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YMMV: The Living Daylights
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The last Bond film to have a soundtrack written by legendary composer John Barry, the soundtrack also sports one of the better Bond themes of The Eighties courtesy of aha, and two tracks by Pretenders.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Necros. The swimming pool scene. Ohsoverymuch. In fact, he's one of the very few male examples in the Bond movies.
  • Fridge Brilliance: At the beginning, Koskov is questioning Bond about the sniper Bond disarmed (Kara). Only later in the film, do we realize that he was trying to see if Kara had been eliminated to avoid revealing the truth about the "extraction".
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In the denouement, the Mujaheddin (in the same full desert dress and carrying *bandoliers*) burst into the room where Bond and the others are celebrating saying, "Sorry we're late. We had a little trouble at the airport."
    • Thanks to the War On Terror, it's hard to look at Kamran Shah without imagining him as an expy of Osama Bin Laden. Especially since his actor, Art Malik, played a similarly crazed terrorist in True Lies. Of course when the film was made, Osama Bin Laden was basically a nobody.
    • Also, Kamran Shah is portrayed as being westernized enough to have attended Oxford University. That alone makes him very unlike Bin Laden and also unlikely to support the extremist Taliban when they come to power in the 1990s. In fact, Shah probably has a very bleak future if he doesn't get out of Afghanistan before the Taliban regime takes over.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In a post-9/11 world, it may be hard for modern audiences not to view Bond's allies at the end of the film as basically being a more romanticized version of the Taliban.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: While showing Bond profiles of KGB assassins, Q describes one whose method is strangulation with her thighs.
    • There might have been some connection, had said assassin not been a Brawn Hilda.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Julie T. Wallace as Rosika Miklos.
    • The agent only known as Green Four who gives Necros a good fight in the MI6 kitchen.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Christian Shepard as Felix.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: With the Daniel Craig Bond films, it's harder to appreciate Timothy Dalton's portrayal of Bond in this film and Licence to Kill, where the producers were specifically trying to create a darker Bond to compensate for the often-hammy Roger Moore films. The difference between Craig and Dalton is that Craig's Bond completely breaks the formula, whereas Dalton's tries to recreate Ian Fleming's Bond within the established Bond movie formula.
    • Ironically, Dalton's more grim and cynical Bond ("If he fires me, I'll thank him for it!") was one of the things that most divided fans of the franchise at the time. In this sense, Dalton's Bond to some degree has been reevaluated as being somewhat ahead of its time.
  • Values Dissonance: Bond's alliance with the Afghanistan Freedom Fighters. Though, to be fair, the West is STILL allied with some of them.
    • Bond does get upset that said allies are pushing drugs, even if they are selling them to Soviets.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The film seems to reuse a lot of the elements of Octopussy. The plot moves along through the use of two 00-agents (both of whom are eliminated at some point), Is set at one point in Eastern Europe, then Austria for this film, Germany for that; Involves a Big Bad who in both films is a rogue Russian general, and uses a Smug Snake to further his ultimate goals. Both films have the reasonable head of the KGB (Gogol in Octopussy and Pushkin in The Living Daylights) trying to preserve the Status Quo against these rogue elements. Smuggling is an activity conducted/mentioned in both films. Both films have The Dragon played as KGB agents who murder Bond's ally. In this film Saunders gets chopped up by a glass door, in Octopussy Vijay gets chopped up by the Saw/Yo-Yo thingee. Both films wind up in or near Afghanistan and both films end with a climactic air battle with Bond disposing of The Dragon using the trope of a Disney Villain Death. Bond and the Bond Girl escape from the aforementioned plane at the last moment before it crashes in both films.
  • The Woobie: Kara. She has her arm injured as she pretends to be a sniper to aid her Big Bad Friend Koskov's plan to fake his defection, is arrested by the KGB, has her apartment and all her possessions (save for her cello) destroyed, and is duped into believing Bond was faking all the incredibly nice things he'd done for her to betray her to the KGB and aiding Koskov in capturing Bond by drugging him. Then she finds out that Bond was the one who gave her the arm injury, that he actually meant the incredibly nice things he did, and that Koskov lied to her. THEN, Koskov betrays her, outright tells her she's heading to a Fate Worse than Death (by exile to Siberia). Honestly, you want to hug her by the time you get to the last third of the movie.

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