REVIEW: The Living Daylights (1987)

living_daylights_ver2James Bond (Timothy Dalton) must stop an arms dealer from starting another world war. But that it isn’t easy when he’s unsure to trust KGB defector General Koskov (Jeroen Krabbe) and the cellist Kara Milovy (Maryam d’Abo).

The Living Daylights is Timothy Dalton’s first outing as James Bond and he fills the shoes of the previous actors wonderfully. He’s great in the action sequences and he’s more of a serious Bond compared to Roger Moore’s which is a welcome change for me. His relationship with Kara is pretty sweet and it doesn’t feel like a forced romance that often happens in a Bond film.

The Living Daylights is a very international Bond film. It starts with a brilliant opening sequence in Gibraltar, and then stuff happens in Russia, in Austria, in Afghanistan and in the UK. This allows for there to be new, exciting and different chase and action sequences and you get to meet a lot of cool characters.

M (Robert Brown) and Q (Desmond Llewelyn) are still the same guys we’re used too and they both work well with Timothy Dalton but The Living Daylights does bring a new Moneypenny with Caroline Bliss stepping into Lois Maxwell’s shoes. She seems nice enough but I did miss Maxwell’s charm and chemistry with Bond as she’d been in the films since Dr. No (1962).

I loved all the characters in The Living Daylights. Kara is a wonderful Bond Girl who is quite naïve to begin with but really comes into her own and is brave and gets involved with the fights too. Afghani rebel leader Kamran Shah (Art Malik) arrives in the final third in the film and he was great – and I think The Living Daylights was the first Bond film where Bond’s person of colour ally isn’t killed off. There’s a lot of double-crossing antics to begin with in The Living Daylights with numerous possible bad guys – my favourite of which was General Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies).

The Living Daylights is action-packed, fun and tense and the cast and characters are all great – definitely a different film to the previous Roger Moore-Bond films but that makes it feel fresh and interesting. 5/5.

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