James Bond Reviews: #12: The Living Daylights


     After 12 long years of Roger Moore being Bond, it was time for a change. We got that in Timothy Dalton for this his first outing. Note that this actor is not the most beloved by some fans of the series, but sometimes you need to shake things up in order to keep it all fresh.
     Bond is ordered by MI6 to help a Soviet defector (Jeroen Krabbé) transition to the west easily, when he spots a beautiful assassin (Maryam d’Abo) about to take her shot. This spirals into a web of intrigue involving an American arms dealer (Joe Don Baker) and the start of another civil war for the Russians.
     The story has some twists and turns to the whole thing, which is fun. The biggest stand out is Dalton as 007. Remember how I mentioned that he’s not that well liked? Well… He portrayed Bond as he was in the books: A cold blooded assassin. The quips are horrifically scarce, but there’s something so refreshing in seeing a different take on the character, and Dalton will always have my respect for that.
     The story is a bit lacking though, and some things can be unmemorable (How many fans even remember that Felix Lieter is even in this movie?). The crazy thing for me is that when I watch it, I enjoy the hell out of it. One stand out moment is the ice sledding in a cello case, and the main final act action set piece on a cargo plane is about as exciting as it gets for a Bond film of this era. If it seems like I’m knocking this flick, far from it. Yeah, of course there are moments that don’t stand up to scrutiny, but the one thing it does have above all others is Timothy Dalton as James Bond 007.


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