Which is the best Timothy Dalton/James Bond 007 film?

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When it comes to the James Bond films, one (sometimes more) stand out as the one best film starring (insert name here). For me, the best Connery films are the first three (Dr. No, From Russia with Love, and Goldfinger), Craig's has been almost all of them so far (but Casino Royale stands out moreso). Lazenby's only film is considered a Bond film that shouldn't have been treated like it did, and Brosnan's has and always will be Goldeneye.

But Moore and Dalton's Bonds have been questionable for me because I can't figure out which are the best ones, if not the best one. And in this case, Timothy Dalton can be hard to figure out because he only made two movies, and compared to other Bonds, his didn't seem to stand out on his own other than stopping the comedic Moore version. I could just continue with what I've done and just ignore the Dalton-era, but I'd figure I asked you guys about this.

Which Bond film starring Timothy Dalton is the best?
 
TLD is the better one, mostly because LTK is so bad hehe.
 
LTK. It is more tailor-made to Dalton's strengths even if it less Bondian than what we are used to. TLD is somewhat handicapped by not knowing who was going to play Bond until well into production. In addition to that, LTK has one of the very best villains of the entire series while TLD has two of the very worst. And I have to admit, I have a soft spot for Q finally getting a larger role and getting to go on a field mission.
 
gonna have to go with the Living Daylights... it holds a soft spot in my heart

Licence is good, as well, what with James gone rogue and on a personal mission of vengeance... Robert Davi makes for an excellent villain, but Cary Lowell and the other girl annoyed me to no end...as well as David Hedison and his Three's Company wife...

and Benicio del Toro... always good having him in this...

sounds like I like LTK, but I'll stick with TLD... so many things in this that I liked... except the character of Brad Whitaker...
 
LTK for me, I thought Dalton was much better Bond this time around. It's a shame I think he was into it and by the time third came he would have been the best Bond. I like Daltton as 007.

Oh and sexy Bond Girls too in LTK.
 
Both of these movies land right in the middle of my ranked list of the Bond movies. They're good, and even better if you don't generally like the Roger Moore era and appreciate these as such stark counterpoints to that era (that's me), but I wish I found more to enjoy in both of them. Licence to Kill is the more successful one to me, because...

1) The plot is less convoluted, more coherent, easier to follow (by the time we're in Afghanistan in The Living Daylights, I'm having a real hard time figuring out what's going on or why)

2) Pam Bouvier in Licence to Kill is more compelling than Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights and I enjoy watching her with Dalton's Bond more.

3) Franz Sanchez is among the ten best Bond movie villains - atypical among that rogues gallery, but he's one of those Bond baddies that you really want to see die in the end, and it's sweet when he does, and that counts. Koskov and Whitaker? Simply dull.

4) LTK was tailored to Dalton's Bond, and is more sure of itselfthan TLD. Now, TLD didn't exactly have an identity crisis - it made its harder-edged tone very clear, and Dalton's take was wildly different from Moore's from second one - but when I think about a Timothy Dalton Bond movie, I think of Licence to Kill first.

My issue with Licence to Kill to this day is that it doesn't feel like a Bond movie. And when I watched it again a week or so ago, I had to really ask myself if that made sense, and if so, why. From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service are three different kinds of movies, but they all feel like Bond movies, so what does, "Licence to Kill doesn't feel like a Bond movie," mean? Is it just that it features a drug kingpin as the villain, takes place/was filmed in Mexico City, is the lone revenge thriller of the franchise to date, and has such a grim and gritty manner about it? Probably. It feels sort of like Fleming, but...not really. It feels like every other action movie of that era. The gun barrel is there, the theme is there, Q's given a larger role (one of the other highlights), there are some amusing one-liners ("More of a problem eliminator" being the best - and a Dalton one-liner), but the wit isn't, not as much as I'd like anyway. Of course, there are a number of Bonds that don't have the wit that I see in the best ones, and I'll take Licence to Kill over lesser installments that may "feel" more like Bond movies.
 
One other thing that is much better in LTK is the ending. The truck chase is one of the best finales that the series has to offer, and although it is obvious in retrospect, I love how he takes down Sanchez. TLD's final showdown is a joke with Bond taking down Whitaker with the statue of Wellington being a Roger Moore-esque gag. Koskov doesn't even get the dignity of getting killed on camera. Just awful.

Dalton's haircut is better in TLD, so there is that.
 
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I like them both for different reasons....but prefer to rewatch TLD most.
 
LTK for me.

The villains were weak in TLD.
 
Without out a doubt, The Living Daylights.
 
I like the Bond Girls and the villian in LTK more, but prefer to watch TLD.
 
Easily TLD. Despite a lackluster ending and a hilarious view of the geopolitics surrounding Afghanistan circa 1987, it is a good spy thriller. LTK is a poor attempt at an '80s action/revenge flick to me.

As for Dalton, I get the appeal but never liked him as Bond. He tried to be a tough, edgy Bond like Fleming wrote. But Craig would later succeed at it because he could do that and also be cool, seductive and witty. Those are things Dalton was not and are essential for movie James Bond.

My two cents on the films.
 
The problem with Dalton is that his Bond came off as awkward with the ladies. Even in the pre-credited scene in TLD with that one chick was off-putting and not very convincing..
 
Easily TLD. Despite a lackluster ending and a hilarious view of the geopolitics surrounding Afghanistan circa 1987, it is a good spy thriller. LTK is a poor attempt at an '80s action/revenge flick to me.

**deleted scene**

BOND: Well done, chaps! Now, whatever you do, do not use the weapons and training I provided you with to attack the West 14 years from now.

AFGHANS: (In unison) Ohh, we won't ...
 
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TLD was first written with the same "base" as Moore's three 80s Bonds, but some re-writes and the very presence of Dalton made it a little different from the others.
But had it come earlier, like say 83, and with just a few minor changes, it would have been a serious Moore Bond, that's for sure. Maybe even more praised than FYEO?

With that said, Goldeneye sometimes feels like it could have been a Dalton film. Most of the things in it would have worked with him. It's sad that the studio didn't continue the pace with one film every second year during the "non Bond years". Then there would have been a Dalton Bond both 1991 and 1993.
 
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The problem with Dalton is that his Bond came off as awkward with the ladies. Even in the pre-credited scene in TLD with that one chick was off-putting and not very convincing..

I remember some of the press around that time; that was a deliberate decision to make Bond less of a womanizer and more of a professional operative, and it was largely due to the AIDS scare of the 1980s.
 
Yeah, there was a good deal of attention given to the "monogamous" Bond. Dalton still lacked charm, but it wasn't as significant an issue as it would have been, as they played that aspect down.
 
TLD was first written with the same "base" as Moore's three 80s Bonds, but some re-writes and the very presence of Dalton made it a little different from the others.
But had it come earlier, like say 83, and with just a few minor changes, it would have been a serious Moore Bond, that's for sure. Maybe even more praised than FYEO?

With that said, Goldeneye sometimes feels like it could have been a Dalton film. Most of the things in it would have worked with him. It's said that the studio didn't continue the pace with one film every second year during the "non Bond years". Then there would have been a Dalton Bond both 1991 and 1993.

I'm glad Dalton wasn't in GE. It felt like Campbell did a classic throwback to the "Goldfinger" style and that required a little more humor (and sensuality) than Dalton showed his two earlier efforts. It fit Brosnan like a glove though--too bad EON gave him bad scripts for his later entries.

Also, I heard if Dalton was Bond in GE that 006/Alec Trevelyan would have been his mentor instead of his friend/equal and would have been played by Anthony Hopkins. So much of GoldenEye works because it is basically two Bonds going to war with each other.

I think we ended up with a much better movie and the classic that it is because of the recasting.
 
**deleted scene**

BOND: Well done, chaps! Now, whatever you do, do not use the weapons and training I provided you with to attack the West 14 years from now.

AFGHANS: (In unison) Ohh, we won't ...

LMAO.

So very true.
 
One thing that bothered me about LTK was how haggard Dalton looked. I don't think it was just for the movie either; he looked tired and his hairline was receding. In fact, ironically he looked better in The Rocketeer and as an older man in Hot Fuzz and Dexter.
 
**deleted scene**

BOND: Well done, chaps! Now, whatever you do, do not use the weapons and training I provided you with to attack the West 14 years from now.

AFGHANS: (In unison) Ohh, we won't ...
Heh, dont forget they got training and help from Rambo as well :cwink:
 

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