April 14, 2024

BOND #13: OCTOPUSSY (1983)


Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2

This is Roger Moore’s sixth outing as Bond in the series and one can begin to see his enthusiasm waning as well as age beginning to catch up on him. Octopussy offers more of the same Bond flavoured formula and can be considered as fair entertainment to the non discerning viewers or die hard Bond fans. As usual many of the action sequences are ludicrous and the plot is full of holes. Nevertheless, this particular outing seem to have stepped up on the level of complexity and danger performed for its stunts. There is an elaborate and impressive chase and fight sequence on top of a moving train, and an equally harrowing sequence involving a struggle on the outside of a plane in mid air!! Then of course there is the customary car chase sequence, this time across the narrow streets of India where the chase hilariously runs across all sorts of iconic street performers in the process. These stunts are not easy to perform and still look impressive today.

On the eye candy department, we have the usual line-up of curves from a horde of scantily dressed actresses whose only purpose appears to be decorative. Swedish actress Maud Adams plays the title role of a shrewd international smuggler who naturally falls of James. Nevermind that Maud Adams had in fact appeared earlier in another Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun, as the villain’s ill fated lover. Here, she is promoted in a sense, with a meatier and more major role, as one of the baddies who is maybe not that bad after all. Maud Adams will go down in history as the only actress to appear in more than one Bond movie, cast as different characters. Much of Octopussy’s location scenes are shot in the colourful narrow streets and river banks of India. and the comparatively duller German landscape.

My general assessment for Octopussy is that it seems to be a James Bond lite as the plot is thin, the villains are not overly menacing and nasty (but just as stupid), and gosh, Bond only got to bed one girl this time. Although, I suppose I should say that the level of action was pretty much on a high and happily at a pretty creative level too.  Perhaps fittingly, Bond gets to dress up as a circus clown as he races against time to save the day in the film’s climax, trying desperately to get people to take him seriously. One can say it felt almost like a metaphor of what the series have evolved to with Roger Moore.

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