not much. Piqued, Pam tells the barman how she wants the drink, using a familiar hand-signal for 'shaken'. Lupe reveals Sanchez sent her to find out more about Bond and, taking her away from the table he leads her to the bar. Bond asks where Sanchez is; in his office where he's been preparing a party for some orientals. He wants to meet him and Pam is left to try a vodka martini on her own.
 
Carey Lowell gets the Camera-Operator's view.
After the pat down, Bond is led into Sanchez' office where Professor Joe's show is almost over. A quick tour of the office reveals the window is made of Armourlite glass, but there's a good position for a sniper on an abandoned building a block or so away. 


Bond offers his hand, but Sanchez ignores it and seats himself at his desk. Leafing through Bond's passport the drugs-baron notes how well-travelled he is and mentions his luck at the table. Bond states he felt his luck was going to run out, with a meaningful glance at Lupe. Sanchez remarks it's a wise gambler who knows when his luck has run out. Why the PPK?; Bond explains in his business you prepare for the unexpected. He claims to be a problem eliminator looking for work. Smiling, Sanchez says it's difficult to obtain a work permit here, you need to show a special talent people here don't have. Glancing at Heller and Perez (One of Sanchez' goons) Bond comments 'Well, that shouldn't be too difficult.' Walking around his desk, Sanchez tells Bond he's got big cojones coming into his place with a piece. Nobody saw him come in... so nobody has to see him go. Bond insists he could be very useful to a man in his position, he's also heard Sanchez has a reputation for rewarding loyalty. Sanchez holds onto Bond's passport for the time being and assures him he won't need a weapon in Isthmus. It's a very safe place. Bond is free to enjoy the casino and Sanchez offers him his hand on the way out. He tells Heller to check Bond out.


Outside the casino and the Chinese couple loiter in the background as Bond tells Pam what he found out; he's behind two inches of armoured glass. He'd need a cannon to get to him. Their departure is watched by the Chinese with looks that don't bode well...


At the Hotel de Swank the receptionist tells Bond his Uncle has arrived. In the lift, Bond asks for Pam's gun and she peels a strip off her dress to reveal she keeps it in a garter holster. Cocking the tiny Beretta, Bond goes to the suite leaving her to wait with the second pistol she keeps in her purse. Going in hard, James sends the man waiting behind the door back into a chair and onto his back, levelling the little pistol at... 'Q'!. Q explains he's on leave and Moneypenny is worried about him. Telling Q to go home has no effect; if it wasn't for Q-Branch 007 would have been dead long ago. Opening his battered case, the gadget-maestro shows 007 a range of goodies including an exploding alarm clock (Guaranteed never to wake anyone using it.) and Dentonite toothpaste – to be used sparingly. 


Just then, Pam comes crashing in and after some pistol-pointing is introduced as Bond's cousin (The Cousins is, of course the name used for the CIA by MI6 officers.)
Opening another compartment in his case reveals a camera set-up with a difference; the camera and accessories bolt together to form a sniper's rifle. It takes .220 high velocity rounds and, using a small device resembling a calculator, Q programs the electronic grip to recognise Bond's palm and no other. Only Bond can fire this rifle now. (Foreshadowing the similar system on Bond's PPK in Skyfall.) 

Finding a Polaroid camera in the bag, Pam takes a snap – Q shouts not to use the flash as a high-powered laser fires from the camera, destroying the framed portrait of El Presidente on the wall. Amusingly, when the film develops it shows an X-ray image of Bond and Q ducking. (This got a belly laugh from the audience when I first saw the film at the Dome Cinema, Worthing. Mind you, so did my hat. I thought I was seeing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade again and rocked up in an Indy hat.) With a long, hard day tomorrow its time for bed. Pam has decided to take the Master Bedroom, leaving 007 to share with Q in the family room. Bond only hopes Q doesn't snore.
At his office in the Casino de Isthmus, Franz Sanchez introduces Truman-Lodge and Col. Heller to his guests. He tells the assemblage this is a historic moment; East meets West. Drug dealers of the World, unite. Among the orientals is Kwang, the male half of the Chinese couple. Outside the Casino, Q poses as Bond's chauffeur. (An odd choice of cover as he was introduced to the staff as an Uncle.) 

 
Desmond Llewelyn plays Q
Inside, Bond gives Pam an extra bonus and tells her to fly Q and herself out tonight; he'll make his own way out. As before, she wants to stay, but he works better alone. Posing as a waiter he takes a trolley laden with food up in a service lift, agilely climbing out of the inspection hatch as it goes. As a servant takes the trolley, Bond is climbing out onto the roof. Working quickly, he dons gloves and removes his cummerbund to reveal it's a concealment for thin climbing line. 007 rappels down smoothly to the ledge outside the office where Sanchez continues his speech to his prospective partners. A sudden explosion of flapping from pigeons startles Bond and gets the attention of those inside.
'We have an invisible Empire, from Chile to Alaska. What I want to do amigos, is to make you a part of it.' Sanchez continues the sales pitch as, on his back outside, 007 slides along, running a bead of Dentonite along the base of the armoured window. Pulling a pack of Lark cigarettes out, Bond takes one, revealing it to be a detonator wired to the pack – itself a receiver. Pushing the det into the paste this part of the job is done.


Truman-Lodge explains the franchises on offer cost $100,000,000 per territory while, outside Bond exits for Q to drive him off in the Rolls-Royce. They are followed. Inside, the finance expert adds quality and price are guaranteed for five years. The oriental from the casino speaks; 'Since arriving we've eaten well, heard many good stories – but before I pay anything, I want to see some hardware.' It is clear the others share his view. Sanchez explains what they pay for is his personal guarantee and protection. The man persists; surely for $100,000,000 he'd want some assurance too?.
Cornered, Sanchez agrees that tomorrow they will see the main distribution centre. Shocked, Truman-Lodge can only gape.


Dropping Bond off, Q hands him the rifle, disguised as a present wrapped with a bow. Q isn't happy to hear Bond's thanks and the instruction to go home. 007 pays the old man a rare compliment; He's a hell of a field operative, but he'll see him in London. Sanchez wraps up the meeting by announcing time for some fun, opening the double doors to reveal a bevy of attractive girls. Corporate entertainment. By this time, Bond is on the roof of the derelict building he selected earlier. Sanchez is discussing Kwang, assessing him as a troublemaker. Truman-Lodge is nervous – why show them the labs?. Smoothly, his boss tells him not to worry. 

Methodically, Bond starts assembling the rifle as Sanchez has a new visitor.

His Excellency El Presidente Lopez arrives in full ceremonial dress, medals, sash and all. Bond prepares the remote detonator. Lopez' cheque is only half the usual amount; Sanchez tells him he was very quiet when he was arrested. Remember, you're only President for life. The lights blaze in an adjacent office and Bond watches Heller as he talks to someone. To his surprise it's Pam, handing over some paper to the Colonel. She seems agitated. Returning to the task, 007 has Sanchez in his sights and reaches for the detonator. The blast rocks the Casino, knocking the financier and Sanchez off balance. With no armoured glass to protect him, Sanchez is an instant from death. 'Watch the birdie, you bastard...'


The attack is as sudden as it is brutal. The Ninja that crashes down onto Bond causes him to miss, his PPK is knocked from his hand as soon as he draws it and 007 is in trouble. Bond finds himself at the wrong end of his own weapon, but it refuses to fire in unfamiliar hands. Another Ninja drops down and sets about Bond, flipping and kicking, throwing a thin net over him as he tries to fight back with a steel pole. The first assailant knocks the helpless Englishman out with his own rifle.


A car arrives to join another at a remote, ramshackle building. A man gets out as Heller's car arrives in the background. A ladle-full of water wakes Bond to see his attackers unmasked as a young man and woman, the same woman that was with Kwang earlier. Kwang is there too; pressing the signature gun into Bond's hand the lights turn green. Who would have such a weapon?. 'James Bond.' Fallon, an MI6 officer arrives. Recognising the signature gun as property of Her Majesty's Government, Fallon demands to know how Bond got it, getting a succinct 'Piss off' for his trouble. Kwang wants to know who ordered Bond to kill Sanchez. No-one, states Fallon; Bond is a rogue agent. He has orders to take him back. Kwang snarls at the prostrate Bond. 'We're Hong Kong narcotics, you bastard!. Sanchez is taking us to the heart of his operations. I've been setting it up for years!.' Outside, Heller – in full uniform – has been joined by a platoon of men and a tank. (Why the people inside didn't hear the tank arriving is anyone's guess.)
Bond demands to be released, but Fallon has other ideas. Preparing a syringe, he tells the captive he's going to be shipped back to London. At that second, a tank shell blasts through the wall, causing mayhem and killing one of the ninjas. Kwang is out of there, but the woman, Loti is distraught and doesn't want to leave him. The next shell mortally wounds Kwang and kills Fallon. The third nearly does for Loti. Dying, Kwang tells her not to let them take her alive. Two soldiers enter and start searching the ruins. With a shout, Loti attacks using kung fu to despatch the first, then kills the second with his rifle. Coldly, Colonel Heller shoots her down with his sidearm and Sanchez follows him. Finding Kwang, the drug-lord shoves his revolver into the dying man's throat. 'Who sent you?.' Kwang bites down on his cyanide capsule and dies. For good measure, Sanchez shoots the corpse. Heller finds Bond trapped beneath a beam, the body of the ninja across him. He frees him as his boss arrives. Bond's wounds, plus his bonds speak volumes.
Thrashing around, Bond awakes in a massive comfortable four-poster bed to find himself face to face with a ceramic fish with human features. The bedroom is luxurious, if oddly-decorated. Bare-foot, he trudges over the marble floor to examine himself in a mirror. A fresh suit has been laid out and he avails himself of shoes, shirt and trousers to wander the grounds. Stepping down stone steps past a large artificial water-fall. 'Hey amigo!.' Franz Sanchez is delighted to see his guest up and about, greeting Bond on a fabulous terrace overlooking the bay of Isthmus City. Calling over to Lupe to look after his guest, Sanchez leaves them alone. She tells Bond the Wavekrest is due in tonight, then her patron re-appears and wishes a private talk with Bond.


Sanchez notes they both had close calls last night and James replies things were about to turn nasty. Asked who his captors were, he lies smoothly that they were a freelance hit team and were afraid he'd warn Sanchez and spoil their plans. Astutely, Sanchez realises Bond must have known them and, smoothly James reveals he worked for the British Government. They kept dossiers on such people. Coffee arrives and Sanchez plays mother as Bond lights up. With a wonderfully wry smile he asks; 'Those men tried to kill me – who would do such a thing?.' Trying to plant the seeds, Bond replies 'Someone close to you', adding they were well briefed and by someone on the inside. He tells Franz (I'm tired of typing 'Sanchez' all the time) they were expecting to be paid in cash by someone arriving in Isthmus tonight. This gives Sanchez an obvious suspect and he suddenly remembers a meeting he must attend. Bond wants to go back to the hotel, but Franz won't hear of it, insisting he stays as his guest. He asks Lupe to show James the easy way up and leaves them at a small funicular leading up to the upper levels.


Colonel Heller arrives, this time in a suit. He tells his boss what he already knows – that Bond is a former 'British Agent'*. The drug-lord needs a dozen reliable men for tonight. He wants to meet the Wavekrest. Finally, he orders Heller to bring Lupe; Krest won't be able to lie in front of her. Bond, meanwhile, is clearing out. Lupe asks what he's doing and tries to persuade him to stay; there's guards everywhere.
*Bond aficionados aside, I shall explain that an 'Agent' is a foreign national hired or induced by British Intelligence to provide information or services. Bond is – although heavily glamourized – an Intelligence Officer. 
 

The little funicular car brings Lupe down and the armed guard watches it descend. As she alights, she 'accidentally' drops her purse and, obligingly, the goon stoops to pick it up, missing Bond dashing past behind him. Taking her foot off the strap, Lupe gives the idiot a beguiling 'Gracias.' and he smiles beautifically. Trotting down the steps past magnificent waterfalls (This really is the most wonderful house) 007 heads for the boat dock, followed by Lupe, who skips down to a small jet-boat chased by the guard who calls for her to stop. She shouts back she's going shopping and roars off, leaving the unfortunate guard to consider his career options. Of course, Bond is aboard – in a way. Hanging on to the mooring line, he's free – if wet.


At the hotel suite, Pam paces nervously, smoking her first cigarette in five years. Busying himself with some gadget, Q tells her not to worry; 007 always comes back. Right on cue, he does, storming in to drag Pam off to the bedroom – perhaps that could be put better – and tells Q to pack his bags. Bond throws her roughly onto the bed – there's no other way to put it – and, voice filled with anger, tells her British agents are dead, Sanchez is alive and he saw her. In Heller's office. 


Reaching for her garter, he draws the Beretta and the implication couldn't be clearer. Bond wants the truth. Hurt, Pam tells him Sanchez is buying four Stinger missiles from the Contras. He's threatened to shoot down an American airliner if the D.E.A. doesn't lay off.

So where does Heller come in?. Felix gave Pam a letter promising Heller immunity if he gets the Stingers back. Did he go for the deal?. Slowly, she replies; Yes. Then Bond missed Sanchez, heller panicked and said the deal was off, threatening Pam's life. 'There's more to this than your personal vendetta.' Pam sits up and Bond's feelings are written in his anguished face. Briefly, she buries her face in his arm. It's a mess. Worse, Sanchez has tripled his personal security. They'll never get another shot at him. Contrite, Bond offers her her pistol back, saying they don't have to.


A sad Q is ready to leave, this rare taste of field work over all too soon. However! leaving Pam with instructions to meet at the harbour-masters office, Bond tells him to bring the Rolls around to the front. Delighted, the old man gives a cheery 'Yes, Sir!.' Less delighted is Señor Montelongo at the Bank, when Bond wants to withdraw his money.
Q and Bond in the Pilot's Launch.
That night the Wavekrest sits, waiting for the Harbour Pilot's launch. Aboard the latter, Bond gives Pilot Pam a pat on the arm for encouragement and Q manoeuvres the launch alongside for her to step aboard. Krest's men haven't seen a Pilot this pretty, but she snaps at them and is taken to the bridge. The Captain asks if she's the Harbour Pilot and she replies 'No, I'm his secretary.' She takes the wheel, hoping her lack of experience doesn't betray her. On the quay-side, Sanchez, Lupe and Colonel Heller wait for the Wavekrest to come in. Pam's going too fast and when the Captain questions this, she tells him to take the wheel, ramming the throttles forward, running from the bridge and leaving the Captain desperately trying to stop the ship in time. Sanchez smokes a cigar, his thoughts his own as Krest's ship smashes through a walkway. Following a sketch map prepared by 007, Pam makes her way down through the bowels of the ship. Furious, Krest asks what the Captain's up to as Bond grabs a line and dives from the stern of the launch. Pam has found her way to the underwater loading bay and opens the hatch for Bond to swim up. 'I'd stick to flying if I were you.' She fires back that she got the job done, stripping off her Pilot outfit and Bond tugs twice on the line, the signal for Q to cut a heavy bundle free. Bond hauls it in, the sight of Pam in her underwear a pleasant distraction.


On deck, Krest greets Sanchez, his presence a pleasant surprise. His eyes like glass, the drugs-baron notes Krest seems to be having a lot of problems lately. Krest tells him they had a crazy harbour pilot, but Sanchez wants to discuss the money Krest owes. They go aboard, with Sanchez quietly ordering his men to search the boat. Bond and Pam have finished loading the de-compression chamber and packing Pam's clothes and the line into the bundle they are ready to go. In Krest's state-room, Sanchez takes a twitchy Krest through the unbelievable events when Bond stole the money and the plane. Clearly, the drug-lord doesn't believe a word of it and nor does Heller. Bond is in the water when the hatch to the underwater dock opens and Pam is forced to hide, clutching a dive knife. Bond watches from beneath the stern of Sentinel. Braun, a tough-guy henchman wanders over and Pam is at the very point of discovery when Perez calls him back, having spotted something in the chamber. Bond beckons Pam and she tip-toes across to join him in the water. Giving her the signal, she dives.

Krest is on the spot.
By now on the spot, Krest pleads he wouldn't make up a story like that; surely Lupe saw something that day. Haughtily, she turns her head away. Perez enters with a significant look at Krest and sidles over to whisper in his Boss' ear. Pam has emerged from the water to haul herself up to the pilot's launch and tells Q 007 is coming. Perez leads Sanchez, Krest et al into the underwater docking bay and a heavy opens the dive chamber; it is piled with money. Krest sputters 'That's not my money... I swear.' Eyes filled with death, Sanchez agrees; 'That's right amigo, it's mine.' furious, he throws the terrified Krest against an equipment console.

Sanchez - 'You rip me off, then use my own money to pay someone to kill me?.'
(He hurls Krest into the de-compression chamber.)
Sanchez – 'You want it so bad?. Then take it!.'

The heavy spins the wheel, locking Krest inside the chamber as Sanchez turns the pressure dial. Bond watches from his hiding place as Krest grabs his ears, the pressure rising beyond tolerable levels. Warning bleeps sound as the dial goes up to maximum. The pressure inside has risen from sea-level to approaching 600 feet in seconds and Krest is in agony, every joint in his body contracting. Heller takes a fire axe from a locker and hands it to Sanchez, who holds it in front of the porthole for his victim to see the hideous fate he has in store for him. Smashing the high-pressure line, the air escapes in an instant* – the gases in Krest's system expand rapidly and his head inflates like a balloon. He explodes, spraying the inside of the porthole red. Sanchez goes to leave and Perez asks what to do with the money. Coolly, the drugs-boss replies; 'Launder it.'
*And the sudden over-pressure would have burst every eardrum in the room.


Dropping off Pam and Q, Bond tells them – again, to leave. He'll see them in Miami and will be safer on his own. He takes the Pilot's boat and they watch him depart.


Back at his villa, Sanchez sees Lupe to bed and asks Perez about the luggage in the hallway; it's Bond's from the hotel and is clean. Going into Bond's room, Sanchez switches the light and a sleepy Bond stirs in his bed. Apologising for waking his guest, Sanchez tosses him two bundles of notes. The information he gave him paid off and he got the guy who set him up. Playing mind games, James tries to convince Sanchez there must be more than one; who'd be crazy enough to take him alone?. Sanchez finds this amusing, adding he wants Bond to come along tomorrow. Where?; it's a surprise. Sanchez leaves and Bond leaps out of bed to reveal he's half-dressed. No sooner does he do this than Lupe enters via a connecting door. She asks why he's come back, he tells her its not a good idea coming in. Franz is having dinner with the Chinese tonight.

A deleted scene showed Franz Sanchez entertaining his Oriental guests.
All she knows of tomorrow is they are going to a special place. Lupe asks why they can't just leave together – James doesn't think that a very good idea. She kisses him. They kiss.
The next day and a knock at the hotel suite; it's Lupe who's stolen away to warn Pam James is in danger. Sanchez is checking up on him. Pam tries to reassure her that james is out of the country by now, but Lupe tells her James spent the night with her. Cue Q's eye-rolling routine. They are leaving on the special trip in one hour. Rather breathlessly, Lupe adds she loves James 'so much.' All a bit soon.

Pam (Flouncing) – ''I love James so much!.'' I'll be damned if I'll help him!.'
Q – 'Look, don't judge him too harshly, my dear.
Field operatives often use every means at their disposal,
to achieve their objectives.'
Pam – Bullshit!.
The elderly gardener sweeping leaves watches as the convoy roars out of the Villa Sanchez. A stretched limo is followed by a jeep, with a Maserati Biturbo 425i in the middle. Presumably the jeep is for when the Masa goes krunch-pop and chucks it's oil onto the road. Our elderly gardener pulls a radio antenna from his broom – of course, it's Q – and reports to Pam, clicking the handle of his broom open to reveal a microphone. Having reported the convoy's departure, Q nonchalantly tosses the micro-broom into the bushes and leaves. What happened to 'bring it back in one piece, 007?'. Pam drives the Rolls to the local airfield to find it in pieces, a team of mechanics working on it. To her despair, the wily Sanchez has ordered the overhaul as a way of keeping her grounded. She must have a plane!. 'Nada, senorita. No planes.' Turning, she notices the little Piper Super-Cub sitting there empty, turning and burning...


Sanchez and Heller run, heads bowed, to the helicopter on the roof terrace of the Villa. Sliding out, Dario proudly shows his Boss the crate of Stinger missiles.* From now on, Sanchez wants the prized missiles kept close to him. They clamber in and Dario gets a Latin kiss on the cheek and a pat on the back from his patron as the aircraft takes off. Meanwhile, the convoy carrying James has arrived at the Olimpatec Meditation Institute's compund – a large open-air structure built to resemble a meso-american palace. At the gates, white-suited security staff welcome them in. Inside the limousine, Truman-Lodge explains to the honoured guests that they started the place strictly as cover, but Professor Joe turns in a tidy profit. As they roll down the drive towards the main buildings, a small plane dusts crops in the fields beyond. This is Pam, keeping an eye from above. The vehicles drive past two Kenworth tanker-trucks parked up and into a large loading bay where more trucks are being filled. The bay is full of petro-chemical equipment, huge tanks and pipes going everywhere – and everywhere more of the white-suited security personnel.
*The missiles featured are in fact Redeye missiles, an earlier version of the famous Stinger, with more basic performance. 
 

Truman-Lodge hands out face-masks – 'We can't have our best customers developing a drug habit!.' Bond dons a mask and follows. Outside, Sanchez' helicopter approaches and a large section of the ground opens like a huge hatch. The chopper flies down into the building to land and the hatch becomes ground again. On his radio, Heller tells security to stand by for Number One. (Is Sanchez in S.P.E.C.T.R.E.?) The accountant begins the tour proper; bricks of cocaine are travelling down a conveyor belt, where a series of toothed-steel rollers rip them apart to fall down into a vat to be mixed with petrol. Dissolved in this way, the cocaine is undetectable. One of the Oriental investors asks how do they recover it – and Sanchez appears to jokily reply 'Hey, You want us to tell you all our secrets? Before we're partners?.' With a sudden jolt of recognition, Bond sees Dario at his master's side. Even with the mask, it's a matter of moments before he'll be recognised. As Bond follows the investors, Sanchez pats his shoulder and Dario asks who the new guy is. Sanchez replies someone he felt could be useful.


A battered pick-up truck drops Pam off and she approaches the main gate where a white-coat stops her. Posing as one of the faithful, she asks to see Professor Joe. No visitors this week. Feigning disappointment, she opens her bag to reveal bundles of cash. She claims to have come all the way from Wichita Falls to hand the money over to Professor Joe personally. Inside a lab area, Truman-Lodge tells the group they can remove their masks. Sanchez asks if they have a deal. Bond has kept his mask on and Dario is watching him like he's just insulted his mother. As Truman-Lodge discusses deals, Bond wanders off, followed by Dario.


As a group of acolytes leave the temple to stand in a circle, a golf-cart putters up and Professor Joe is there to meet the representative of Wichita Falls in person. All in white with matching bow-tie, Professor Joe is all teeth, a golden cone hanging from a chain around his neck. The sacred Cornetto?; no, Professor Joe is the author of 'Secrets of Cone Power.'. Stepping from the cart, Pam pretends to be in raptures at meeting the famous TV preacher. He explains the complex was rebuilt stone for stone in all it's original glory and she hands over the bag. 'Tell me, child, have you ever thought of studying here?.' The old fraud leads her off to test her 'aptitude.' (I've never heard it called that, before.)
In the lab the process of re-constituting the cocaine is being explained as Dario shoves a pistol into Bond's back, telling him to keep quiet. By a simple filtering process, the cocaine is revealed, separated from the petrol. To appreciative 'Oohs' and 'Ahs' the chemist shows the cocaine paste off. Truman-Lodge reveals the first four shipments are being loaded into the tanker-trucks.
Professor Joe Butcher (Wayne Newton) meets Pam in person.
Professor Joe shows Pam into one of the conical structures arrayed along the wall of the complex. Inside, as he locks the door behind them, Pam lets out a 'Wow' at the sight of Joe's inner sanctum sanctorum. The stained glass window looks down on a cone of rock decorated in early american style, free-standing wooden totems and simple wooden furniture, adorned with tall candles. A poster for Cone Power hangs in a frame above a King-sized bed, styled after a boat, held aloft by the golden nymphs and stylised swirls of water at the base. A shag pad. Playing along, Pam coyly drapes herself across the bed as Professor Joe (I think I've just realized what he's a Professor of...) tells her the room is soundproofed. She's brought him another surprise; Joe loves surprises, where is it?. Provocatively, she pulls up her dress to reveal a black garter and Joe's smile is on full-dazzle. Until she whips out the baby-Beretta and levels it at him. He tells her it's not necessary and she blasts a hole in the poster. He hands over the keys. Backing away, Pam takes a robe from the hook and locks him in. All Joe can say is 'Bless your heart.'
Truman-Lodge concludes the sales-pitch; the monthly deliveries will be by ocean-going tanker. The chief chemist will accompany each delivery to supervise the re-conversion process. 
 
Publicity Still of the cast taken during the Laboratory scene.
Sanchez taps the beaker of petrol with a taper. 'You keep the gas, as a bonus.' He lights the taper in a bunsen flame. And if there's a problem with customs - no evidence.' Dramatically, he touches off the petrol, sending an impressive jet of flame upwards and making everyone duck. Spinning, 007 head-butts Dario and throws the flaming beaker over the equipment, starting a lively fire. Sirens start everywhere as Dario and a heavy attack Bond as the lab is evacuated. Dario shouts to his Boss that he knows Bond, he's an informer. Bound hand and foot, Sanchez wants to know who Bond's working for. 
 
Braun holds Bond as Sanchez demans to know the truth.Braun (left) is played by Guy De Saint Cyr)
Heller calls up that he can get the tankers out, but cannot control the fire. Sanchez is all for leaving, but appalled, Truman-Lodge argues the set-up cost $32,000,000 and they should try to save it.* furiously, Sanchez screams he doesn't give a shit about the set-up; there's $500,000,000 in Lodge's case and 20 tons of Colombian pure in the tankers!. 'Go help Heller!' The financier insists they have a deal with the Orientals; they have their money. Sanchez repeats his order and Truman-Lodge knows he has no choice. Grabbing Bond, Sanchez asks if he wants to make this hard or easy. 'Put him in the conveyor!.' Outside, Pam runs along the building's roof watching the personnel flee and the fire spread as, inside Braun dumps Bond onto the cocaine conveyor. Sanchez tells Bond by the time he's up to his ankles he'll beg to tell him everything – by his knees he'll 'Kiss his ass' to kill him.
*This is an in-joke; the film's budget is the same amount.
The conveyor starts and, desperate, Bond grabs at the safety railing. Sanchez kicks at Bond's hands to break his grip. Trying to get to the drugs-lord he tries anything he can think of; yelling if he couldn't trust Krest, who could he trust?. Who's got your $500,000,000, Truman-Lodge?. Sanchez keeps kicking. 'What about the stingers?' this gets a reaction and Sanchez signals Dario to stop the conveyor. Perez arrives and tells his boss the place is about to blow. Sanchez asks after Heller aand Perez doesn't know where he is. 'That's the last you'll see of Heller and your stingers.' Thanking him for the advice, Sanchez signals Dario and the conveyor starts again. Bond falls over the edge, but manages to get the cord binding his wrists over a strut on the very edge of the drop to the steel rollers. Drawing his blade, Dario leans across to finish the English spy – murder the only thing on his mind. Sanchez and braun race off to find Heller and the precious stingers as Dario goes to cut Bond's, well, bonds. The last of the personnel leave, closing the heavy steel shutters as they leave. Pam arrives and ducks inside.


James Bond looks down in horror at his fate as Dario slices through the bindings. Hanging on by his fingers, Bond is as good as dead, Dario's eyes sparkling with malicious hatred. Pam races up the steps and the killer glares up at her. 
 
Dario - 'You're dead.'
Pam – 'You took the words right out of my mouth.'
(She shoots twice,
the first bullet hits Dario,
the second sparks off the rail.)
Dario falls back onto the conveyor.
Bond reaches up –
grabs Dario's ankle –
pulls him down into the machine.
Dario – (Screams) 'Sanchez! Sanchez!'

Dario's death is horrific, as he hangs frantically onto Bond's legs he is dragged down by the rotating steel teeth. His screams are terrible, his blood sprays everywhere and there is nothing left of him. Pam asks if Bond's all right and incredulously he yells at her to switch the bloody machine off!.


At the helicopter pad, Heller is hauling the Stingers in their heavy boxes onto a fork lift. Turning, he sees Sanchez and Braun watching him and tries to bluff it by saying he was 'securing' them. Sanchez tells him to take them to his car. Braun steps around to his Boss for the word and gets a look. Looks can be enough. Bond and Pam race to the heavy shutters, but they aren't opening, so they try another exit as tanks burn and an explosion rocks the lab upstairs.


Outside, the complex is being evacuated, fires burning across the expanse of stone. The tanker-trucks are negotiating the winding drive to the gates, Sanchez and some henchmen are taking the stingers to his car. In the doomed building, things look grim for our heroes, but suddenly the fork-lift bursts through a wall, Heller impaled on one of the forks, very dead. Bond makes a crap pun and they dart through the hole. Sanchez' convoy is ready and they leave. Everywhere is chaos; white suits, lab workers fleeing, Truman-Lodge bolting with his precious briefcase, the Orientals with theirs. Sanchez' Maserati pulls up in front of Truman-Lodge and he orders him to come along. Bond and Pam exit just in time to see them screech off. Pam takes a golf cart and they set off at a trundle. Among the fleeing staff is Professor Joe, hoofing it with the money Pam gave him. 'Surprise!.' She calls out snatching the bag as she passes. The Professor calls out 'Bless your heart!.' The cart putters up to Pam's plane and Bond looks back as the complex finally goes up, explosions roiling up into the sky. Braun escapes at the last minute in a pick-up and Pam takes the little plane up.

Following the four precious tankers, Sanchez and Truman-Lodge watch as the Super-Cub buzzes the convoy. Bond climbs out to hang perilously as she flies at stalling speed low over the rear tanker. 
007 jumps and lands heavily on the tank, but Sanchez leans out of his window, a micro-Uzi machine-pistol in his hand. The rounds spark off the grille Bond is sprawled on and he just manages to crawl out of danger, along the tank to drop between it and the cab, his shoes dragging on the dirt road as rounds zip and clang around him. Switching sides, Sanchez has his driver come alongside so he can get a better shot at Bond, now hanging beneath the truck. Bond manages to make his way around to the cab and opens the door, but the driver takes a swing at him with a vicious knife. Punching the man, Bond clouts him with a small fire extinguisher and sprays him with it. He bundles the driver out of the truck to fall across the bonnet of the Maserati. At an order from Sanchez, the driver hauls the stunned man off to hit the side of the road in a heap.

No, Carey Lowell didn't  fly the plane herself...
Over the radio, Sanchez tells Perez Bond has escaped and to meet him at Paso del Diablo. Sounds fun. Calling up to the tanker driver in the middle, Sanchez tells him not to let the other truck pass and calls for his driver to put his foot down. Smiling, the tanker driver swerves across the road to block Bond. An elderly Toyota pick-up laden with produce is crawling up the hill towards the two trucks as they battle each other; an old man, his wife and their old Labrador. Suddenly, two gigantic tankers come screaming round the rocky pass and Bond slams the anchors on as the Toyota screeches around, pineapples flinging from the pick-up's bed, one bouncing off Bond's windscreen.


Up ahead, Sanchez's car and the jeep have stopped in the road for Sanchez to load up a Stinger. Truman-Lodge looks on in horror at the expenditure involved*, but Sanchez tells him 'It's only money.' The Maserati screeches off, leaving Perez to supervise the Bond has managed to get alongside the other tanker and the driver radios ahead to warn Perez. This guy drives like a demon!. Sure enough, Bond shunts the other truck off the road into the cliff, destroying it totally, the driver climbing out, lucky to be alive. Perez levels the Stinger and looks through the sights to see target information in the display (Pure Hollywood – Stingers have a range ring for optical sighting and the real things make a noise to let you know they've locked on.) Bond is approaching some roadworks when he spots the danger and careens over to a pile of dirt, using it as a ramp, the truck and cab tipping over to balance on the left sets of wheels. Perez fires and the missile streaks towards the tanker-truck at immense speed, passing beneath it to destroy the wrecked tanker, which erupts in a huge fireball, the driver only just managing to run for it. As the juggernaut approaches, still on one side, Perez and the other goons run for it. Hilariously, Bond dumps the tanker onto the jeep, completely crushing it before roaring off. Firing a burst, Perez manages to hit two tyres, giving Bond a real struggle to control the tanker. Inevitably, he loses it, the tanker skidding around to leave the tank's rear wheels overhanding the drop down to where the road snakes back on itself down the mountain.
*Even the N.A.T.O. military forces rarely get to fire one because of the prohibitive cost; a simulator is as near as many soldiers get to launching a Stinger.



Clambering down from the cab, Bond is nearly killed as Perez and co. come charging up, spraying the truck with automatic fire. Ducking around the cab he is startled by the sight of the small plane coming towards him. Dropping down to just above head height, Pam hits the release lever to dump a load of dust onto the goons, leaving them spluttering, choking and gasping for air. Pam and Bond exchange cheery waves. Spotting the remaining vehicles on the road below, Bond pulls the release for the tanker and sends 3,000 gallons of petrol and cocaine down bouncing down the hillside onto the second tanker, knocking it free from its own cab to explode in a twisted mess of metal. 
Furious, Truman-Lode swears in frustration as the operation is reduced still further. Stepping out of the Maserati he taunts Sanchez; 'Well done, Franz – another $80,000,000 write-off.' Not surprisingly, Sanchez decided to cut overheads, unzipping the accountant with a burst from his micro-Uzi.
Filming the Truck sequence.
The road blocked, Sanchez and his driver make off with a Stinger and Truman-Lodge's suitcase. As the dusty quartet stand there wondering what to do, Braun rolls up in the pick-up and picks them up. While the driver of the last truck tends to his colleague, Sanchez and his driver take off in the truck. Pulling up in his cab, Bond finds a wall of flame between him and the fleeing drug-lord. Braun's truck o'goons turns up and they shower Bond's cab with bullets. Revving the engine, he dumps the clutch and the powerful Kenworth pops a wheelie through the flames. On the other side, with his rear wheels burning, he jabs the brakes to set her thumping down with a jolt. The pickup makes to follow and the goons in the bed jump clear, leaving Perez and Braun to travel through the fiery wall, tyres blazing. 
 

Pam buzzes Sanchez' tanker and he leans out to give Bond a spray with his little machine-pistol. Setting the cruise control, Bond kicks out the remnants of the windscreen to clamber out onto the bonnet. Slowly he gains on the tanker, reaching out he nearly slips, but keeps his grip and manages to grab the ladder on the tank, dragging his heels on the gravel road before hauling himself upwards, his cab running off the road. Still burning rubber – literally, the pick-up gains and Perez gives Bond another burst. He opens the valve to empty the tank and the spilt fuel ignites, blinding Braun and Perez. To Pam's horror, their pickup roars straight off a bend into mid-air over her plane, the two goons falling to a certain death. Closing the valve, Bond waits until clear of the flames and turns it wide open, then goes after Sanchez, who curses and reaches for the last Stinger. Roaring close overhead, Pam tries to warn James, but he waves her off as Sanchez fires the missile at way too close range. The rocket simply knocks a hole through the starboard elevator and keeps going. The plane has to pull away, but is very much in one piece. Swearing, Sanchez orders the driver to halt the tanker. As it shudders to a halt, Bond is thrown into the back of the cab and Sanchez takes avicious swipe at him with a machete, cutting the brake hoses by mistake. The truck starts rolling, despite the driver's attempt to halt it. (In fact, this would lock the brakes on solid.) Sanchez jumps up onto the back, getting soaked in petrol as he does.


Forced to land, Pam finds a strip of rocky desert and sets her down, losing the wingtips when the little Piper-Cub hits a narrow canyon. Disgusted, she can only hope James is ok. At that second, the windscreen-less cab he had driven rolls to a gentle halt nearby. On the back of the tanker, Sanchez is trying to shut off the valve, but this means he is thoroughly soaked in the World's most expensive petrol. He looks up to get a shoe in the face and swings his machete at Bond. The two engage in a brutal fight as the driver looks up to see a tight bend approaching. There's no way to get round this without brakes. He jumps as the life and death struggle continues. The Kenworth rig goes over the side in a shower of stones and dust, toppling over down the forty-foot drop.

Filming the climactic scene.
Franz Sanchez lies, unconscious, soaked from head to toe in his cocaine-enriched petrol. And Bond?. Battered, torn, beaten, he drags himself along, a bleeding wreck. Suddenly, he comes up short against the machete blade held to his face, the drugs-baron standing over him. 


Hauling Bond up against a rock – he pulls the lighter Felix gave him from his pocket – Sanchez tells him 'You could have had everything.' As he is about to deliver the killing blow, Bond asks; 'Don't you want to know why?' and shows him the inscription on the lighter. As he sees the reason for his downfall, Bond sparks up. 
Sanchez explodes into flame, his screams echoing as he flails around, a human torch. His burning body ignites the tank and it explodes in a series of ever-increasing fireballs, Bond only just staggering to safety in time. (Timothy Dalton performed this stunt himself.)



James Bond is exhausted, utterly spent. He sits there a broken man, almost in tears. An insistent jabbing on the air horns makes him look up to see Pam rolling up in the surviving cab. 'What are you waiting for?. Get in.' Smiling despite himself, James replies 'Yes, Sir.' 
 

In the Hospital, Felix sits propped up in bed, sounding much his old self as Bond calls from the former Sanchez villa; he'll be up to see him soon and they can get some fishing in. Felix tells Bond M called and he may have a job for James. Lupe sets down the iguana; she's wearing it's diamond collar as a bracelet. He thought she hated that thing? - didn't he know, iguanas are a girl's best friend?. Across the throng of party-goers Pam and Q accept drinks from a waiter, toasting each other. Lupe thanks James for everything and their kiss turns passionate, to Pam's disappointment and Q's horror. James looks up to see Pam has rushed off and Q isn't happy. 


Lupe tells James he could stay there with her, but as President Lopez walks up, James tells her future; he thinks she and El Presidente will make a perfect couple. Tearful, Pam is alone by the pool downstairs, until Bond vaults the wall to plummet down into the water, fully-clothed. Pam laughs as Bond pulls her in too and they kiss, to the watching Q's chagrin. Lupe and El Presidente leave together to further their acquaintance and, shaking his head, Q quaffs a glass of champagne and follows them. The two lovers kiss.
Pam – 'Why don't you wait until you're asked?.'
Bond – 'So why don't you ask me?.'
James and Pam kiss passionately and the camera pans across to a large ornamental fish spouting water from its mouth. The illuminated eye winks at us as the end music plays. 'If You asked Me to' by Patti LaBelle.
JAMES BOND WILL RETURN

A Teaser Poster.
Due to MGM's financial troubles, Bond budgets hadn't risen for years. This and the 1985 UK Films Act meant production leaving the traditional Pinewood studios to Churubusco Studios, Mexico City. Troubled from the start, writer Richard Maibaum downed pen due to a writer's strike, leaving Michael G.Wilson in charge. Maibaum had worked on most of the series from Dr.No to The Living Daylights. The story was planned to be set in China, with a drugs warlord operating in the golden triangle. A motorbike chase along the Great Wall was planned, with a fight sequence alomg the Terracotta Statues, but the Chinese government put too much red tape in the way so the first Bond film not to be named for an Ian Fleming story featured elements from the short story 'The Hildebrand Rarity' (Milton Krest/Whipping a woman with an animal tail) and 'Live and Let die' (Leiter savaged by a shark/hiding contraband in fish tanks/the aquarium fight.)
The production wasn't easy; budgetary restraints and new studios didn't help, plus the high-altitude left members of the crew ill, a medical team being brought in to assist them. Cubby Broccoli had to leave the set due to the thin air of Mexico. He never returned to a Bond set. The violence saw the film receive a 15 rating in the UK and a PG-13 in the USA. When the film was subsequently released on VHS and then DVD several cuts were made. (Recent DVD and Blu-Ray releases have rectified these cuts. My review copy is intact and a much better film for it.)
The film tie-ins included this computer game.



An advert for the game.

The cast are all strong; Timothy Dalton shines in a grim revenge tale, influenced by recent blockbusters such as Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, the grit, blood and realism are turned up here. Robert Davi is magnificent; his pock-marked face and Latin manner makes for a believable drugs-kingpin. The young Benicio Del Toro is outstanding as his protege. Carey Lowell is a sassy, capable and sexy heroine, while Talisa Soto is somewhat out of her depth with the company she's in. David Hedison returns after a sixteen-year hiatus as Felix Leiter; the Live and Let die veteran plays the role solidly as a likeable ally. Desmond Llewelyn gets more screen time than usual as 'Q'; every second he's on-screen is a Bond-fan's dream and he's used well as a support agent. Pedro Armendariz, Jnr is Presidente Lopez; his late father played Kerim Bey in From Russia with Love. Anthony Zerbe plays Milton Krest in a pleasingly oily manner; the character is easy to dislike and hard to trust. Don Stroud, Alejandro Bracho and Guy De Saint Cyr all play convincing henchmen as Colonel Heller, Perez and Braun respectively. Caroline Bliss doesn't do much this time out; her days as Moneypenny ended here, as did Robert Brown's 'M'. Brown was crusty and disagreeable, but never in the wonderful fashion of the late, lamented Bernard Lee. Frank McRae's Sharkey is a loveable character who deserved another outing. Everett McGill's Killifer is superficial, unlovable and over the top; exactly what the role called for – when he gets his comeuppance you feel like cheering. Vegas Legend Wayne Newton makes an appearance as Professor Joe Butcher; apparently the star was a big Bond fan and asked to be in the film. His character is fun, cheesy and inspired.
The cast are presented to Diana, Princess of Wales at the Premiere, The Odeon Leicester Square, London, June 13th 1989.
Walk-on parts in the film were handed out in an MTV/VH1 contest; a gym teacher from Atlanta appears in the Wedding scene, as did Production stills photographer Keith Hamshere and Chicago Bond collector Doug Redenius, a Postman with an incredible collection of Bond memorabilia. At the Key West Airport scene, Florida's Governor Martinez has a walk-on as a customs official.

Some trivia; the Licence to Kill song is based on a horn line from Goldfinger. The band Ivory perform the 'Wedding Party' song, which features references to the 'Jump Up' song from Dr.No. Originally, Eric Clapton and Vic Flick were set to record the title song, but the project faltered. Flick is most famous for his legendary guitar solo on the original Dr.No theme. The ski-less water-ski sequence was performed by World Champion David Reinhart. The fantastic Villa Arabesque features as Sanchez's villa. In Acapulco, this magnificently liberated building was built for the Baron and Baroness di Portanova. The Baron gave his permission to film it. The original title was to be Licence Revoked, but rather insultingly, MGM insisted US audiences wouldn't know what 'revoked' meant. In the Pre-Title Sequence, listen for the voice advising the D.E.A. to contact Key West; that's Writer/Producer Michael G.Wilson. Unexplained occurences in Mexico on the eerie Rumorosa road included; ghostly figures seen around the trucks at night which disappeared when challenged and a ghostly hand of fire reaching out from the flames seen by the crew and now widely shared on the Internet. Benicio Del Roro accidentally cut Timothy Dalton's hand filming the cocaine grinder sequence. Production was halted so the hand could be stitched.



There aren't a wealth of 'decent' goofs in this film, mainly things like number plates suddenly switching in the tanker chase sequence. However... When Bond is handed his new lighter, the tube feeding it gas is visible briefly leading from his sleeve. At the Casino he cuts the cards physically, but in a real one he'd use a plastic card to make the cut. The flames in the lab clearly aren't spreading at all – watch carefully to see the personnel trying to extinguish the fire aren't doing anything at all, just waving extinguishers at the fire. As Bond reaches Felix' house after racing from the airport, watch the woman and kid walking by – suddenly she gees him up and they start trotting out of shot. Clearly they were given a signal to do so, to get out of Bond's way. (Both are seen later by the crime scene tape as the ambulance takes Felix away.)


So, the usual question; Is it any good?. I should state here that I have always considered Licence to Kill one of the low-points of the series, down there with the execrable A View to a Kill. I was wrong; this is actually a decent revenge-movie posing as a Bond film. It does have lots of the familiar elements; the gun-barrel, PTS, Q, M, Penny and so on. It just doesn't gel as a 'Bond.' Watch The Living Daylights, Licence to Kill then Goldeneye back to back. Ok, say you did; the feel and tone of Licence just doesn't fit. It does hold it's own as an action film, however. Dalton's revenge-blinded assassin is memorable – re-made without the Bond elements this film would be a hit for any action star. Likewise, Robert Davi as a cartel-style drugs King; put him into a Die Hard film (He actually plays an FBI agent alongside Grand.L.Bush, who plays Hawkins in Licence.) and he'd be perfect. All in all, this is a good film and my judgement proves ill-founded. I've re-discovered a classic from the late-Eighties that thoroughly deserves viewing; so should you.
Timothy Dalton's 007 is refined, stylish, but with a Northern accent and a brutal, obsessive nature.
Dalton was the last Bond seen smoking on screen.

On-set, Dalton was described as friendly, but private.
Dalton's character is multi-faceted; violence gives way to laughter and passion in equal measure.
Dalton's Father was a Captain in the S.O.E. during WWII; S.O.E. Officers faced situations and adversaries not unlike that of James Bond.
A spell at RADA ended when Dalton went to join a Rep company...

Making Timothy Peter Dalton a more accomplished actor than other Bonds.
Robert Davi is of Italian American Heritage; his Latin looks and manner make him a perfect fit for the character he portrays...

Franz Sanchez , drug-lord and the man who runs the (fictional) central American country of Isthmus.

These days, Davi is best-known for his work as a professional singer.

Benicio Del Toro was 21 when he played Dario, Sanchez's sidekick and a ruthless killer.
Talisa Soto is Lupe Lamora, Sanchez' girl, but also his prisoner.
Soto was born in Brooklyn, New York to Puerto Rican parents.

A Vogue model, Soto's film appearances include the Spy spoof Spy Hard.
Soto's character Lupe is a fairly-uncomplicated girl who left her humble beginnings to seek a better life. Sanchez gave her that life, but also sorrow as he whipped her with an iguana tail whip when he caught her with another.
Who, but Bond could free this captive beauty?.
Bond has gone rogue, but the appearance of Q suggests he's not entirely out in the cold...

This take-down sniper rifle is based on a Hasselblad camera; optical sensors in the grip recognize Bond's fingerprints so only he can fire it.

The prop PPK featured in the film was offered at auction with both blank and live barrels.

1 comment:

  1. You know, for my money, I've always considered Dalton a vastly better Bond than Brosnan. Shame that he only got to do two films.

    ReplyDelete