film, James Bond

Movie Review: The Living Daylights

The start of only two films with Timothy Dalton as our favorite secret agent, and well I can understand why this film and he is not the most memorable of the Bond franchise. As always spoilers ahead. I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE.

Bond is assigned and is successful is the defection of General Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbe), a KGB general at a concert, not without noticing the apparent assassin is one of female cellists and she did not appear to know what she was doing. During a debriefing Koskov reminds Bond that General Leonid Pushkin (John Rhys-Davis), now in charge of the KGB has revived Smiert Spionam (Death to Spies, which was not the first time Bond has noticed in the film). Koskov is then captured and assumed taken back to Russia. Bond tracks down the assassin, Kara Milovy (Maryam d’Abo), Koskov’s girlfriend and confirms what he suspected: the defection was staged. Confronting Pushkin, Bond discovers Koskov is evading arrest for embezzling government funds, has lied about how evil Pushkin is, and is working with an arms dealer Brad Whitaker (Joe Don Baker who we will see again in a couple of Bond films) whom I would describe as a guy who thinks he’s a war hero but is not even close. Bond eventually convinces Kara how awful Koskov is. Koskov, along with his henchman Necros (Andreas Wisniewski) takes them to Afghanistan to be imprisoned, but they escape along with the leader of a local Mujahideen Kamran Shah (Art Malik) where they discover Koskov’s true plans: using the Soviet funds to buy opium and not only keep the money but supply enough weapons for both the Soviets and Whitaker’s business. Bond, Kara, Shah’s men, and a small assistance from Felix Leiter (John Terry) make sure that plan never comes to fruition.

Timothy Dalton as Bond is probably the second worst, or fourth best depending on how you look at it. I think he did an OK job in this film, personally I liked him in the next film but that’s another day. While the film itself is not too memorable I did not think it was too bad. It does have some great action sequences, I personally liked the chemistry between Bond and Kara, my thoughts on her will be later, and the villains are not too bad. I gotta be honest it is hard to decide who is the true villain in this film. It seems like it is Koskov, but I’ve heard some say it is Whitaker, either way not the most memorable. This was also the debut of Caroline Bliss as Moneypenny, and sadly she is not the best, why she is hanging around Q branch I don’t know and her sighing after Bond doesn’t help. If there was one actor I like in this film it was Davis, then again I really like that actor so it helps. While it is not a bad Bond film, I would not put this too high on a recommendation list.