The Living Daylights

The new James on the edge.

Action Adventure Thriller
130 min     6.514     1987     United Kingdom


After a defecting Russian general reveals a plot to assassinate foreign spies, James Bond is assigned a secret mission to dispatch the new head of the KGB to prevent an escalation of tensions between the Soviet Union and the West.


Wuchak wrote:
_**Solid Bond film with Timothy Dalton taking over as 007**_ "The Living Daylights" was the first of two James Bond films featuring Timothy Dalton as 007. It's a solid Bond flick, but rarely cited when the best films of the franchise are discussed. The "problem" isn't Dalton because he makes a fine James Bond and was what the series needed in 1987 (when the film was released). Although the Roger Moore era (1973-1985) is my favorite stretch of the franchise, mainly because they're so all-around entertaining, Roger was just too old in 1987 to continue in the role (he was 60 years-old). Plus I think everyone was craving a more serious Bond by 1987 and Dalton delivers the goods. There’s a lot of good in "The Living Daylights." It features a great opening sequence involving skydiving at the Rock of Gibraltar followed by a Jeep-going-down-the-mountain segment. The events switch to Bratislava, Slovakia (but shot in Vienna, Austria) where everything slows down to dramatic intrigue. A short while later there's a cool winter chase episode with Bond and his romantic interest (Maryam d'Abo) in a car with skis (also shot in Austria). The action-packed last act takes place in Afghanistan (but shot in Morocco and the Mojave Desert). This part of the movie increases in suspense as James and his babe try to get out of the country on a cargo plane, and the film still doesn't end at that point. This climax features three or four excellent suspense scenes and some funny quips as well. Unfortunately, the film is weak in the area of women. D'Abo is decent in a doe-eyed, winsome way, but her presence is never really capitalized on; she looks good in slacks though. Other than her, there are only brief flashes of women with no one particularly standing out, except maybe a blonde in white shorts. The cast also includes Joe Don Baker, Jeroen Krabbé, John Rhys-Davies and Andreas Wisniewski, mostly villains or possible villains. BOTTOM LINE: Although "The Living Daylights" is not a highlight of the series, it's still a worthwhile Bond flick with the usual staples, albeit shaky in the female department. Aside from Timothy Dalton, who makes a refreshing Bond, the opening and ending sequences are the best parts. The film runs 2 hours, 10 minutes. GRADE: B-
JPV852 wrote:
Great entry into the series and wonderful debut for Dalton who was charming, and for me far and away better than any of Roger Moore's movies (though found some of his to be entertaining enough). Not all that fond of this theme song but still catchy enough I suppose. Also features some great aerial stuntwork. **3.75/5**
CinemaSerf wrote:
So Roger Moore has handed the baton of Ian Fleming's "007" to Timothy Dalton and this first outing is not at all bad. The story is, perhaps, not the best but this is still an action packed adventure with loads of pyrotechnics and daft gadgets that really does move along swiftly for over two hours. "Bond" is assigned to aid would-be defector "Gen. Koskov" (Jeroen Krabbé) from Berlin, along the way encountering the lethal cellist "Kara" (Maryam d'Abo). A bit of fun with the no-nonsense Julie T. Wallace, a Harrier jump jet and and soon-to-be-trashed English stately home set a scene for the ensuing narrative that mixes perilous international espionage with glamour and plenty of entertainment. Blonde baddie Andreas Wisniewski must have done wonders for the sales of 501s, hammily megalomanic arms dealer Joe Don Baker likewise for the sale of toy soldiers and Desmond Llewelyn continues to provide our hero with plenty of imaginatively designed toys to help him escape from certain death! Art Malik is maybe not the most convincing as an Afghan freedom fighter, and I missed Lois Maxwell's few scenes as the love-struck "Moneypenny", but otherwise this is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of good-humoured and pacily directed cold war bravado. It does look better on a big screen - some of the cinematography, especially the aerial photography - lends itself well to a bigger screen and a bit of A-ha at the beginning sets it all off nicely. Not the best of the franchise, but it augers well for this new incarnation.
GenerationofSwine wrote:
I don't understand all the hate on Dalton as 007, I actually thought he was a decent Bond, I thought he brought back some of the cold blooded assassin that personified the first of the Connery Era films. And I think he was a much needed change of pace away from Moore's silliness. However, I think some of the hate comes from the change of pace away from the silliness. You get used to things and a lot of people got used to Moore. But, then again, I was 7 when The Living Daylights came out, this was the first 007 movie I REMEMBER seeing in the theaters, and there is that special place in my heart for the cold blooded assassin style 007. And The Living Daylights is one of the last to have all the 007 tropes in it, the smoking, the harem, the stuff that defined 007 films before they started to move away from them in the 90s. This marks a return to the Dr. No, From Russia with Love, era of Bond, a move away from the silliness and... ... it has one of the best 007 cars, at least in my view. The Living Daylights still has the Aston Martin that I want... and, let's face it, he works with what is really the Taliban before the Taliban became the enemy of the west, when they were still fighting the Russians, and when the west was still taking their side in Afghanistan before the Soviets withdrew. So you kind of get a history lesson that really only people alive in the 80s remember.
drystyx wrote:
The last of the very good 007 films. The last of the fun 007 films for sure. Here, Bond is supposed to stop an assassination of a Russian VIP defecting to the West, but Bond senses something, and instead of killing the assassin (a shapely female violinist), he shoots the weapon from her hand. Something is amiss about the defector, and it's obvious to the viewer, though perhaps not obvious to someone who is in the story. We get lots of great scenery, lots of action, lots of wit, and some great horse play, such as riding a violin case like a sled to escape bad guys. It's perhaps the most "fun" of the Bond films, and that deserves mentioning. After this movie, "fun" was apparently a four letter word to the Generation Xenophobe minded producers.