The Living Daylights Appreciation

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  • Posts: 1,825
    JamesCraig wrote: »
    I used to prefer TLD over LTK, but over the years I came to see the latter as one of the best Bondfilms. Me being a big fan of Craig's interpretation had something to do with this. It's still an enjoyable ride, but Dalton really nailed Bond in LTK.

    And Sanchez is one of my favorite villains, in any film.

    The two Daltons do have some things you could exchange to improve the others, Sanchez in particular being a great villain whereas Whitaker and Koskov are among the worst, for example. I still prefer TLD as an experience and all-around more balanced Bond film.
  • JamesCraigJamesCraig Ancient Rome
    Posts: 3,497
    BT3366 wrote: »
    JamesCraig wrote: »
    I used to prefer TLD over LTK, but over the years I came to see the latter as one of the best Bondfilms. Me being a big fan of Craig's interpretation had something to do with this. It's still an enjoyable ride, but Dalton really nailed Bond in LTK.

    And Sanchez is one of my favorite villains, in any film.

    The two Daltons do have some things you could exchange to improve the others, Sanchez in particular being a great villain whereas Whitaker and Koskov are among the worst, for example. I still prefer TLD as an experience and all-around more balanced Bond film.

    I feel that they wasted the talents of Krabbé in the part, but Whitaker is, imho, one of the worst villains in the entire series.
  • Posts: 1,825
    JamesCraig wrote: »
    BT3366 wrote: »
    JamesCraig wrote: »
    I used to prefer TLD over LTK, but over the years I came to see the latter as one of the best Bondfilms. Me being a big fan of Craig's interpretation had something to do with this. It's still an enjoyable ride, but Dalton really nailed Bond in LTK.

    And Sanchez is one of my favorite villains, in any film.

    The two Daltons do have some things you could exchange to improve the others, Sanchez in particular being a great villain whereas Whitaker and Koskov are among the worst, for example. I still prefer TLD as an experience and all-around more balanced Bond film.

    I feel that they wasted the talents of Krabbé in the part, but Whitaker is, imho, one of the worst villains in the entire series.

    Prior to TLD, Krabbe, who I'd never heard of, played an evil villain in a Richard Gere detective movie that wasn't a hit, but I took notice of him and was disappointed with his TLD depiction, although some fans appreciate the difference from the Orlov, Gogol or Orumov portrayals of Russian generals.

    I don't know that any actor could've done justice to Whitaker. An arms dealer has potential, but he's like Stromberg and just sticks to his home base and just doesn't do anything memorable. I like the final shootout and the concept of the war museum but Whitaker is treated more like unfinished business rather than the grand finale of the villain you want to see Bond take down who has made his life hell for the entire film. Anti-climactic is how I'd put it.

    Compare that to the Bond-Sanchez confrontation with "Don't you want to know why?" That's one of the best Bond-villain finales.
  • AceHoleAceHole Belgium, via Britain
    Posts: 1,726
    BT3366 wrote: »
    JamesCraig wrote: »
    BT3366 wrote: »
    JamesCraig wrote: »
    I used to prefer TLD over LTK, but over the years I came to see the latter as one of the best Bondfilms. Me being a big fan of Craig's interpretation had something to do with this. It's still an enjoyable ride, but Dalton really nailed Bond in LTK.

    And Sanchez is one of my favorite villains, in any film.

    The two Daltons do have some things you could exchange to improve the others, Sanchez in particular being a great villain whereas Whitaker and Koskov are among the worst, for example. I still prefer TLD as an experience and all-around more balanced Bond film.

    I feel that they wasted the talents of Krabbé in the part, but Whitaker is, imho, one of the worst villains in the entire series.

    Prior to TLD, Krabbe, who I'd never heard of, played an evil villain in a Richard Gere detective movie that wasn't a hit, but I took notice of him and was disappointed with his TLD depiction, although some fans appreciate the difference from the Orlov, Gogol or Orumov portrayals of Russian generals.

    I don't know that any actor could've done justice to Whitaker. An arms dealer has potential, but he's like Stromberg and just sticks to his home base and just doesn't do anything memorable. I like the final shootout and the concept of the war museum but Whitaker is treated more like unfinished business rather than the grand finale of the villain you want to see Bond take down who has made his life hell for the entire film. Anti-climactic is how I'd put it.

    Compare that to the Bond-Sanchez confrontation with "Don't you want to know why?" That's one of the best Bond-villain finales.

    But that sequence was a coda, a cherry on top. The C-130 fight with Necros,the true nemesis of TLD, was the climax. And the excellent jeep/escape stunt.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Moderator
    Posts: 12,961
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Fans point to TLD as not having dated too well regarding the favorable portrayal of Afghan resistance fighters, but RAMBO III is a whole ‘nother level, especially in light of what’s happening.


    Saw Rambo III the summer it was released and immediately saw the many similarities to TLD, but it really is just Rambo 2 transferring from the jungle to the desert with the Russian general, personal reason to go and all that.

    The one thing I recall from that viewing was joking how the resistance fighters all spoke perfect English and my buddy in all seriousness wanted to argue that since English "is an international language" that it was understandable. The film was a box office disappointment and the Rambo phenomenon came to an abrupt end for years. Haven't watched 5, but 4 was one of the worst films I've ever had the misfortune to witness.

    Anybody recall after 9/11 that TLD DVDs and VHS were scarce? Can anybody confirm or deny this?

    Wasn't TLD only available in the DVD set at first? It didn't get an individual release until later on. I don't remember there being any trouble in getting it on VHS.

    Compared to the DVD, you had a better chance of finding rocking horse shit.
  • Junglist_1985Junglist_1985 Los Angeles
    Posts: 797
    Agreed - the climax “fight” is with Necros on the plane, and it is fantastic. Whitaker is just bonus “unfinished business”.
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    Posts: 1,693
    I love Dalton's intensity when he takes hold of the rifle during the sniper sequence. That is pure James Bond.
    I love The Living Daylights short story and they nailed that tone and captured the feeling perfectly
  • AceHoleAceHole Belgium, via Britain
    Posts: 1,726
    Jordo007 wrote: »
    I love Dalton's intensity when he takes hold of the rifle during the sniper sequence. That is pure James Bond.
    I love The Living Daylights short story and they nailed that tone and captured the feeling perfectly

    +1
    Perhaps my favorite Flemingesque moment from the entire series...
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,283
    AceHole wrote: »
    Jordo007 wrote: »
    I love Dalton's intensity when he takes hold of the rifle during the sniper sequence. That is pure James Bond.
    I love The Living Daylights short story and they nailed that tone and captured the feeling perfectly

    +1
    Perhaps my favorite Flemingesque moment from the entire series...

    +2
    Pure perfection.
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited November 2021 Posts: 493
    This is one of those unfortunate Bond movies that starts off great but collapses under its own weight. The third act in Afghanistan is a slog. What starts off as a Cold War spy thriller suddenly turns into a typical overblown 80s action movie with battles featuring Afghan rebels and Soviet tanks. The only decent thing was the fight with Necros on the cargo plane, but it wasn't enough to justify the rest of the Afghanistan sequences, which grind the movie to a halt.

    Just like how Spectre should have ended at the crater base, TLD should have ended in Tangiers with Bond mopping things up with Whitaker and Koskov. All the stuff about diamonds and dope could have been explained in a few lines of dialogue. We didn't need to go to Afghanistan and put Bond into the middle of it. The third act may have worked with Moore or Brosnan but Dalton can't really pull off the gun-happy action hero. LTK's finale, where Bond destroys Sanchez's entire drug operation while being unarmed was a far better way to make Dalton's Bond look badass.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    edited November 2021 Posts: 7,423
    I have to say I wholeheartedly disagree with you on that @slide_99. I love the Afghan scenes and Dalton does a top notch job. This is a truly wonderful sequence, I feel, and the subsequent minutes following it are just prime Bond:
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    Posts: 493
    I have to say I wholeheartedly disagree with you on that @slide_99. I love the Afghan scenes and Dalton does a top notch job. This is a truly wonderful sequence, I feel, and the subsequent minutes following it are just prime Bond:

    Barry's music is evocative as always, but the third act piles in so much new stuff that it feels like a different movie altogether. After Bond and Kara get drugged we're suddenly introduced to diamonds, opium, Kamran, and the Mujahideen, and in a totally new setting. A basic rule of screenwriting is to not introduce major elements in the third act, which is there to tie up the first two acts. Maybe if the movie had somehow introduced some of these elements earlier on (Pushkin's gun and all that) it might have worked, but I always lost interest in TLD once Bond and Kara are on Koskov's plane.
  • Posts: 1,825
    slide_99 wrote: »
    I have to say I wholeheartedly disagree with you on that @slide_99. I love the Afghan scenes and Dalton does a top notch job. This is a truly wonderful sequence, I feel, and the subsequent minutes following it are just prime Bond:

    Barry's music is evocative as always, but the third act piles in so much new stuff that it feels like a different movie altogether. After Bond and Kara get drugged we're suddenly introduced to diamonds, opium, Kamran, and the Mujahideen, and in a totally new setting. A basic rule of screenwriting is to not introduce major elements in the third act, which is there to tie up the first two acts. Maybe if the movie had somehow introduced some of these elements earlier on (Pushkin's gun and all that) it might have worked, but I always lost interest in TLD once Bond and Kara are on Koskov's plane.

    It's an interesting take and you state your points well, but I have to side with CraigMooreOHMSS. It's a mystery that has deepened and I like that Bond enters into a whole new part of the adventure. I can't imagine how flat the film would've been if it had gone with what you suggested previously and ended up dealing with Whitaker and Koskov at his compound.

    Besides, TLD is hardly the first Bond film to have introduced something completely different in its final act. Nobody knows what the mysterious Dr. No is up to until Bond heads to Crab Key. Bond is trying to merely follow Goldfinger's smuggling activities and it's revealed his actual target is to detonate a bomb in Fort Knox. Bond is trying to find out what happened to the Moonraker shuttle and ends up in outer space. And so on.
    slide_99 wrote: »
    The third act may have worked with Moore or Brosnan but Dalton can't really pull off the gun-happy action hero. LTK's finale, where Bond destroys Sanchez's entire drug operation while being unarmed was a far better way to make Dalton's Bond look badass.

    I also have to take exception here. Dalton's Bond is hardly the gun-happy action hero here. He grabs a machine gun and fires it to distract the troops when he's found out so he can stay alive and plot his next move and looks damn cool in the process if I do say so, far more convincing than Moore or Brosnan ever did in that way. But that's as far as it goes. He's not blowing away minions left and right. He's more intent on how he's going to either escape or destroy that plane and that's where it's a good scene, especially considering all the dangers he faces, some at the same time, when its airborne. Lots of action and suspense combined here.

    At the same time, I also love taking down Sanchez's operation on his own. I just don't see one detracting from the other. Both are great representations of Bond at his best.
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited November 2021 Posts: 493
    @BT3366
    I don't necessarily mean dealing with them in the compound, but I think the filmmakers should have had the third act stay in or around Tangiers. Or maybe the finale could have happened on Koskov's plane, where we could've had a similar scene to TLD's actual finale, then Bond goes back to take out Whitaker. I think the Mujahideen stuff is unnecessary and distracts from the main plot. My feelings on this have nothing to do with 9/11, either, because I felt the same way about it back when I first saw TLD in the 90s.
    Besides, TLD is hardly the first Bond film to have introduced something completely different in its final act. Nobody knows what the mysterious Dr. No is up to until Bond heads to Crab Key. Bond is trying to merely follow Goldfinger's smuggling activities and it's revealed his actual target is to detonate a bomb in Fort Knox. Bond is trying to find out what happened to the Moonraker shuttle and ends up in outer space. And so on.

    Yeah but all that stuff is built up to, with all the major elements being introduced throughout the course of the plots. TLD's diamonds, opium, and Mujahideen are all dumped on us in Act 3 and it feels incongruent with everything that came before. Maybe if some of that had been introduced earlier, like if Bond came across the diamonds somehow or if Kamran Shah had some sort of mysterious presence in the plot, it might have worked better.

    I don't dislike TLD by any means, the first 2/3 are about as good as it gets when it comes to Bond, and Dalton is my personal favorite actor in the role, but ultimately it ends up as one of my "okay" Bonds along with FYEO, TWINE, and TB.
  • JamesCraigJamesCraig Ancient Rome
    Posts: 3,497
    slide_99 wrote: »
    This is one of those unfortunate Bond movies that starts off great but collapses under its own weight. The third act in Afghanistan is a slog. What starts off as a Cold War spy thriller suddenly turns into a typical overblown 80s action movie with battles featuring Afghan rebels and Soviet tanks. The only decent thing was the fight with Necros on the cargo plane, but it wasn't enough to justify the rest of the Afghanistan sequences, which grind the movie to a halt.

    Just like how Spectre should have ended at the crater base, TLD should have ended in Tangiers with Bond mopping things up with Whitaker and Koskov. All the stuff about diamonds and dope could have been explained in a few lines of dialogue. We didn't need to go to Afghanistan and put Bond into the middle of it. The third act may have worked with Moore or Brosnan but Dalton can't really pull off the gun-happy action hero. LTK's finale, where Bond destroys Sanchez's entire drug operation while being unarmed was a far better way to make Dalton's Bond look badass.

    Collapsing is far from the right word. It's just nog as "engaging" as LTK.
  • AceHoleAceHole Belgium, via Britain
    Posts: 1,726
    JamesCraig wrote: »
    slide_99 wrote: »
    This is one of those unfortunate Bond movies that starts off great but collapses under its own weight. The third act in Afghanistan is a slog. What starts off as a Cold War spy thriller suddenly turns into a typical overblown 80s action movie with battles featuring Afghan rebels and Soviet tanks. The only decent thing was the fight with Necros on the cargo plane, but it wasn't enough to justify the rest of the Afghanistan sequences, which grind the movie to a halt.

    Just like how Spectre should have ended at the crater base, TLD should have ended in Tangiers with Bond mopping things up with Whitaker and Koskov. All the stuff about diamonds and dope could have been explained in a few lines of dialogue. We didn't need to go to Afghanistan and put Bond into the middle of it. The third act may have worked with Moore or Brosnan but Dalton can't really pull off the gun-happy action hero. LTK's finale, where Bond destroys Sanchez's entire drug operation while being unarmed was a far better way to make Dalton's Bond look badass.

    Collapsing is far from the right word. It's just nog as "engaging" as LTK.


    But more diverse (locations, sequences, protagonists), more good use of Fleming material, more adventurous, less 'American', more atmospheric and with a far better score.

    I like LTK, but it's still an average Bond film to me, with some very strong sequences and villains.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,283
    We were lucky to get two such incredibly different Bonds with Dalton. Each movie is its own animal... a lion & a wolverine, as it were. ;)
  • edited December 2021 Posts: 5
    Does anyone know what the “official” poster for this film was? Was it the one with the white dress or the one with the different characters, Aston Martin, plane, etc on it?
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,917
    Does anyone know what the “official” poster for this film was? Was it the one with the white dress or the one with the different characters, Aston Martin, plane, etc on it?

    Both but for different markets, I believe - the gunbarrel movie scenes was the UK poster and the white dress was for the US. The French poster I have also uses the dress artwork.
  • Agent_99 wrote: »
    Does anyone know what the “official” poster for this film was? Was it the one with the white dress or the one with the different characters, Aston Martin, plane, etc on it?

    Both but for different markets, I believe - the gunbarrel movie scenes was the UK poster and the white dress was for the US. The French poster I have also uses the dress artwork.
    Ah that makes sense. I figured it was something like that, except I had it wrong and assumed it was the white dress for the UK and the movie scenes for the US.
  • Posts: 1,825
    Personally, I love the teaser poster with the simple tagline "The Most Dangerous Bond -- Ever." That got me so excited to see that film back at the time along with the few glimpses I had of Dalton in action.
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