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“He was married once. But it was a long time ago”, The James Bond blogs- ‘Licence to kill’ (1989)

17 Sep

Timothy Dalton’s more intense and serious interpretation of James Bond has won him many fans, as they see his version as the closest to Ian Fleming’s original creation. Of course, many other people found him too dour for an escapist action adventure film, which is also why The Living daylights and Licence to kill are not as light hearted as other Bond films. However, whereas The Living daylights has several things in common with the later Roger Moore films (mainly the cold war era politics), Licence to kill follows a path not trod by any Bond film before. Not until Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, in the 2000s, would any Bond films follow such a vengeful story. In some ways this is the film Diamonds are forever could have been, if Broccoli and Saltzman had decided to do a true tale of bloody revenge following the death of Tracy Bond in On Her Majesty’s secret service. Those fans who were once worried about Quentin Tarantino directing Bond and turning it into a Kill Bill style bloodbath may well wonder what he would have done with the aftermath of Tracy’s death. In Licence to kill, it is Felix Leiter’s new wife Della who is murdered, and Felix himself is seriously injured. Bond is Felix’s best man, who returns to his friend’s home after he realises Felix’s nemesis- the drug baron Sanchez- has escaped gaol and is out to avenge his past failure. He finds the body of Felix’s wife and his friend is also there, but close to death. Continue reading

“Forget the ladies for once, Bond”, The James Bond blogs: ‘The Living Daylights” (1987)

7 Aug

“I bet I scared the Living daylights out of her”, smirks Bond as he considers the blonde sniper he managed to shoot at before she did. The same could have been said of an audience used to the on screen exploits of Roger Moore for 12 years. Fans of Roger’s light-hearted interpretation may well have been a bit scared about the new gritty direction the franchise seemed headed in. This of course was completely deliberate. ‘Cubby’ Broccoli concurred that the series needed to get back to its roots, and that meant the literary creation of Ian Fleming. Add to that idea Timothy Dalton, a Shakespearean actor well known for his intense roles, and 007 had never looked so interesting. Veteran Bond writer Richard Maibaum then set to work on a script with Michael Wilson that would showcase this new direction with the first segment of the film being a faithful adaptation of Fleming’s short story of the same name. The presentation also sometimes lacks the spectacle and glamour of earlier Bonds. Even in the more ‘realistic’ espionage tales there was plenty of gloss. However The Living daylights still looks more like a classy Bond film than parts of A View to a Kill, and the unofficial film Never say never again, which sometimes looked like the TV movie of the week. Continue reading