Friday, August 07, 2015

Licence to Kill (1989) | Women

Talisa Soto was supposedly cast as Lupe because Robert Davi (Sanchez) was present at the audition and remarked that he would kill for her. I know what he means. She's a tragic, desperately powerless character, but she's also pleasant and helpful and I'm invested in making sure she's okay. She's using Bond to get away from Sanchez, but I never doubt for a second that she also really likes him. I like her a lot better than Pam, actually.

The trouble with Pam Bouvier is the same problem that so much of Licence to Kill has. Like with M and Felix, the movie wants to do something different with her, but can't bring itself to go all the way with it. She and Bond are supposed to have one of those adversarial romances where they bicker all the time. But the movie undercuts that by having her and Bond make out moments after they've teamed up. That's how Bond always does; it just removes all the will-they-won't-they tension that these kinds of relationships are supposed to have. Licence tries to replace it with some manufactured conflict between Pam and Bond, but it never feels real and it hurts Pam as a character.

She doesn't act like a normal person and it's especially awkward to watch that last scene where she gets jealous of Lupe and runs away crying. Again, the movie's trying to do some kind of weird romcom thing, complete with Bond's making a big gesture to convince her he really likes her, and followed by a cute prank to let us know that everything's okay. And what the hell's up with that winking fish?

My Favorite Bond Women

1. Tracy Bond (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2. Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
3. Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
4. Paula Caplan (Thunderball)
5. Tatiana Romanova (From Russia With Love)
6. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
7. Domino Derval (Thunderball)
8. Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
9. Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
10. Andrea Anders (The Man with the Golden Gun)

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