Looking back at the 23 James Bond movies made so far, it’s hard to pick one that is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be the best. But chances are that License to Kill is unlikely to be too many people’s favorite: Considered to be one of the weakest movies by the critics, Tom Hibbert of Empire described Timothy Dalton’s performance as “quite hopeless” while Entertainment Weekly slammed the movie’s Bond girl Pam Bouvier as “a nagging pest”. Others however have defended the movie, claiming it is one of the most faithful to the Bond in Ian Fleming’s novels.
The production of License to Kill was fraught with problems from the beginning. While every previous Bond film had been produced at UK studios, a change in tax laws had meant that it was no longer feasible to use the British Pinewood studios and so an alternative had to be sourced. The problems continued post-production with the original name for the film, License Revoked, considered a poor choice in the US. As a result all marketing materials had to be re-created to reflect the change of movie title.
Much of Licence to Kill was set in Mexico, with Mexico City playing the part of the Republic of Isthmus. Underwater filming meanwhile took place around Isla Mujeres near Cancun on the Yucatan coast. The island, although undergoing much development in recent years, remains a charming retreat from the busy coastal resorts it faces on the mainland.
For those on a Mexican vacation, Isla Mujeres is an easy day trip from Cancun, with visitors able to visit Dolphin Discovery or take Whale Shark tours in the summer months. Renowned for its clear waters and excellent snorkeling and scuba diving, it is no wonder that the production team chose to film their water-based sequences on Isle Mujeres.
A Bond Farewell
License to Kill was something of a watershed for the James Bond story. It was Dalton’s final appearance as Bond before being replaced by Piers Brosnan. Others, too, made their Bond farewell in this film, including Robert Brown as ‘M’ and Caroline Bliss as Moneypenny.
Whatever the merits of the movie, however, few can argue that one of its stars was the stunning Yucatan peninsula and its underwater marvels.
Live your own James Bond adventure at Iberostar’s stunning Yucatan resorts… or just veg on the beach. With a plethora of fun activities for kids and adults alike, it truly is up to you.