License to Kill felt premature. It's only Dalton's second outing and he goes rogue, then it was also his last. Should have been the third or fourth, so that audiences could warm up to him more before he snaps. He was stuck as the "angry ruthless Bond" when that was still uncool.
Living Daylights was a blend of "back to basics" and "tried and tested" so he should have had more movies in that vein.
I'm up in the air. My liking for one or the other varies every time I revisit them. I do give Dalton's performance in Licence to Kill a slight edge.
On a side note, I feel like the 007 producers didn't know what to do with themselves after "Die Hard" was released in July 1988. That movie redefined action and the concept of what heroes and villains were. There are action-oriented films before Die Hard and after Die Hard. In effect, the James Bond franchise seemed to scramble for legitimacy and made a Die Hard-lite PG-13 movie albeit darker and less thrilling.
Overall, I think John Glen's directing, the sterile cinematography and choppy editing are some of the weakest links of LtK. Yes, the cinematography was certainly a departure from previous Bond films. However, looking at that collective now, it feels old even for 1989. It was a mistake to keep Glen on for LtK. He and his creative team did not seem to have the dexterity and finesse to helm the outlier movie in the series up to that point.