Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
The best Bond film, and of course a well-packed Bluray. Essential purchase!
on 4 November 2016
Clearly the best Bond film of all time! Dalton was ahead of his time and its a great shame that The Living Daylights is often overlooked.
- Bond actually thinks, and the audience is left to figure out the complexities of motives and ideas. I can't think of another Bond film where the intelligence of the audience is respected. For example - when Bond first meets Kara, and Kara explains that Koscov had her help cover his defection as a pretend assassin. In that moment, Bond realises two things - that Koscov had wanted her to die at Bond's sharp shooting, and also that Kara has no idea that he has far less affection for her than she does for him. None of this is explained - but if you've been paying attention, and are thinking, then you can realise these two things at the same time as Bond does - and Dalton acts it brilliantly. I also love how Bond thinks at the country house meeting, being suspicious of Koscovs motives, and at later points in the film where he's trying to suss out what's going on.
- This is a rare Bond film where its actually Bond who is figuring out the mystery and motives rather than being told to investigate someone or some plot. Some criticise the story for not having high enough stakes, but for me its a relief to trade a "take over the world" plot for a thinking man's mystery spy thriller.
- The relationship with the girl is complex. Its very ambiguous in places whether Bond actually likes her, or is just pretending to to get the answers he needs and to keep her close for information. Her irritation is purposeful - she genuinely winds him up - and watching this tension play against him also finding her attractive is fun. Even after they kiss for the first time (the fairground scene - where his intentions are still ambiguous) he still shows contempt and impatience.
- The music - brilliant score, my favourite for any Bond film. The three themes (the a-Ha and two Pretenders songs) weaving into the soundtrack score is great. Its so much better than the already horribly dated, cold Eric Serra score that followed later in Goldeneye. John Barry did a fantastic job, and cameos at the end as the conductor.
- Necros - awesome villain, and contributes to one of the best action scenes in a Bond film with his one-man take down of the country house to rescue Koscov. Any other scene like this in an earlier Bond was laden with fake wooden planks, sugar glass, hammy henchman acting - but here it plays gritty and real. He burns a mans face before whacking him out cold with a frying pan - years before the brutality of Bourne films or Craig's Bond. Interestingly, the actor (who also played the "they have rules for policemen" terrorist in Die Hard, and the guy on the bench holding the match in Mission Impossible), is now a yoga instructor.
- Genuine spy stuff: Other Bond films seem to rely on naff action or CGI/gimmicky stuff to please the audience. Here we get rare scenes that play like a good spy thriller. The defection - the moody late night hotel scene with the night-vision and sniper rifle. The conversations in the car driving to the defection point. Getting Kara out of her apartment in view of the guys watching. The scene in Pushkins apartment, and then his staged assassination. The fairground scene, getting information from Saunders, and Bond's subsequent anger at his death. If it weren't for the Moore-esque one-liners and shoe-horned action scenes (the car stuff), the film would play like a genuine spy thriller and would have probably been much better received and remembered.
- The best action scene for any Bond film! The moment the opium bags fall out of the plane, I feel a genuine lurch of panic every time I see it. Such an awesome set-piece.
The bluray is of course excellent, with loads of extras, commentaries, trailers etc. The making of film is actually a good one, with decent anecdotes and stories of filming it - not just talking heads gushing about it in a PR way like you normally get these days.
"Whoever she was, it must have scared the living daylights out of her".