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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

I think the cello chase is kinda cool  ajb007/frown|)

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

I thought after the start it ..... went down hill ?  ajb007/biggrin

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

I re-watched TLD last night. I couple of things struck me:

- Bond is wearing a bomb belt under his clothes when he sneaks into the truck - in Afghanistan!  ajb007/amazed

- The movie lacks a really evil and scary villan, both Koskov and Whitaker are too goofy. The last fight with Whitaker also needs something extra. Here is how they could have fixed this:

Make Whitaker is someone who killed his wife, then joined the French Foreign Legion to get away from the police. Give him a cool Nom de Guerre and a story about how he was thrown out of the Legion for brutality. Then he became a mercenary who did horrible things (Kongo was mentioned). He now has his own mercenary army in adition to being an arms merchant.


When Pushkin meets up with him it's at Whitaker's private gun range. It's a very colourful gun range with statues of himself as famous military comanders as decortation, much like in the movie. Perhaps some unusal stuff downrange too, perhaps the target figures are NATO soldiers mixed with civilians? Whitaker could shoot both the "soldiers" and "civilians" perhaps. We see everything from the Gatling to the most modern stuff as he demonstrates some of the weapons. He orders a servant or two to stand behind a brick wall in the range "to make it more interesting." The weapon he is trying to sell to the Soviets is a rifle with a thermal sight and armour-piercing ammo. Whitaker just shoots the servants through the brick wall to show the effectivenes of the weapon.

The last fight scene when Bond fights Whitaker could be set in the gun range too, making it more interesting and dangerous. A differnt actor in the role could be good. Perhaps Stellan Skarsgård could have had his international breakthrough in TLD? Skarsgård looks too much like Necros, though. Perhaps Whitaker could have taken over some of Necros' scenes? That way the fight on the cargo net would have been the final showdown for Bond vs Whitaker. I'm not sure  Whitaker should have done the abduction of Koskov at the safe house, so Necros would need to be recast too.

http://www.leffatykki.com/static/content/webimage/f20aa25eca874376dd14ecc7530dcb55.jpg

http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/2/Open/Sweden/TV4/Den%20demokratiske%20terroristen/_derived_jpg_q90_500x500_m0/demokrat_terro2a.jpg?partner=allrovi.com

Last edited by Number24 (15th Sep 2018 14:42)

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

kinda makes you think who the real main villain of TLD is.
Both Koskov and Whitaker appear as each others henchman, whereas Koskov has way more screen-time‘ ajb007/confused

The name is Walker by the way.

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

It's Koskov. Bond and Whitaker have no personal relationship, meeting only towards the end of the story, while Bond and Koskov do. This relationship involves trust and betrayal, and even incorporates Bond "stealing" Koskov's girlfriend- a traditional Bond/villain trope.

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

I like Koskov. Always did. I think he's supposed to make you think he can fool you into trusting him. Thats an interesting quality there.

But Whitaker could've been salvaged, I agree. While I don't hate JDB in the role, and doesn't take me out of the movie, a different actor might've made a better difference with the part.

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

Jimmy Bond wrote:

I like Koskov. Always did. I think he's supposed to make you think he can fool you into trusting him. Thats an interesting quality there.

But Whitaker could've been salvaged, I agree. While I don't hate JDB in the role, and doesn't take me out of the movie, a different actor might've made a better difference with the part.


Who would you have cast as Whitaker?
George Peppard (my choice) or maybe Sam Neill or Michael Cain or Ian Mcshane or George Cole?

"You're in the wrong business... leave it to the professionals!"
James Bond- Licence To Kill

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

Peppard- yes, good choice, I concur.
Neill- unlikely.
Caine- too big a star.
McShane- yes, he'd have been interesting.
Cole- I think all wrong for the part.

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

I agree Peppard would have been fantastic. ajb007/martini

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

Re-watched it, and a 10/10 for me. Held up really well.

"Hostile takeovers.  Shall we?"
New 2020 ranking (for now DAF and FYEO keep their previous placements)
1. TLD  2. TND  3. GF  4. TSWLM 5. TWINE 6. OHMSS 7. LtK 8. TMWTGG 9. L&LD 10. YOLT 11. DAD 12. QoS 13. DN 14. GE 15. SF 16. OP 17. MR 18. AVTAK 19. TB 20. FRWL 21. CR 22. FYEO 23. DAF (SP to be included later)
Bond actors to be re-ranked later

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

TLD is very good. The score is one of Barry's best, Dalton is great as a younger and fitter Bond and the plot is really good. That said, the lack of a clear, threatening villain is the movie's main problem.

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

Number24 wrote:

TLD is very good.

No  ajb007/tongue

Number24 wrote:

The score is one of Barry's best,

No, unfortunately it‘s just a continuation of Barry‘s laziness or lack of inspiration or lack of excitement which has begun with OP


Number24 wrote:

Dalton is great as a younger and fitter Bond

No  ajb007/tongue

Number24 wrote:

and the plot is really good.

No  ajb007/tongue

Number24 wrote:

That said, the lack of a clear, threatening villain is the movie's main problem.

No  ajb007/tongue

Last edited by Higgins (8th Mar 2020 12:16)

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.
-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------
FIRST TO DISCOVER substantial evidence that Chew Mee is in fact not totally nude in the TMWTGG pool scenes!

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

I'm shocked - shocked, I say - that Higgins doesn't agree with me  ajb007/amazed  ajb007/amazed  ajb007/amazed   ajb007/lol

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

Don't worry I do Agree with you, so we cancel each other out  ajb007/wink

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

TLD is superb, a top 5 for sure. A no-nonsense Cold War Bond film up there with FRWL. They certainly made the right decision by leaving out that flying carpet scene!

Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

Whitaker and Koskov aren't the best of villains, but that doesn't really bother me.  I think they work fine for this film.

No Bond film is perfect anyway.

"Hostile takeovers.  Shall we?"
New 2020 ranking (for now DAF and FYEO keep their previous placements)
1. TLD  2. TND  3. GF  4. TSWLM 5. TWINE 6. OHMSS 7. LtK 8. TMWTGG 9. L&LD 10. YOLT 11. DAD 12. QoS 13. DN 14. GE 15. SF 16. OP 17. MR 18. AVTAK 19. TB 20. FRWL 21. CR 22. FYEO 23. DAF (SP to be included later)
Bond actors to be re-ranked later

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

Agent Purple wrote:

No Bond film is perfect anyway.

https://i.postimg.cc/2VnqmNn4/MV5-BNTU3-Nz-U3-Nj-Iy-NF5-BMl5-Ban-Bn-Xk-Ft-ZTcw-NDUx-MTMy-NA-V1-UY1200-CR16.jpg

Surely you jest?

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

Agent Purple wrote:

Re-watched it, and a 10/10 for me. Held up really well.

I've found in the past that when non-Bond fans watch The Living Daylights they are quite complimentary about how well the film holds up for a modern viewer. And for me personally, TLD has consistently ranked amongst my top 10 Bond films over the years.

Agent Purple wrote:

Whitaker and Koskov aren't the best of villains, but that doesn't really bother me.  I think they work fine for this film.

No Bond film is perfect anyway.

Yes, I agree. The villains are one of the areas in which TLD is sometimes criticised, but I don't think that it is a critical fault in the movie even though I think that Whitaker is definitely among the least memorable villains in the series. Koskov on the other hand is a bit more memorable and has some good interactions with Bond. Perhaps he is a bit too jovial to be taken completely seriously as a villain but then there is Necros to provide the harder edge to the villainy.

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

"I don't believe Bond is Superman, a cardboard cut out or two-dimensional. He's got to be a human being. He's got to be identifiable, and that's what I'm trying to be... It's not a spoof, it's not light, it's not jokey."

So said Timothy Dalton concerning his portrayal of the iconic British spy James Bond in the promotional run-up to the release of The Living Daylights.

Granted, Dalton's Bond does still joke a bit, but what many consider Dalton's inability to crack wise ala Roger Moore always seemed to me mostly more a case of him approaching the character differently. So everything is more clipped, including his introduction to the bored socialite on her boat in the pre-credits sequence, "...Bond, James Bond," and more teeth-gritted, like his quick, "Salt corrosion," or his quip, "He got the [notices they are about to crash] BOOT!"

In any event, one of the qualities of this film that always comforts is the generosity with the characters. Head of "Section V," Saunders, for instance, is played superbly by Thomas Wheatley. The arc from, as someone else, I believe said earlier in this thread, of "mutual disdain" to "mutual respect" is thoroughly sound. The two--Saunders and Bond--seem to be on the precipice of friendship seconds before Saunders is murdered. It is lovely and a kind of 1980s Dalton-spearheaded variation on what Skyfall spun for the arc of Mallory and Bond from beginning to the film's final scene.

That generosity with the characters is even present with the excellent turn from Art Malick as Afghan resistance fighter Kamran Shah. And it's true, he may very well have become a high-ranking Taliban commander but this being a James Bond Ally he probably retires from waging war when the Soviet Union withdraws at the end of the 1980s and instead is granted British citizenship with an Afghan restaurant somewhere that a family member runs for him as he enjoys paling around with Bond on the occasional weekend getaway every year or so.

Then there's John Rhys-Davies, who is given one of best scenes in the history of the entire 24-film (since #25 is not yet out) series, as he is confronted by the specter of almost-certain death as James Bond has him cornered with orders to terminate him in his hotel room, playing Gorbachev-era Russian general Pushkin. Both men are splendid in their confrontation.

Also, while it may be considered a "con" by some, Dalton's Bond's resourcefulness in distracting the one guard with the naked mistress in a desperate moment is quite intelligent on his part. Ruthless, yes, but arguably necessary. Scenes such as this and Roger Moore Bond twisting Andrea's arm in The Man With the Golden Gun may not be the most comfortable viewing, but they remind the audience that Bond is ultimately a governmentally-sanctioned killer.

One of the more consistently-leveled criticisms of the film is the relative weakness of the villains. This is, on one level, perhaps, understandable. Joe Don Baker kind of hams it up as Brad Whitaker, though his character is nothing but bombast, so it at least fits in that regard. Jeroen Krabbe, meanwhile, is exquisite. Not only is he phenomenal in the role of Koskov--the oscillating and most "weaselly" of all Bond villains--he is one of my favorite Bond villains. Not to say that realism is everything but he is a much more realistic villain than, say, Hugo Drax (who I love as a villain, too, mind you, but there we are). And Necros is around to balance it out, played with stoic menace by Andreas Wisniewski. The film has a great many similarities with From Russia With Love and the ensemble threat of villainy, including "Red Grant clone" Necros, certainly provides more echoes of that film.

The romantic score by John Barry and Maryam d'Abo's performance and the Vienna locations... All top-notch. Love the Cold War espionage storyline, "the last Cold War Bond" (it could be said that Goldeneye is, too, or perhaps "the first post-Cold War Bond"). Some of the action in the third act, set in Afghanistan, seems, along with background location, inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark and the "Indiana Jones movies" of the 1980s, but not in any sort of distracting way, either. 

PROS:

Pretty much everything.

CONS:

The "Cello Chase" is a little bit off for me, personally. It's true, what some have said, that Bond and Kara going downhill with the cello seems more out of a Moore Bond movie than this, which makes for a tonal inconsistency, perhaps, but the film seems to almost be winking at the audience and saying, through John Glen's better-than-workmanlike action direction here, that, sure, here is a piece of dessert to tide you by for a while before Dalton's Bond brings us back to a more grounded world of espionage and romance.

Just a magnificent Bond entry. Every time I revisit it, it gets better, and certainly deserves to be considered one of the series's very best films.

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

Great review DR333. It's exactly how I feel. All these reasons make it one of my top 3 Bond films.

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

Thank you, Matt S. I'll have to take a look at your blog!

I love Georgi Koskov as an antagonist so much that his, "I told you the British believed me! I told you!" as a reaction following Pushkin's "killing" has become one of my favorite things to occasionally say to someone out of the blue, when I deem it appropriate.

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Re: Pros and Cons: The Living Daylights

That's an exceptionally well reasoned review DR333. I agree 100% with all of your comments, and I particularly like your phrase "generosity with the characters". That is one of the best qualities of TLD, and is no doubt one of the reasons why I like it so much. My favourite Bond film is FRWL, which is also a film that in my opinion shows that generosity with the characters.