Posts tagged “The Living Daylights

Ranking Bond: #22 – The Living Daylights (1987)

When you sit down to do something like this, your immediate thought about what the bottom film is going to be usually goes to two films. Instinctively, you probably go, “Die Another Day.” But then when you think about it for a half a second after that, you go, “No… Octopussy.” Because those are by consensus (or just by immediate thought) the two worst Bond films.

But then, when I started watching this again, I went, “Whoa… I didn’t know this was a contender.” I knew I didn’t care for this film. I knew that, of the two Dalton films, I liked Licence to Kill a lot more than I liked The Living Daylights. But I only figured this would be like, #19. And as I started watching this movie (and you’ll see it as I write the synopsis), I kept going, “Wow… I really don’t like this.” (Relatively, of course.) And I’d watched Octopussy just before it. So I was actually able to directly compare my opinions.

The thing that differentiated them for me (since I’m pretty sure most people’s bottom three Bond films would generally be the same) was that — Die Another Day is just overdone. It’s not horrible, it just takes things to unnecessary levels, and that makes it bad. Octopussy is just bad. It’s a bad Bond movie. It’s like a Bond movie going through the motions. But this — this to me didn’t even feel like a Bond movie. It felt like a Bond movie the way Live Free or Die Hard felt like a Die Hard movie — I know it was by name, but it certainly didn’t feel like one, and it really just ruined (for me) a lot of the core elements of what a Bond movie is supposed to be. So the result to me is less interesting than even Octopussy, because at least there, I can go, “Well at least it’s Bond.” Here, I’m like, “I don’t even know what I’m watching. Bond wouldn’t do this.”

I struggled over what was going to be #22 for a while, but every time I thought about it, I kept coming back to this one. So this is how we start our list, with what I consider to be the weakest Bond movie of the series.

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