Rogue Reviews: The Living Daylights (1987)

The Living Daylights (1987)

Released: July 31st, 1987

Genre: Action, Aventure, Thriller

Director: John Glen

Writers: Michael G. Wilson, Richard Maibaum, Ian Fleming

Cast: Timothy Dalton

Opening Thoughts:

Roger Moore wasn’t the favorite Bond for many people, but his films did a lot of the elements which have stuck with the franchise to this day. Timothy Dalton’s venture as James Bond would be short, but his films would push Bond into the modern cinematic landscape.


James Bond is sent to investigate a KGB policy to kill all enemy spies. In the process, he comes around to an arms deal that could have an effect on the entire world.


I enjoy this film a good amount, but sometimes it feels like the pace comes to a crawl.

Overly complicated villainous scheme. James Bond villains always have some wild scheme, some of them are smarter than others. Some of them, such as in The Living Daylights is more convoluted.

One thing lacking in most Bond films is a more profound meaning. I suppose it isn’t needed, but I’d liked to have seen some of these films tackle something with some depth. (I must be patient, my time will come.)


After Octopussy and A View to a Kill, this movie sees a major improvement in editing and overall aesthetics. Timothy Dalton represents a more modern Bond fitting of the 1980s/ early 1990s.

James Bond’s major characters have often been decent to good with their acting, but the secondary characters less so. This begins to change in this movie where the cast feels more organic to the world. The action is crisper and better choreographed. It shows a significant growth in how films are made.

Closing Thoughts:

I don’t think Timothy Dalton gets the love he deserves for his time as James Bond. Part of the issue is how he only had two movies before the infamous Bond hiatus struck. I feel with a few more movies, he would be more fondly remembered. The Living Daylights is a drastic uptick in overall look and quality. Bond comes into the modern age of cinema and delivers a rather exciting film.

The James Bond ladder

From Russia With Love (1963)

Dr. No (1962)

Live and Let Die (1973)

The Living Daylights (1987)

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

You Only Live Twice (1967)

Goldfinger (1964)

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Moonraker (1979)

The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)

A View to a Kill (1985)

Diamonds are Forever (1971)

Thunderball (1965)

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Octopussy (1983)


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