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The Living Daylights Reviews

Celebrating the 25th year of the Bond series, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS introduces the fourth actor to take on the role of 007, Timothy Dalton, a 40-year-old veteran of the English stage whose Bond is more human and serious than that of the wry Sean Connery and the droll Roger Moore. Scripters Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson have also shifted the emphasis away from glitz and gadgetry and back to the business of spying. Bond is sent to Czechoslovakia to assist with the defection of Gen. Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbe), a KGB higher-up, whose escape is accomplished in a specially designed vehicle that whisks him through the trans-Siberian natural gas pipeline to Austria. Meanwhile, Bond falls for the beautiful Kara Malovy (Maryam d'Abo), a cellist who is a victim of KGB intrigue, and later he helps her make a breathtaking escape, ultimately using her priceless cello as a sled. Once in the West, Koskov is seemingly abducted by the KGB, but Bond suspects otherwise and eventually learns that the Soviet is in cahoots with Brad Whitaker (Joe Don Baker), a psychopathic American arms dealer who, unlike the standard Bond villain, is interested in becoming fabulously wealthy but not in ruling the world. Bond's danger-filled attempts to put an end to Whitaker's scheming take him and Kara from Vienna to Tangier and eventually into the middle of the war in Afghanistan. Made for $30 million, this feast for the eyes has more action than any of the other Bond films and is certainly one of the best of them. Dalton is an engaging Bond, d'Abo is coolly alluring, and Krabbe is the epitome of the double-dealing spy master. Only Baker disappoints, hamming up his villain. Director John Glen is an old hand at James Bond films, having worked on three other 007 movies. He knows this popular spy well and does him great service in this well-paced film.