I have been on a bit of a DVD binge recently, and over the last week or so have watched all the Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig Bond films. I wasn’t in the mood for anything too challenging and just wanted to be entertained. It has been a while since I watched some of those films and I found myself reflecting on a few things.
These films are what I think of as the ‘new’ Bond films. The Connery/Lazenby ones are the classics, the Moore ones can be a bit annoying now but I remember them fondly as the ones being released while I was a teenager (at least the earlier ones). It was a bit of a shock then, an an increasingly common shock these days, to realise just how old some of these ‘new’ Bond films are now – The Living Daylights is 25 years old!
Anyway, watching them all retrospectively (and, for some bizarre reason, in reverse order) rather than as seeing them as they came out I was having a completely different reaction to them. While the Dalton films underwhelmed me a bit at the time I now think they may be my favourite films and that Dalton was an outstanding James Bond.
I think it is because the plots were just a bit more restrained and plausible – no megalomaniac hell-bent on world domination from his secret lair. There were still some touches of trademark Bond silliness, like the cello ride across the Austrian border, but mostly they were quite sensible – maybe why they were not received so well?
The other thing I realised was that Carey Lowell just has to be the best Bond girl ever. She must have a picture in the attic as well, because she still looks great now at 50. Mind you, Halle Berry runs her a close second.
I realised that, for all those reasons and more, Licence to Kill is a serious contender for my favourite James Bond film. Am I alone in this?