1987 - The Living Daylights
￼Alternate Title - The Shifting Plotlines
PG - 130 minutes
Director - John Glen
Stars - Timothy Dalton, Maryam d’Abo, Jeroen Krabbe, John Rhys-Davies, Joe Don Baker
This movie starts out with a training sequence that turns into a real life or death situation. It was pretty good until the killer started escaping and Bond starts chasing him. This isn’t the bad part. The bad part is that the traditional Bond theme got an 80’s make-over to it so it sounds more like a fucking dance song. Let me state it here so that it’s painfully aware. I hate the 1980’s. I hate 80’s fashion. I hate 80’s music. I hate 80’s movies. It starts with the music. Musicians I love that were great in the 70’s mostly sucked for the 80’s before getting decent again in the 90’s. Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Neil Young come to mind. So when I say that the music in 80’s movies pisses me off you know that I am in fact, biased. The thought of the time was to simply use drum machines and bending guitar solos for no reason. I involuntarily cringed when I heard the classic 007 theme song redone in an 80’s style. I knew these Dalton Bond movies would be hard for me to get through as the late 80’s are my least favorite years in history. If I was ever thrown back in time I would pray for the middle ages or dinosaur times before I ended up in 1987 again.
After the song we see Bond taking out a sniper and protecting a General. They have to get him to safety in Russia so they toss his ass in a tube and ‘secretly’ shoot him into Austria using metal tunnels like an oil pipeline. I say ‘secretly’ because while he is going through the tube, everyone in the entire area hears the tube from miles away.
Moneypenny! She’s back. Well not really. The old one is gone and now we have a younger, hotter blonde. For all we know, it’s the previous Moneypenny’s granddaughter. He meets her in a warehouse/office type thing. In the previous movies the 007 offices seemed like a governmental institution. In this one it seems more like a casual office complete with water-cooler conversations. Everything just seems more relaxed than we’ve ever seen. Even Q gets excited over the “ghetto blaster” which is a totally bodacious 80’s boom-box that also shoots rockets. In case Bond ever has to go undercover in Harlem, apparently. Wait, he did that before and it was fucking terrible and racist. Let’s hope we don’t see this boom-box again.
Bond starts helping the female sniper from earlier and it turns out that she can freeze time at will. To get away from a bad guy that’s watching the sniper’s apartment; Bond gets into his Aston Martin while she clumsily brings her cello into a phone booth and pretends to make a call. The man in the car is watching her but suddenly a trolley drives by between the man watching and the phone booth. The trolley only blinds his vision for about 6 seconds yet she manages to get her clumsy cello to look exactly like her with her trench coat and hat and then open the door of the phone booth, close it, then run to the Aston Martin in enough time to close the door of the car so that when the trolley was gone it looked like she was still in the booth and that Bond was just driving away, alone. I call bullshit.
Later, using his gadget-car, Bond slices a car in half so that the top half is completely removed from the axels. This isn’t the stupidest thing in this sequence because later Bond drives into a barn and instead of tearing through both sides he manages to drive into the barn and the whole barn moves along with the car as if it were now a barn-car. He slides around on the ice awkwardly before saying, “Time to leave.” He then switches gears and blows through the thin wooden door as if it were nothing. Which it was. Which is why the whole scene is stupid. This movie has the epitome of the gadget-car and it could not be any more ridiculous. After using the ill-placed self-destruct button to blow the car up they escape by using the cello case as if it were a two-seater toboggan to go downhill in the snow. These movies are full of great action sequences ruined by incredibly over-the-top silliness that seems so unnecessary and out of place.
Wax Hitler. This movie has a wax mannequin of Adolf Hitler. Plus it has Joe Don Baker pretending to be a wax figure while struggling not to laugh at John Rhys-Davies (the villain, Pushkin). It’s bizarre to see Joe Don Baker actually act considering I’ve only seen him in the awful movies that MST3K has done in which he is simply terrible. It’s nice to know that he can act when he wants to.
Not sure if it’s available on the DVD but in this special-edition blu-ray presentation of the movie you can clearly see the girl’s unibrow. Also available on blu-ray is the high-def outline of the villain, Necros’ dong while he’s wearing a banana-hammock swimsuit. It looks like he’s cramming three penises into that man-thong.
At this point I suddenly realized I was an hour into the movie and Bond hasn’t brutally wrecked a woman with his penis yet. This is highly irregular. Connery would have already seven women pregnant by now. Perhaps the Dalton Bond has erectile-dysfunction. No, wait. He totally just fucked her as I was writing this. No, wait again. They just made out for a minute. Seriously, I’m starting to think I’m watching eunuch Bond.
They keep telling me over and over that Pushkin is the villain but he’s only had about three lines at the halfway point. I’m not exactly worried about all the evil shit he might do. Joe Don Baker seems like the real villain. Also General Koskov is creating all of the plot in this movie. He’s double-crossing everyone while doing almost nothing in the movie. All of his scenes are of him relaxing and just having simple chats with people. This movie is seriously villain-less.
At one point Bond is drugged and put on a plane along with Milovy and a contain with a heart in it. This by itself isn’t that great but written on the container is “HANDLE LIKE EGGS.” Not “HANDLE WITH CARE” or “FRAGILE” but instead the oddly specific message about eggs. We find out that inside the case is not only a heart but diamonds hidden in the ice. Again, not eggs. What a letdown.
No, wait. Bond might have fucked her. It’s not certain because after several best-friend hugs they started kissing for a few seconds before the next scene started. Normally we would have seen them in bed afterward but this one cuts to them riding horses. They seem to be involved in a fifth-grade relationship as opposed to the usual Bond-ing.
After this the movie is a ton of guys on horses attacking Russian dudes in trucks who are too stupid to use cover. Despite men on horses being a fairly easy target, they are never shot. The people we are told are the villains are rendered useless in this scene because they are freaking the fuck out and hiding at the front of a truck instead of doing anything cool. They seriously just panic and run back and forth while using the truck as cover. Apparently the Russian translation of villain is “one who can use cover.”
His love interest in this one, Milovy seems like she’s a child-like retard. She refuses to put out and she always seems to be awkwardly chasing James. She is obsessed with best-friend hugging him too in liue of the usual penis receptacle that Bond is used to. She’s always staring at him like a girl that’s obsessed with a movie star on the screen.
The ending sequence is really well done. Our two protagonists are on a plane and out of nowhere so is Necros. Milovy is flying the plane while Bond and Necros fight while clutching to a bag full of heroin that is sticking out the cargo door of the plane. Oh, as if that wasn’t enough; a bomb is ticking down the entire time. Further proof that she’s either incredibly stupid or actually retarded when Bond comes back up to the cockpit after killing Necros and she is just blindly flying directly into a fucking mountain. As if she though that the open sky always had brown pointy things in it.
Overall, this was a pretty good one. I expected it to be overly 80’s but after that song I bitched about it wasn’t bad. Some typical 80’s bikini party and car chase fodder didn’t bother me at all. I also wasn’t sure how I would react to Dalton but I actually prefer him over Roger Moore in spots. He plays the sarcastic lines a million times better than Moore. Whenever Moore did a pun or kill-line it was like he was winking at the camera. The only thing that was weird was that he didn’t once get his dick wet in the movie. Not even at the end. It’s just more hugging and ‘heavy petting’.