Parallels Between "License to Kill" and "Quantum of Solace"

by Chip Marsden
English actor Timothy Dalton played James Bond in

English actor Timothy Dalton played James Bond in "License to Kill."

Chris Jackson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

"License to Kill" and "Quantum of Solace" are two films in the behemoth James Bond franchise. Though the films were made nearly two decades apart, and featured entirely different casts -- including different actors in the role of Bond, with Timothy Dalton starring in "License to Kill" and Daniel Craig in "Quantum of Solace" -- the films have some undeniable parallels between them.


Both "Quantum of Solace," released in 2008, and "License to Kill," released in 1989, are revenge films. In "Quantum of Solace," Bond spends much of the movie obsessively seeking revenge for the death of his romantic interest from "Casino Royale," Vesper Lynd. In "License to Kill," Bond goes on a mission to destroy the drug lord who severely wounded his close friend and killed his friend's wife.

Rogue Agent

A crucial plot point of both films involves the revocation of Bond's status within MI6. For most of both films, Bond operates as a "rogue" agent, carrying out his mission with no support from MI6. In "Quantum of Solace," Bond's status is revoked after he is believed to have killed a top adviser to the prime minister in a gunfight. In "License to Kill," Bond refuses a mission that would have taken him off his course for revenge on a drug lord who attacked his close friend. This subordinance leads to Bond's suspension from the agency.

Friendly Assistance

In both films, old friends with intimate knowledge of the agency assist Bond in his illegitimate dealings. In "License to Kill," MI6's armor and gadget expert Q provides bond with gadgets and weapons under the table, and later helps Bond frame one of the protagonist's top lieutenants for disloyalty. In "Quantum of Solace," Bond gets help from René Mathis, an enigmatic MI6 agent who also appeared in "Casino Royale," to which "Quantum of Solace" is a direct sequel.


In the conclusion of both "Quantum of Solace" and "License to Kill," Bond's skills as a spy and clandestine hero in the field lead to his reinstatement with the agency. In "Quantum of Solace," he successfully foils the plot of a billionaire using an environmentalist front to stage a coup in Bolivia and seize the country's entire water supply. In "License to Kill," he destroys the empire of a South American drug lord.

About the Author

Based in Virginia, Chip Marsden has been a writer for more than eight years. He has covered film, politics and culture for regional newspapers and online publications. Marsden holds a B.A. in theater arts with a concentration in performance.

Photo Credits

  • Chris Jackson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images