Dario – A Young and Brutal Henchman Played by Benicio del Toro
Dario is a notable antagonist from the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill, and one of the three main henchmen in the Sanchez Cartel. This character, brought to life by a very young Benicio del Toro in ne of his first castings, was the youngest of the trio of henchmen.
Notably, Dario also appeared in John Gardner’s novelisation of the film and was later re-imagined for Activision’s 2012 video game, 007 Legends, with Benicio del Toro reprising his role.
Dario, as the most youthful among Franz Sanchez‘s trio of henchmen, is often considered Sanchez’s favorite. Identified as a remorseless, mentally unstable murderer, Dario gets expelled from the Nicaraguan Contras due to his violent nature, leading him to join Sanchez’s narcotics syndicate.
When Sanchez discovers his mistress, Lupe Lamora, in bed with another man in the Bahamas, Dario stands by his side. Sanchez commands Dario to present Lupe with the man’s heart, which Dario obediently does, using his switchblade knife.
Following Sanchez’s arrest by the Drug Enforcement Administration led by Felix Leiter and Bond, Dario goes into hiding. But when Sanchez escapes, Dario makes a comeback.
On Felix Leiter’s wedding night, Sanchez instructs Dario, Braun, and Perez to abduct Felix and end his wife Della’s life, which they do. Dario also plays a part in dropping Felix Leiter in a shark tank.
Later, Dario attempts to kill one of Leiter’s informants, CIA operative Pam Bouvier, under the pretense of offering her a job due to her aviation abilities. James Bond’s interference, however, derails Dario’s plot, inciting a bar fight.
As Bouvier and Bond make their escape on a nearby boat, Dario shoots Bouvier in the back, smirking malevolently, oblivious to the fact that she is wearing a bulletproof vest beneath her blouse.
Dario makes his final appearance during a tour of Franz Sanchez’s cocaine processing facility, accompanying an undercover Bond and a group of Asian investors. At the meeting, he recognizes 007 and discreetly holds him at gunpoint with a Walther P5 during the lab demonstrations.
Once Bond’s true identity is confirmed he sets fire to the lab, so Sanchez orders Dario to bind his wrists and ankles and place him on a conveyor belt that leads into a grinding machine.
After Sanchez leaves, Bond grabs the edge, leading Dario to cut the ropes to push him in. Distracted by Pam Bouvier, who Dario thought he’d killed, Dario is shot by her, knocking him off balance. As Bouvier’s gun jams and Dario tries to recover, Bond seizes his feet and pulls him into the grinder.
Dario clings to Bond, screaming for Sanchez to stop the machine, but he’s caught by the grinder, which gruesomely and painfully drags him in, and crushing him to death.
Benicio del Toro
Born on February 19, 1967, in Puerto Rico, Benicio del Toro is a critically acclaimed actor and producer. After losing his mother at a young age, del Toro moved to Pennsylvania and later attended the University of California, San Diego, where he found his passion for acting.
He started his acting career in the late ’80s with minor roles in TV shows and films, including a part in the James Bond film Licence to Kill. His breakthrough came with the film The Usual Suspects in 1995. His portrayal in Traffic in 2000 won him numerous awards, including an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA all for Best Supporting Actor.
Del Toro has starred in a variety of roles, including Marvel Studios films and critically acclaimed films like Sicario.