612. The Living Daylights

612-the-living-daylightsBackground info

Title: The Living Daylights
Director: John Glen
Year: 1987
Run time: 2hrs 10m

“Armed with razor-sharp instincts and a license to kill, James Bond battles diabolical arms merchants bent on world domination in this thrilling, lightning-paced adventure. Timothy Dalton brings energy, humour and ruthless cunning to his debut performance as Agent 007.”

Live blog

1:24 – Already you can tell this Bond is more sprightly.
6:56 – Why did he have two parachutes to land on Gibraltar?
9:49 – The “Guess the Artist” game is actually getting more exciting than the films!
18:33 – “Our engineers have spent months working on this.” That’s Q, that is.
21:56 – Lots of plane goodness in this.
24:08 – “Any time you want to drop by and listen to my Barry Manilow collection…” Worst chat up line ever.
27:02 – Baddy arriving in a milk cart is the least threatening thing I’ve seen in a long time.
44:01 – I like stroppy Bond. Slamming car seats and stuff. “Why didn’t you learn the violin?”
47:12 – Wowsers, never seen Bond versus tank before.
50:56 – Love the cello wrangling. Wonder how many times they had to film that throw and catch.
1:03:27 – Bond lesson #23: Always be wary of the balloon seller.
1:06:39 – Nooooo, not the friend. Always the friend.
1:06:52 – Also, balloon rage is not so scary.
1:15:27 – “It’s the first time I’ve ever been grateful James Bond is a good shot.”
1:21:48 – You can’t open a transplant box on the airfield and expect it to be sterile.
1:34:37 – This guy basically has his own laugh track following him around.
1:49:59 – Windscreen wipers as a weapon!
1:53:38 – This Bond girl veers from being brilliant to being the absolute worst.
1:57:09 – He said fly level and straight, he didn’t say anything about steering clear of mountains.
2:06:05 – I’m sure Stradivarious would have something to say about a bullet hole in his cello.

Conclusions

I was concerned about watching the two Dalton films, mostly because I didn’t know anything about his or Lazenby’s efforts, and the latter wasn’t exactly an outstanding Bond contender. Thankfully, Timothy was a heck of a lot better. He was just as good at hiding his accent as Sean Connery, but made up for it with a stern intensity that Roger Moore had been completely missing.

He seemed slightly less creepy when it came to interacting with females, although it’s still Bond so you have to expect a degree of womanising. I couldn’t decide whether I liked this Bond girl or not, she was quite fun and brave in places, but equally clingy and annoying in others. Hard to tell.

I thought the plot was much more grounded than some of the others. Rather than a diabolical story about setting up a new race of humans on an off-earth settlement, we’re talking about defecting spies, arms dealers and drugs rackets. It was great fun to see the Gogol cameo at the end, too.

Overall, I think it wasn’t a particularly memorable Bond outing, but thankfully there was nothing really wrong with it either – which is a lot to ask from a brand new actor playing such an iconic character.

Rating: 3/5.

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