“The Living Daylights” marks the beginning of a new era for James Bond. Roger Moore retired from the role after the disastrous “A View To A Kill”. Initially, future James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan was set to take over but he could not get out of his “Remington Steele” contract. So Timothy Dalton was selected for the role.
As James Bond, Dalton brings a more serious tone. He is more of a man of action than any of the previous versions of Bond. He is less obsessed with sex and women.
The plot of “The Living Daylights” follows Bond as he organizes the defection of a Russian general. But before he can complete the operation the General is abducted. Bond gives chase across a few countries including Morocco, Afganistan, and Italy.
The director is John Glen, who ended up directing four James Bond films in total. He is an efficient director but you can see is preference for action.
The film is good but not great and I think that is because the villain this time is kind of weak. Joe Don Baker plays the arms dealer, Whittaker. He never seems to be truly evil. Compare him to someone like Goldfinger or Dr. No and he doesn’t even hold a candle.
I like Timothy Dalton in the role but I never loved him. I think he took it too seriously. He made all the humor kind of awkward. But he was cold and calculating which was a stark contrast to the likes of Roger Moore.