For our first review of Octopussy (1983) today, here’s Luke of Oracle of Film for his take on it.
Thanks again Luke!
“You have a nasty habit of surviving.”
Number of Times Seen: 4
Brief Synopsis: When a 00 agent turns up dead, Bond believes there is a connection between a jewel smuggling unit and a renegade Russian general.
My Take On It: Octopussy was the Moore movie, where I stopped trying to come up with reasons why Roger Moore was the worst Bond and held my hands up declaring myself a convert.
The jokes and silliness are just better. Octopussy is a movie that just has fun being James Bond. With some of the last few movies, Roger Moore has been the only one who seemed to be having fun, acting as though he had just won a competition in a magazine, allowing him to be James Bond for seven movies. However, here, because everyone seems to be having that same amount of entertainment, creating this movie, it also sucks the viewer into the fun. Berkoff and Jordan overact their villains, but the campness compliments the slapstick plot. Kristina Wayborn gives up trying to be a strong Bond girl and just has fun being exotic and mysterious. The gags are great too, boasting some great set-pieces and also self-referencing itself and the world around them. They play with the Bond theme tune and also cast ex-Tennis champion, Vijay Amritraj, who defeats the bad guys using a tennis racket. You just sit back and have fun with Octopussy.
Moments take the joke too far. This movie does suffer the injustice of having 007 dress up as a clown to stop a bomb undercover, the most unforgiveable example of silliness in a Moore movie. The plot is also a little all over the place. There is a connection between the smugglers and General Orlov, but it is a tenuous link, which makes it difficult to figure out who is gaining from the bad guy’s plot. But again, this is where the fun comes into play. You distance yourself from the story and just slip into the set-pieces. Octopussy boasts some great action, never stops giving out the thrills. This is definitely one of the better Roger Moores.
Bottom Line: The same silliness as we expect from a Roger Moore, but there is something smoother about it this time around.