BlogalongaBond: Licence to Kill (1989) Print
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 30 April 2012 16:02

Licence to Kill BlogalongaBond. One Bond film a month until Bond 23 turns up.

There's nothing like a secret agent going rogue. Actually, there's nothing like a secret who doesn't: they literally don't exist.

Moles, insiders, traitors, saboteurs, mavericks, heroes, wrongly-accused people - from Harry Palmer and Jason Bourne to Veronica Salt and Ethan Hunt, going rogue is in every secret agent's job description. It's actually expected by your employers. If you don't go rogue at least once in your career, you get bumped off. Probably by another rogue agent.

And that's why I, like many others, love Licence to Kill. It's the nasty Bond film. The one where 007 shows just how much of a bastard he really is (well, that and Benicio Del Toro saying the word "honeymoon").

Dalton, already the steely-eyed murderer of Fleming's novels, is even more cold and ruthless than normal. Going on the rampage to avenge Felix Leiter (brother from Langley)'s death, he practically puts up a sign saying "Roger Moore's eyebrows are not welcome here". Then kills anyone who doesn't bother to read it.

But while John Glen delights in the everyday ambitions of Robert Davi's drug dealing villain Sanchez, and we enjoy the 15-rated blood splattering of THAT pressure chamber death scene (cf. the industrial microwave in Kick-Ass), this is hardly the first time 007 has gone rogue. Pursuing Blofeld, getting Goldfinger, he spends a lot of time disobeying M and chasing his own agenda - he's MI6's Quincy, the government's McNulty, Her Majesty's House. The Columbo of the secret service.

By the time the 1989 outing comes along, he's already a bit of an expert.

So, if you're a patriotic spy and you're concerned about your career progression, take a few tips from the best with this informative pamphlet that came free with my DVD...

The Secret Agent's Guide to Going Rogue

Go on a personal vendetta

Everyone loves a personal vendetta. Bond loves them more than most:




Take revenge

Licence to Kill - Felix Leiter note

Of course, your personal vendetta could be about anything. A bad parking job by a valet. A corked bottle of Bollinger. Engelbert Humperdink being picked to represent the UK in the Eurovision song contest. But it works best if your personal vendetta is revenge. Preferably revenge for someone's death. Just make sure that people don't forget who you're avenging and why. Drop it casually into any conversation you can: "They have a law against that." "Do they have a law against what they did TO FELIX LEITER?" Something like that.




Licence to Kill - Timothy Dalton

Once you've picked a thing worth avenging and shouted at your boss about it, resign: it's the only thing that makes people realise you're serious. Of course, they'll make the usual jokes about country clubs and ask you to hand over your weapon. Just take the weapon anyway. As if they're going to stop you. You're on a personal vendetta, after all.



Be angry

Licence to Kill - Timothy Dalton

No smiling. That's important. No one smiles during personal vendettas. There's plenty of time for smiling after you've found your man and killed him in the most horrible, painful way possible. Oh alright, you can smile during that part if you want. Otherwise, be sure to glare at everyone. And snap at everything they say. Basically, pretend it's your period. For a whole month.



Have no friends

Licence to Kill - Desmond Llewelyn

Everyone always wants to help. All your friends, they want to be helpful and support your little personal vendetta. "It's just a phase," they'll say. "A vendetta halved is a vendetta solved." But screw them. This isn't a Morrison's advert. If everyone pulls together and helps out, it's not a personal vendetta any more, is it?

Go it alone. Hell, threaten to shoot your sidekicks if you have to. And if a random work colleague tries to call you "pal", throw it back in their face right before you kill them. Practise saying things like "You earned it, OLD BUDDY" just in case. Your vendetta sounds way cooler that way. And more personal, too.



Threaten to shoot women

Licence to Kill

Bitches don't be interfering with my vendetta, yo. This shit's personal.



Be bloodthirsty

Licence to Kill - pressure chamber

What with all this vendetta-ing, it's hard to find some time for a little R&R. You can't waste hours reading books. You don't have a telly.
You're probably way too behind on The Killing by now anyway. So get your kicks in other ways, like horrific, bloody death. Death is always fun - especially when it happens to other people. And it involves sharks.

Think about like this: if your life were being made into a movie, would you want it to be a 12A certificate or marked down from a possible 18? So if you see a guy being imploded mercilessly in a pressure chamber, don't intervene. Sit back and let it happen.



Show no remorse

Licence to Kill

Whenever you kill someone, make sure you feel no remorse. Stare into the distance for a couple of seconds. Show them you meant it. Maybe say a witty one-liner - but make sure you don't smile. This is a vendetta, remember? Do say: "What a terrible waste. Of money." Don't say: "OH MY GOD, HE'S DEAD. I never wanted to be a secret agent anyway... I wanted to be... a lumberjack!"



Go back to your day job

Licence to Kill - ending

If there's one thing the secret intelligence service loves more than an agent who stays loyal, it's one who goes rogue. They can do all kinds of stuff normal agents can't do. Break into an embassy and kill everyone inside? "It's not our fault. He's gone rogue." Take down a drug kingpin by blowing up half of a fictional South American Republic? "Oh, that. He was off on another personal vendetta."

So make sure once you've finished going rogue that you go back to your day job - they'll welcome you with open arms. After all, without you on board waiting to rogue again, how else are they going to come up with a storyline for the next movie?


 will return next month in GoldenEye. For more BlongalongaBondness, head this way.