The Living Daylights

release year: 1987
genre: James Bond
viewing setting: home Bluray 1/29/19 and 12/27/12 and home laserdisc 1/22/00

synopsis: Bond must help a Russian general defect, but there's more going on than meets the eye.

impressions: It was a good debut for Timothy Dalton, but his Bond was a radical change from the more comical Roger Moore. Notable: 004 killed on cliff in opening scene, high concentration of monkeys in car chase at beginning, mention of 008 in Hong Kong if Bond can't handle the mission, defecting Russian general Yorgi, Orga the hefty's seduction of pipeline supervisor, new younger Moneypenny, Q's new missile-ghetto-blaster ("something we're making for the Americans"), assassin with deadly Walkman wire, Joe Don Baker presence, dorky Felix Leiter, Afghan rebels & desert warfare, moronic Kara inspires Afghan rebels to go into battle, main bad guy with lethal war-game toys.

acting: As I said, Dalton made a more serious Bond. Maryam d'Abo wasn't the best Bond girl - incompetent, plus she ruined a good escape by having to go back for her stupid cello. On top of this, she was actually dumb enough to open the plane's cargo doors - in mid-air while Bond was fighting for his life! Let me go on: she also piloted the plane straight toward a mountain. Sigh. Seldom has there been such a foolish female lead. As if that wasn't bad enough, we also had to cope with Joe Don Baker, who was entertaining but also sometimes foolish.

chase scenes: 1 (car/jeep chase at beginning)

mass fight at end: none (close to end, Afghan rebels vs renegade Russians)

neat gadgets: new Aston Martin, whistle-triggered gas and bomb keychain

confirmed Bond kills: 3

confirmed Bond seductions: 2, almost 3

obnoxious female names: none

defining Bond moments: 

Saunders: "Your orders were to kill that sniper."
Bond: "Stuff my orders! I only kill professionals."

Kara: "You pick up police band!"
Bond: "It must be an atmospheric anomaly."

Gogol: "That's the first time I've ever been grateful that James Bond is a good shot."

Shah: (to Bond and Kara, after capture by Afghan rebels) "They won't kill you now."
Kara: "What about later?"
Bond: "Don't worry - they'll save you for the harem."

final word: Decent Bond debut for Timothy Dalton.

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