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1987 James Bond Movie starring Timothy Dalton

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Black Ice Bond

  • Aug 3, 2009
Timothy Dalton gets a lot of hell for his portrayal of Bond.  He's stiff, too serious, too dark, a little too unlikeable and a little too tough.  I really like him myself since he shows failings like the Bond of the books but for a movie series that has had gondolas turn into hovercrafts and a man with metal teeth, he must have thought he was in a different series.

The fact that he only made two Bond movies and neither of them set the world on fire didn't help either.

The Living Daylights was what Goldeneye and Casino Royale tried to be in 1987, it was a fresh new start for Bond.  A new attitude and a new look for the series.  A new Moneypenny, the Aston Martin was back and for the first time in a while we had a Bond that would look convincing in a fist fight.

The plot of the story has a Russian general attempting a defection with knowledge of a Soviet plot to kill enemy spies, a list that Bond is on.  Factor in a lovely cello player who is related to the General and an American arms deal linked to an Opium purchase and you have almost everything that was wrong with Octopussy.  The story is too complex to follow and really stops up with too many details that need to be kept track of.  While it's easy enough to just "go with it" and hope it makes sense, you do hope for some semblance.  Once you understand it, it's great but figuring it out you need a bottle of asprin.

I mentioned the cello player, Kara Milovy who is certainly one of the lovlier Bond girls in the series but sadly gets a shaft since she's affiliated with Dalton's movie.  Shes also the ONLY bond girl in the movie.  Bond only having one main girl in the movie has been done before but when the reason is public awareness of AIDS lurking in your subconcious you tend to feel ripped off.  One only look at the date of the movie to figure this out.  The new Moneypenny, Caroline Bliss is lovely but is forgettable.

The villains?  Forget them.  They stink.  One you barely see in a scant three scenes, one you don't realize is bad until halfway through and is as threatening as Tickle Me Elmo and the henchman Necros has a cool name but sadly is upstaged by other, similar heavies from the series like Robert Shaw or Gotz Otto. 

The friendles don't fare much better either.  John Ryes Davies is awesome as a Russian General but again gets maybe three scenes if he's lucky, Felix Leiter shows up too late to make a difference and Art Malik as an Afgahni freedom fighter isn't bad but we've seen better associates for Bond.  A nice touch though is that after most of the fighing is over, his allies don't get away completely scot free and Bond helps him out.

The action is where the movie takes off.  The opening scene on the top of a truck is cool, Bond fighting Necros on a cargo net outside of a plane is novel and the airport attack is nice too.  The only one that is truly weak is the one that should have rocked most; Bond's gadget filled Aston Martin car chase which showing some novel hardware makes the scene stupid with a wheel hub slicing through a frozen pond.

Maybe I should have rated this one lower but looking back after all of the Moore movies no matter how good a couple of them were, the freshness of the sets, a new Bond and solid action made it tough not to like.  Yeah it has it's problems and Dalton NOT being one of them for me, and the comparisons to the movies before it may not be fair but the steps away from sillyness make it worth looking back at and furthermore being such an ignored movie, you may find something you missed the first time.
Bond and Kara travel through Afghanistan The Czechs army takes aim at Bond Bond corners Pushkin Kamran Shahs freedom fighters rejoice Kara wonders what kind of car shes in The new Bond and Moneypenny

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More The Living Daylights (film) reviews
Quick Tip by . May 11, 2010
posted in Bond, James Bond
Timothy Dalton brings Bond back to his tougher roots with a complex story of opium smuggling and gun runners. Not bad, could be better.
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John Nelson ()
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Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this movie


The Living Daylights (1987) is the fifteenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Timothy Dalton as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film's title is taken from Ian Fleming's short story "The Living Daylights."

The beginning of the film (following the title sequence) resembles the short story, in which Bond has to act as a counter sniper to protect a defecting Soviet. The film begins with Bond investigating the deaths of a number of MI6 agents. The Soviet defector, Georgi Koskov, informs him that General Pushkin, head of the KGB, is systematically killing Western operatives (British and American spies). When Koskov is seemingly snatched back by the Soviets, Bond follows him across Europe, Morocco and Afghanistan.

The film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli, his stepson Michael G. Wilson, and his daughter Barbara Broccoli. The Living Daylights was well received by most critics, and was also a financial success, grossing $191.2 million worldwide.

It was the last film to bear the title of a story by Ian Fleming until 2006's Casino Royale, 19 years later.

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