Writer: Richard Maibaum, Michael G Wilson (Screenplay)
Starring: Timothy Dalton, Maryam d’Abo, Jeroen Krabbe, Joe Don Baker, John Rhys Davies, Art Malik
Plot: James Bond is living on the edge to stop an evil arms dealer from starting another world war. Bond crosses all seven continents in order to stop the evil Whitaker and General Koskov.
Tagline – Licensed to thrill
Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: New Direction, Improvements Made
Story: Living Daylights starts when James Bond (Dalton) must help General Georgi Koskov (Krabbe) defect from the KGB which leads him to get him back to England, until a daring rescue attempt from the Russians embarrasses the English.
Koskov wants the English including Bond to eliminate Genera Leonid Pushkin (Rhys-Davies) who he claims in turning into a psychotic leader. Only for Bond to learn the truth and need to take on Koskov and his partner Brad Whitaker (Baker) an arms dealer.
Thoughts on Living Daylights
Characters – James Bond is back with a new look, this time he must use his connections to see how to trust, using his instinct against his orders, he travels through Russia before going on his latest mission against a general looking for his arms deal that could create a new world war. Kara Molovy is a celloist that is planted to be involved in the assassination of Koskov, she knows her part, which sees Bond track her around in search for her, she must learn just which side she wants to be on. General Georgi Koskov pretends to defect from the KGB, only for his plan to be to get Bond to start a new war against the Russians. Brad Whitaker is an American arms dealer that is trying to make a deal with Koskov to make them both even richer.
Performances – Timothy Dalton brings us his version of Bond, a new version, one that isn’t as cheesy as Moore, not as sexy as Connery, but one that feels like it is more what the idea would have been, he doesn’t do anything wrong and had a lot to live up to, which is what he does well. Maryam d’Abo is your typical Bond girl, she doesn’t bring anything new other than to play the damsel in distress. The villainous characters do feel more interesting, though they performers don’t seem to make a character that should be iconic, iconic.
Story – The story here takes Bond into his latest mission, this time involving the KGB as he must use his instincts to figure out who to trust instead of following the by the book orders he has been given. This does feel like one of the better stories in the Bond universe, only it isn’t the best told one, it does have different sides trying to get ahead of each other which does keep us guessing throughout the film. the story does have the serious tone which is better than the tongue and cheek ones we have recently be experiencing, which does make this feel like one the biggest missed opportunities in the Bond franchise.
Action/Adventure – The action does create big moments, we have seen other franchise use these ideas too including a plane sequence which we have seen in massive franchises in the future. The adventure side of the film takes James around the world on his latest mission.
Settings – The film takes us through Russia, Afghanistan and Austria for the locations which shows how global the ideas the villains are trying to create.
Final Thoughts –This is a film that didn’t get to use all the potential it should have, because it felt like the strongest story we have seen in years for the franchise.
Overall: Great Potential, not Execution.