Albert R. Broccoli Presents Timothy Dalton as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007.
"Dalton brought to the part a strong dramatic presence, a heightened sensitivity...and a decided seriousness. John J. Puccio, DVD Town
|Bond returns in a twisting adventure involving the kgb and of course, a beautiful spy who may be a deadly assassin.|
"Dalton makes an impressive debut as James Bond in this entertaining, globe-trotting spy story...brimming with great stunts and gimmicks... Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide
"Sadly underrated Bond entry with an absolutely classic theme tune by A-ha. Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
"A snazzy spy thriller. Rita Kempley, The Washington Post
"A pure back-to-basics action-adventure spy drama which mostly delivers. Tom Coates, BBC Online
In this installment of the James Bond series, Agent 007 (Timothy Dalton) is assigned to protect a Russian defector (Maryam d'Abo) from the KGB. When the defection proves to be an elaborate ploy, Bond woos her anyway, and together they follow a trail to a crooked American arms dealer supplying weapons to Afghanistan. Dalton finally assumes the role of Bond after refusing it 16 years earlier with DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. The film is loosely based on Ian Fleming's short story, with Dalton's heavier Bond closer in spirit to that of Fleming's original creation.
Cast & Crew
In British actor Timothy Dalton's first outing as James Bond, the intrepid spy once again travels to countless scenic spots, becomes involved with a beautiful woman, and smoothly dispenses with a "supposed" Soviet KGB defector, arms dealers, and Afghan rebels. Visual highlights: a car chase through snowy mountains (featuring Bond's usual, hardy Aston Martin) and a thrilling, dangerous airplane ride.
New York Times
"...[Dalton] has enough presence, the right debonair looks and the kind of energy that the Bond series has lately been lacking....This cast is a good one..."
"...Timothy Dalton's a class act....The Fourth Bond registers beautifully on all key counts of charm, machismo, sensitivity and technique..."
ReelViews 6 of 10
I'll be among the first to admit that Timothy Dalton is a fine actor. But giving a solid performance has little to do with being a good James Bond, and, as accomplished as Dalton is, he's a failure as 007 in The Living Daylights (to give him credit, he does improve in Licence to Kill). This is a below-average-to-adequate story with a weak villain, terrible acting, and a workmanlike score from John Barry (in his last stint to date as Bond's composer). There are three energetic action sequences, but they're not enough to save this film from bottoming out as the worst entry in the series, beating out Octopussy and Live and Let Die by a hair's breadth...Dalton plays Bond too straight -- stylish, cold, and without a trace of humor. The argument for this kind of performance is that it more closely resembles the 007 of the novels, but, after fourteen films, the cinematic Bond has evolved far from what his creator envisioned. This fourth "official" incarnation is lacking in the one critical ingredient that made Bond so popular with fans across the world: a personality...It's perhaps too easy to blame this movie's failure on Dalton, but he's part of the problem. The script writers got themselves straightened out for the next film, Licence to Kill, but for Dalton, it was too little too late. It would require a six year layoff and another actor change before 007 would regain the form that caused him to soar to worldwide popularity during the '60s and '70s. The series survived The Living Daylights, but just barely.
- James Berardinelli
Reel.com 7 of 10
At a press conference announcing him as the new James Bond, Shakespearean actor Timothy Dalton looked painfully shy -- a look that carried over into his portrayal of Agent 007 in The Living Daylights. Dalton, a fan of the early Sean Connery Bond flicks, had researched the part by rereading all of the Ian Fleming novels. What he discovered was that the Bond in the books was far less suave and flippantly deadly than he was deadly serious and occasionally vulnerable. That was compatible with the new direction producer Cubby Broccoli wanted to take Bond films...If Timothy Dalton felt any insecurity at all following in the footsteps of Connery and Roger Moore, he had to feel even more insecure knowing he wasn't Broccoli's first choice. Pierce Brosnan was, but couldn't take the part because of his Remington Steele television contract. To Dalton's credit, like the NFL back-up quarterback who's sent into the game with less expectations that he'll help the team than hopes that he won't do anything to hurt it, he lets the strong script and Indiana Jones-style action sequences carry the movie...Some Bond films bog down because of a fuzzy plot or poor pacing, but this one, filmed on location in Gibraltar, Morocco, and Austria, is a rollicking ride full of amazing action, gadgetry, and stunts from start to finish. In fact, action fans may find this one super-underrated -- a real sleeper.
- James Plath