Armed with razor-sharp instincts and a licence to kill, James Bond battles diabolical arms merchants bent on world domination in this thrilling, lightning-paced adventure. Timothy Dalton brings energy, humour and ruthless cunning to his debut performance as Agent 007.
Timothy Dalton made his 007 debut in the lean, mean mode of Sean Connery, doing away with the pun-filled camp of Roger Moore's final outings. He establishes his persona right from the gritty pre-credits sequence, in which he hangs from a speeding truck as it barrels down narrow cobblestone streets, battles an assassin mano a mano, and lands in the arms of a bikinied babe. This James Bond is ruthless, tough, and romantic. The Living Daylights, set during the thaw of the cold war, begins with the defection of Russian KGB General Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) and his revelation of a Soviet plot to eliminate Britain's secret agent force. Assigned to eliminate Koskov's Soviet boss (John Rhys-Davies, cutting a memorable figure in his brief appearance), Bond uncovers a conspiracy involving Koskov and an American arms dealer (Joe Don Baker). Maryam d'Abo makes a fine Bond girl as Koskov's beautiful cellist girlfriend, a classy innocent who soon loses her naive blush and shows her pluck. The villains are lackluster--Krabbé is a clown and Baker a blowhard--and Dalton hadn't yet mastered the delivery of the trademark quips, but it's a sleek script with a no-nonsense attitude. Veteran series director John Glen's action scenes have never been better--especially the show-stopping mid-air battle on the net of a speeding cargo plane--and he returns the series to the smart, rough, high-energy adventures that made the Bond reputation. --Sean Axmaker