James Bond (Timothy Dalton) is sent on assignment to extract Russian officer Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) who is defecting to the West. However no sooner do they have him when Koskov is abducted an all-out assault on the safe house MI6 have hidden him in. All fingers point towards the KGB and General Leonid Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies) but Bond suspicious of this follows the trail of Koskov’s girlfriend Kara (Maryam d’Abo) and unravels a complex weapons trading and drugs smuggling scheme. At the center of this scheme is global arms dealer Brad Whitaker (Joe Don Baker) who wishes to start another world war by supplying the Russians in Afghanistan. Bond teaming up with the Mujahideen who are Afghan freedom fighters, in order to uncover the plot which threatens to turn Soviets against British and avoid world war.
The film’s is adapted from Ian Fleming’s 1966 short story collection The Living Daylights, although key sequences from the novel are apparent, the movie does flesh out a lot more original plot. The Living Daylights marked 25 years of James Bond in the cinema, making it the most successful movie series of all time. The time however seemed right to redefine Bond. Timothy Dalton who was first approached to play Bond back in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service but turned it down feeling he was too young finally takes his tenure as Bond. The new Monypenny (Caroline Bliss) has an infatuated relationship with him rather than the steely flirtation, I didn’t like it, she really should be the woman who knows better but can’t help herself rather than falling for him like the other silly girls. Q branch as always have loads of gadgets in stall for Bond, Q (Desmond Llewelyn) and the banter between Bond falls more into the witty comradery that I love. Bond and Moneypenny both seeming to hang out more down at Q Branch. The car, oh the car its back to the elegance of the Aston Martin this time an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante which is packed full of all the gadgets that Q can fit in it. The Aston martin captures the spirit of the early James Bond films and I am glad that its back. The Living Daylights was the final Bond film to be scored by composer John Barry while the theme song “The Living Daylights” performed by A-ha and was written by guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy. I like the tune to this more than the lyrics, it’s got a very 80’s synthetic feel about it. The lyrics do play well with the movie
Why did I choose this movie? I have always enjoyed Timothy Daltons Bond, he brings darker edge to bond that is a firm nod to Ian Flemmings novels. He is harder around the edges much more serious and an all-out bad ass. Dalton brings a vigour to the action sequences and done many of his own stunts as well. You get a feeling of a conflicted nature with his duties as a 00 agent and the man that he is making Bond much more human and identifiable. His attitude to killing, his vulnerability, and a rage behind those eyes grips you to the screen. It has one of the best opening sequences in the bond series so far, and introduces Timothy Dalton as a bond who takes no shit. Its all-out action and gritty stunts with the humour kept to a low. Over all this Bond is a lot more serious, more grown up and one of the smartest bonds I have seen in a while, even if current world events make the plot seem laughable today….James Bond will return in Licence to Kill.