DVD Report: The Living Daylights (1987)

Book coverI could not make it through this film in a single viewing.

I started watching it three or so years ago, back when I lived in Old Trees, and I got probably 2/3 of the way through before I thought of something better to do, or before my wife returned from wherever she was and I spent the time with her instead.

So the second viewing, the film had a certain familiarity with it. It was like a movie I’d seen before.

The plot: James Bond, with Timothy Dalton at the helm, helps a high-level Russian defect only to see the Russian snatched back after explaining the plot of another Russian honcho to start killing British and American spies. Bond knows the plotting Russian and thinks him incapable of the betrayal, so Bond goes roguish with a Russian cello player to find out what the Russians are up to.

Dalton’s low on my list of Bonds, so he doesn’t get that much of my innate affection that I feel for the franchise. I made it through the second viewing, but I won’t watch it over and over again.

Strange, though, how squicky these films make one feel 25 years later. Remember when those plucky Afghan freedom fighters were the good guys? James Bond helped them. Rambo helped them. Only a quarter century later and those plucky Afghan freedom fighters are blowing up Americans, and it’s hard to sympathize with them.

Books mentioned in this review:

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