1987 Movie Review: THE LIVING DAYLIGHT, 1987

Movie Reviews

Directed by John Glen
Starring Timothy Dalton, Maryam d’Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, Jeroen Krabbe and Robert Brown.
Review by Jesse Ryder Hughes


New Bond Dalton jumps in full force investigating why spy’s are getting killed. He goes on a mission to help Russian defector Koskov (Krabbe) escape getting killed by a sniper. Bond succeeds and then Koskov is kidnapped by Necros outside London. As the story unfolds Bond finds Koskov isn’t what he seems and Bond finds himself traveling from Vienna to Afghanistan getting himself into all sorts of death defying trouble.


I love Dalton. He is either loved or hated as Bond I find. He is the angry, dark but honest Bond with hints of happiness. He has a no bullshit attitude and doesn’t deal with stupidity all that well. He is hard edged and dangerous. A highly underrated portrayal of Bond. I give Dalton my props for stepping up to the challenge and risking to play Bond in his own way.

The movie itself is exciting and full of twists and has a sense of not knowing who to trust. The story is much improved from the last two installments. This feels like the Bond that realizes the decade of the 80’s the most, with its new techno Bond score and music by a-ha. The themes are well done with a Russian, Koskov, and an American, Whitaker, an arms dealer and war enthusiast, teaming up and exploiting there own countries for their own selfish gains. They take advantage of the war in Afghanistan. with Russian involvement. which was a big ordeal at the time.

All in all The Living Daylights was a great reboot with a classic car chase scene in the snows of Bratislava and a great final battle between Bond and Necros way up in the sky on an army cargo plane. It keeps the classic elements of Bond, but adds an edge to the series never before felt since early Connery. It shows a dark side to the Bond franchise, which is very exciting and often uncomfortable and takes pride in it. Dalton doesn’t use seduction like Moore did to get information, he blatantly kicks ass and forces the information out of his victims. I think this is partly why Dalton isn’t liked as much, because he doesn’t emanate the charm and charisma that Connery and Moore naturally had, but if you think about it Bond doesn’t have time to be charming. Dalton plays Bond as an unlikeable guy, but he throws in hints of joy, which is good. He is criticized that he added no humor to his role, but he actually does, he just has a darker approach to it than the other guys did.

A great Bond film to start off Dalton, it’s too bad he only got to do two films to grow with the character, but they are both good Bond films. Great bad guys, a good Bond girl, an Aston Martin and a lot of hair raising stunts with an interesting plot that aids to the villains and social issues present with the film.


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