THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS
Bond: Timothy Dalton – 2 tusks
While not a perfect Bond, Dalton manages to rid the character of all the stiffness infused into the role by Roger Moore. He comes closer to Connery’s Bond in tone, although he infuses more humanity into the character than either Connery or Moore ever did. This was a transition movie in some ways, so there were things that didn’t work for me. For example, Dalton awkwardly forces out the one-liner quips that Moore excelled at. He doesn’t seem quite as polished as Moore was which isn’t a problem for me except that the script doesn’t play well to Dalton’s approach.
Girl: Maryam d’Abo as Kara Milovy – 2 tusks
I found her to be very endearing and one of my favorite Bond girls in quite some time. She’s a bit of a “common man” character, yet rises to the occasion and proves to be a good ally for Bond. The love interest aspect is downplayed to some extent so she almost seems like “one of the guys” by the end.
Opening Theme: “The Living Daylights” performed by a-ha – 2 tusks
I like this song quite a bit. I think it has what was a modern (at the time) feel, yet harkens back to the brassy sound of the older songs.
Villain: Jeroen Krabbé as General Georgi Koskov – 1 tusk
One of the more swarmy villains, Koskov doesn’t seem like a worthy opponent to Bond. In fact, Bond almost seems more irritated by him and his ally, Brad Whitaker, than anything else.
Henchman: Andreas Wisniewski as Necros – 2 tusks
The writers did right by Necros in setting up an acceptable threat level. Having him kill off two 00 agents was one thing. But then seeing one an agent hold his own against Necros before eventually falling helped raise his stock. One of the things I hate seeing is the ease at which these specially trained guards and agents are taken out. See random agent put up a fight was good and helped increase his threat level later.
Pre-title opening sequence – 1 tusk
This doesn’t really do much except establish Dalton as a more action-oriented Bond. This is one of his first interactions fellow 00 agents. Other than Thunderball where they were all at a meeting, Bond’s only interaction with the other agents has been after they’re dead. And I suppose it’s not much different here.
In the same way I thought more of A View to a Kill after a reviewing, I thought a bit less of this movie after a reviewing. Sometimes I say that a movie is one rewrite away from being a good movie. This was good, but probably needed a rewrite to help tailor it to Dalton’s strengths more. It seems very generic, like anyone could have been playing the part.
The main plot seems a bit convoluted. Fake the defection and then kidnapping of a not-so-respected Russian general in order to set the stage for a war, meanwhile, Bond decides to use loose connection to villain to track him down. The more interesting aspect of the plot was the killing of the agents and that seemed very much downplayed. The henchman in this movie made a much more threatening villain than the main baddie.
It was interesting to watch Bond team up with the Mujahideen especially after having recently watched Charlie Wilson’s War. It has almost a haunting feel to it now knowing what happens years later.
Previous Bond Movie Reviews
From Russia With Love
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Diamonds Are Forever
Live And Let Die
The Man With The Golden Gun
The Spy Who Loved Me
For Your Eyes Only
Never Say Never Again
A View to a Kill