There are some traps even Bond can’t escape. In this case, the trap is a script torn between serious new 007 Timothy Dalton and the lingering, winking persona of Roger Moore. Timothy does his damnedest to be formidable, unraveling the threads of a Soviet general’s defection all the way to an American arms dealer trying to start WWIII, but between subpar puns he comes across like an earnest MI6 accountant rather than a suave agent with a license to kill. Better to focus on the action, which ranks among the franchise’s most convincing until Casino Royale.
Supporting Spies: For an opening scene, actors bearing resemblance to Roger Moore and George Lazenby were cast as fellow Double-0s as a clever way of introducing Timothy as the new 007.
Top Secret: Timothy had been considered for Bond as far back as the late ’60s. The opportunity arose again when Albert R. Broccoli declined to give Pierce Brosnan the role because he was still too closely tied to another suave, gun-wielding character: Remington Steele.
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