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612. The Living Daylights

Published September 18, 2015

Background 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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