Anthony's Film Review
The Living Daylights (1987)
An exciting Bond film in which Timothy Dalton already gets it right...
There is one thing about Timothy Dalton that is different from Sean Connery, George Lazenby, and Roger Moore. The previous three Bond actors, when on screen for their first Bond movie, were immediately accepted by some fans and unaccepted by others. It usually takes a few films for them to win the hearts of more fans, partly because the actor is developing his own style and interpretation of James Bond. Dalton did it differently by going straight to the source. He reread the Ian Fleming novels and brought the persona of Bond as Fleming created to the big screen. The result is a Bond that is more serious and ruthless but is what Fleming originally envisioned.
Bond's mission takes him from Czechoslovakia and Austria to Morocco and Afghanistan. It starts with helping General Koskov defect to the West by protecting him from a sniper, only to have Koskov be recaptured by the Soviets. Bond goes on a search for Koskov, and the clues he finds in the beginning already tell him that something is definitely not right.
The action is quite good in this film. I like the Aston Martin V8 and the gadgets equipped, including a missile launcher and a laser on the side. The safe house gunfight, which also involves grenades disguised as milk bottles, is also a nice scene. All the action scenes are neither weak nor over the top. It's right in the middle and there's just the right amount of it.
Bond girls have traditionally appeared for the purpose of satisfying Bond's vice for women. As times change, so do views about women in general. The Bond films do their best to reflect the current era while still providing the exciting Bond Formula that fans have come to know so well. Kara Milovy, the main Bond girl in The Living Daylights played by Maryam D'abo, is an example of this. She is beautiful, but not solely a sex toy. She is also intelligent and independent. She and Bond kiss in only a few scenes, and any sexual innuendo present is minimal or virtually nonexistent.
It is miraculous that the 15th Bond film marking the 25th anniversary of the series can still follow the Bond Formula and not bore its fans. The series continues to have new ways of presenting its familiar elements. It is made so that fans, young and old, can appreciate what James Bond is all about. With Timothy Dalton's performance and the usual Bond film elements still delivering thrills and excitement, The Living Daylights is a film that keeps the series alive even with a new Bond actor on board.
For more information about The Living Daylights, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of the following:
Official James Bond Films
Unofficial James Bond Films