“Just what the hell are you trying to do, 007? Start World War III?”

The Living Daylights (1987)

THE VITALS

Director: John Glen
James Bond: Timothy Dalton
Notable villain(s): General Georgi Koskov
Notable Bond girl(s): Kara Milovy

It’s all change in The Living Daylights with Timothy Dalton taking over from Roger Moore as 007 and Caroline Bliss taking over from Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny. John Glen is back to steer the ship, his fourth of fifth consecutive Bond films.

The Living Daylights sees 007 act as a counter-sniper to protect a Soviet defector, Georgi Koskov. Koskov reveals that the head of the KGB, General Pushkin, is hunting down and killing British and American agents. When Koskov is seemingly snatched back, Bond follows him across the world to find out what’s really going on.

So, does Dalton fill the big man’s shoes? In a word, yes, which I know Ruth over at FlixChatter is going to love me for saying! In my opinion, it was time for Moore to step down from the role. From the moment Dalton appeared on screen I was enjoying his performance. He’s a very different Bond to Moore, who was in turn was different to Connery. Moore excelled in (cheesy) one liners while Dalton is more comfortable with high-octane stunts.

★★★½

Licence to Kill (1989)

THE VITALS
Director: John Glen
James Bond: Timothy Dalton
Notable villain(s): Franz Sanchez
Notable Bond girl(s): Pam Bouvier

Super-violence and swearing, these are the two things that struck me about Licence to Kill.

Dalton’s second and final Bond flick seems to have an abundance of gory death scenes and swear words, which both my boyfriend and I picked up on. The action takes us to more exotic locations, including The Bahamas, which is where 007 first meets the dangerous drugs lord Franz Sanchez.

The storyline is easy to follow, but far from boring, and the baddies are particularly effective, especially Benicio del Toro in his second big screen appearance as the blood-thirsty Dario. The chase scenes seem to have stepped up a notch too, with Bond indulging in a particularly exciting oil tanker chase.

★★★★

Current order of preference: Goldfinger, Thunderball, The Man with the Golden Gun, You Only Live Twice, Licence to KillDr. No, The Living Daylights, A View to a KillOctopussy, The Spy Who Loved Me, Live and Let Die, Diamonds Are Forever, From Russia With Love, For Your Eyes Only, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and, in last place, Moonraker.

You can read all my mini reviews and posts in my Bondathon series here.

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11 thoughts on ““Just what the hell are you trying to do, 007? Start World War III?””

  1. I’m very much a fan of Dalton’s second, and sadly last, stint as OO7. ‘Licence to Kill’ was an early-envelope-pusher that was ahead of its time (as later ‘Casino Royale’ would arrive and prove). I liked, not loved, ‘The Living Daylights’ — it was just too safe, IMO. But, LtK was a game-changer. Alas, many didn’t welcome it. And that’s really too bad. Fine look at these, Claire.

  2. I’m glad to see that License to Kill is pretty far up the list. I’m a big fan of that film and also enjoy the Living Daylights, though it’s sort of a bridge between Moore’s style and Dalton’s hard-edged approach in his second movie. It’s too bad things went the other way with Brosnan, though I’m glad it’s changed once again!

    1. Yep, I agree with you, Dan. Dalton definitely does have a more hard-edged approach to Bond than the earlier actors. I’ve now seen all four Brosnan flicks, and I agree that Brosnan made Bond softer again. The action is there in buckets, but I don’t think he is as hard or to-the-point as Dalton was.

  3. Wahoo!! Yes I LOVE you for saying Dalton is a great Bond, dahling 😀

    Glad to see you giving a double review of his two films… of course if he had done three you might include ’em in your trilogy posts 😦

  4. I’ve come to enjoy the Dalton Bond films more and more. As a Roger Moore fan I found the transition to the dryer, less charismatic Dalton a bit hard to stomach when I was younger but there’s a lot to enjoy and he handles the action far better than Moore.

    1. I think LtK has the all the right elements for a Bond film: there’s plenty of action, feisty females and a horrible villain that has a devious plan that – for once – doesn’t involve any bombs or nuclear threats that would wipe out a country!

      I really enjoyed the earlier Moore films but, as I said to Ruth, I found that Moore got rather stale. Dalton brought the franchise up to date, I feel.

  5. I have always championed Dalton’s two Bond films, and still maintain that his portrayal is the closest to the character Ian Fleming created. I actually think more people are beginning to appreciate them as they look back at how silly the later Moore and Bosnan movies got. I have just finished an article about his tenure as Bond.

    1. It is such a shame that Dalton only did the two films as he did bring something else to the role. It’s interesting that you say that his portrayal is the closest to the character Fleming character. I haven’t read any of the books – perhaps they can be the next franchise I read! (I’ve asked for a Kindle for Christmas 😉 )

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