THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS ***
*NOTE* THE JAMES BOND PROJECT was actually the original idea of my wonderful friend CRAIG KENNEDY, who runs the exceptionally cool site LIVING IN CINEMA
I’ll be reviewing JAMES BOND flicks here at CINEMATIC PASSIONS until at least the weekend. So drop on by if there’s anything you’d like to peruse. More tomorrow…
Is there anything that TIMOTHY DALTON can’t do?
All of the actors that portrayed JAMES BOND have been – at the very least – attractive.
But TIMOTHY DALTON is so extravagantly beautiful he’s breathtaking – a lean, athletic 6’2″, dark hair, perfectly chiseled features, mellifluous voice, classically trained. He’s equal parts ultimate alpha male and refined English gentleman: incredibly elegant but maddeningly dangerous. He’s like a sinuous emerald eyed jungle cat poised to pounce.
One wrong move and you’re over…
He was the best BOND ever until DANIEL CRAIG came along.
They both have that hard edged masculinity in common. You wouldn’t knowingly mess with either of them on a good day.
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS is highly unusual. It’s an overtly romantic BOND.
Aside from a brief pre title dalliance with an exotic rich bikini clad Italian on her yacht, JAMES’ heart is captured early on by KARA MILOVY (MARYAM D’ABO). He is totally devoted to her…and that’s where it begins and ends.
In this movie, anyway…
Czechoslovakia is the initial setting.
The British government is assisting GENERAL GEORGI KOSKOV (a roguish JEROEN KRABBE) in his defection to the Western world. They are aware of precisely what time he’s going to make his escape. The General has informed them that snipers will probably be out in abundance.
As James watches from the window, he sees the lovely girlish blonde (KARA) that he earlier observed playing cello in the opera hall that evening. She has a rifle and is aiming it in the General’s direction. Instinct tells him that she’s not a professional and no threat whatsoever.
He’s also a man. James is thoroughly entranced by her. He wouldn’t want to be responsible for her death. He fires a shot in her direction and misses.
This time the villain isn’t a larger than life billionaire who wants to rule the world. The General may be more run of the mill, but he’s definitely one of the most conniving and manipulative characters that’s ever been in a BOND flick.
Kara is actually the General’s girlfriend. She’s idealistic and possesses a hefty streak of naivete. She thinks that Koskov is going to send for her. James is sadly aware that that will never happen. He knows that the General set her up to be mistaken for the sniper and shot.
James tracks her down to find out what she knows when the General stages his own kidnapping and vanishes. He decides that he needs to get her out of the country for her own protection. This leads to a thrilling car chase and to one of the coolest action sequences ever shot in this series: James and Kara smoothly gliding over the untouched snowy hills on her cello case while easily leaving everyone else behind.
Kara does toughen up over the course of the picture. Though delicate and sweet, she does exhibit some willful stubborness early on. By the end of the film, she knows her way around the world (literally) and is a little closer to James’ world weary attitude.
JOHN GLEN (a BOND vet who also helmed FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, A VIEW TO A KILL and OCTOPUSSY) knows how to keep all of those balls rolling successfully.
There is excellent believable chemistry between Mr. Dalton and Ms. D’Abo. The relationship is allowed to take a realistic course and it never intrudes on the action.
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS is everything you could expect from a motion picture in this particular genre.
But with TIMOTHY DALTON as BOND, you get a great deal more than you bargained for…