Jean W. from JORDANVILLE, NY Reviewed on 1/24/2013...
One of the better Bond movies. Timothy Dalton makes a great 007 and it is too bad he is no longer in the role.
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A. Casalino | Downers Grove, IL USA | 06/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The taglines for this, the 15th Bond entry, promised- "The most dangerous Bond ever," and right there beyond the flippant fun that Roger Moore had brought, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS came and made good on that vow. In a cool, totally decked-out Aston Martin, our favorite spy propels himself into this, the last of the series' Cold War intrigues (furthermore being the final title penned by its creator, Ian Fleming). And herein, the flavour of Fleming is found everywhere-Having been a child of 007's Roger Moore era, I had- on some seven different occasions during the course of his 14-year reign as Bond- looked forward with great anticipation to the very heights of fun and adventure. Moore, with his infectious charm and cheeky wit, was absolutely and completely entertaining as Bond. So I was naturally a little edgy when, in 1987, he retired, to pass the torch to another actor.I was in college, studying English literature when I heard Timothy Dalton would be the next James Bond. To me, this seemed an exceedingly interesting choice- for here was a classically trained Welsh actor, who at that time had been fairly unknown. Yet I already knew him, of course: not only had he made his impression in some of the Shakespeare plays I'd been studying, but this ardent, sensitive actor had actually won my heart with his perfect portrayals of two beloved Bronte heroes- (Charlotte's "Rochester" and Emily's "Heathcliff.") Needless to say, I just couldn't wait for this one~~THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS is a spy thriller in every classical sense. From the get-go, it's exciting: the gun-barrel sequence, where John Barry's arrangement pulses more quickly to keep in tempo with the motion of a more youthful 007- the exhilarating pre-credits: where, after a parachute jump onto the Rock of Gibraltar, a double-0 agent gets murdered and Bond jumps onto the roof of a speeding jeep as it hurtles down the cliff, and requites the assassin in like. He then lands emergently onto a yacht- where, by sheer coincidence, the bikini-clad babe onboard has been lamenting her failure to find any "real men" anywhere. Bond grabs her phone to call headquarters, introducing himself with a brisk offhand, "Bond, James Bond". She offers him champagne and, as a consequence, he's an hour late reporting back........After opening credits - Maurice Binder's flowing artwork gracing John Barry's title song- (a colorful pop number performed by Ah-Ha that won't ever let you forget it's the 80's), Bond reports to Bratislava for a seemingly unrelated assignment. Saunders, of section V, Vienna (Thomas Wheatley) has arranged the defection of a top KGB agent, Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé). Bond is called in to kill the sniper assigned to assassinate Koskov if he should try to bolt. -This scene makes up the whole of Fleming's short story, wherein our hero turns over in his mind the conflicting implications of his work. Well, it's apparent that this James Bond is definitely a man who, though despising certain aspects of his profession, is quite capable of killing an enemy sniper in cold blood. The sniper, however, turns out being the lovely woman cellist that Bond had only moments before been admiring. And Bond, who follows instincts before orders, observes, "that girl didn't know one end of a rifle from the other," and instead of killing her, shoots the weapon from her hand.Nevertheless, the coup is a grand success. Hours later, in a safe house on the English countryside- (wherein Bond shows himself to be a connoisseur of good food: "The foie gras is excellent," and champagne: "The brand on the list was questionable, so I took the liberty of choosing something different.") -Koskov reveals a sinister plot by General Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies), the head of the KGB, to kill foreign spies- ("Smiert Spionen," Fleming's SMERSH term meaning death to spies). Bond is immediately a little skeptical of Koskov's story, and his suspicions are further enhanced when, shortly thereafter, Koskov gets snatched out of Britain by forces unknown -pulled off by henchman Necros (Andreas Wisniewski), disguised as the most menacing milkman one could ever imagine. For answers, Bond returns to Czechoslovakia to investigate that female "sniper," and discovers she's Kara Milovy (Maryam d'Abo), Koskov's girlfriend. He then poses as Koskov's friend in the hope that she'll be able to locate him.The inertia of this complex plot carries Bond further, through a number of beautiful locales in the world- London, Vienna, Tangier, Afghanistan, and New York. His mission involves drugs, deceit, diamonds, eccentric American arms dealer Brad Whitaker (Joe Don Baker), and the Afghan resistance, Mujahadin. There's action aplenty - highlights being a car chase in the Aston Martin fully armed, a ski chase downslope in a cello case, and a seat-gripping airplane ride I'd never in a million years want to ride!The late 80's had safe-sex everywhere afoot - even in Bond. Kara's certainly endearing as the Bond girl, but she doesn't hold the screen next to Bond so well as many of her predecessors. The villains are undeniably wonderful: a swarthy combination of the fearsome and the ludicrous. And Dalton's tough, gritty Bond is as close to Ian Fleming's creation that any actor has come- yet whether or not that's a good thing is a matter of infinite debate. The cinematic Bond had already been well established by then. Like Connery, though, Dalton has a certain cat-like grace, albeit minus the twinkle in his eye. And though he brings an intensity to the character that even Connery could not own, he never really does let loose - never hams it up or has the famous fun that every other Bond has had! But notwithstanding all that, I'm forever disposed to find him perfect."
Dalton's Debut Is Impressive
gobirds2 | New England | 04/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first thing that struck me about this film is that Timothy Dalton could act and he took the part very seriously. I found THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS to be one of the better James Bond films. I think it is the best since ON HER MAJESTY's SECRET SERVICE. I really liked Timothy Dalton as James Bond, the James Bond he gave us in this film (THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS). He was not the hard edged civil servant but more of a thinking man's blunt instrument as he demonstrated his reluctance to get the job done "their" way as opposed to "his" way.
John Barry delivered his last 007 score and it is one of his best. I also enjoyed a-ha's rich and lyrical theme song played over Maurice Binder's main titles, which are very reflective. This was also the last Bond film made during the actual cold war. We see a much more intelligent British agent discern that the KGB is not made up of a bunch of hoodlums but instead it is actually headed by an equally intelligent counterpart to "M" and the like. The dark yet richly colored photography and locations bring back much of the feel of the earlier Bond films.
Timothy Dalton deserved to be around much longer as James Bond based on his work in this film."
Really a great Bond movie!!!
jokko | Portland, Oregon | 08/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, this is about 10 times better than Timothy Dalton's second flick as 007, Licence to Kill, which was a good movie, but didn't quite make it into my list of fantastic Bonds. The Living Daylights is a charming, romantic, fast-paced adventure, which, in my opinion can hold a candle to movies as historic as Goldfinger and From Russia With Love. Dalton is on top of his career as Bond, and proves right away that he needed no time to adapt to the character as Moore did (3 movies in fact).This film starts off with a bang as an unknown madman, part of an international conspiracy called "smiert spionem" (kill spies), ruins a routine MI6 training session as he kills off several 00 agents, until getting outrun by 007. The movie itself is centered around an important KGB defector who doublecrosses the secret service after promising loyalty, and hooks up with a dirty dealing American arms dealer named Brad Whitaker (played by Joe Don Baker), who wants to help the KGB defector finance his "smiert spionem" conspiracy. Along with a ruthless KGB henchman named Necros, Georgi Koskov (the KGB defector, played by Jeroen Krabbe) fights time and 007 to carry out his whimsical plans. The movie is equipped with fantastic action sequences such as a chase down an Austrian ski slope in a cello case, a fantastic mid-air brawl with Necros and Koskov, and a climatic thriller in Whitaker's villa, where the insane arms dealer tries to fry Bond in his battle room. This is a fantastic movie not only because it has a great plot, great actors, and a great bond, but because it also has a bond girl who bond seems really attracted to. Kara Milovy, a Slovakian cellist, seems to have a real romance with Bond, which is a nice refresher since most Bond fans are used to the classic "love 'em and leave 'em" plot line. All in all, a great movie!!!! Just for the sake of it, here is my Bond "gold collection" list of 5:-from russia, with love -goldfinger -the spy who loved me -the living daylights -for your eyes only"
Good debut for Timothy Dalton
jokko | 11/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Living Daylights is the first Bond movie(out of only two)with Timothy Dalton.He looks a little uneasy at times,but for the most part,did very well,and plays the part a lot more seriously than Roger Moore did.As for the movie itself,it's very good,and a lot better than Moore's last 007 film,A View to a Kill.There is plenty of action and gadgets,including a really cool Aston Martin car.Maryam d'Abo is good as very pretty Bond girl Kara Milovny.Joe Don Baker as Brad Whitaker and Jeroen Krabbe' as General Koskov are the main villains,they both do a pretty good job,but aren't that memorable as far as Bond villains go.The John Barry musical score(the last one he's done in the Bond series to date) and title song by Ah-Ha are both very good.Overall,it's a good Bond film,and nice debut for Dalton,who really came into his own as Bond in the next film,License to Kill,which is excellent.Great DVD with a sharp picture,good sound,and lots of extras."
Bond Grows Up
jmpg | 10/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Living Daylights", loosely based on the short story, was certainly the turning point in the Bond movies and broke away from the film series' usual traditions. Dalton plays Bond ruthlessly and seriously, an agent no one should mess with. Moore and Brosnan pale in comparison. This is a performance not seen since the first two Connery films and "OHMSS". He leans toward the style from the novels of the character's creator and the results are great. This was the way Ian Fleming intended Bond to be.The action and dialogue scenes make it clear that Bond has matured and we will never look back at the lighthearted nature of the previous films. Kara is the only Bond girl in the entire movie, but her relationship with 007 is the most realistic in the whole series. The villians are very dull and not interesting at all, but isn't it about time they stop making comic book-like bad guys like Hugo Drax? The only problem is that the story tends to drag at some points.The movie also has the best Bond score, John Barry's last with a great main theme sung by a-ha, a nice love song and a cool upbeat version of the James Bond theme. "The Living Daylights" is probably not going to go down in history as one of the best of the Bond movies (mainly because audiences have been brainwashed by Moore's humorous outings), but it's worth checking out."