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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 25.53%
Average: 8.51%
Pretty Bad: 25.53%
Total Crap: 6.38%

1 review, 41 user ratings

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by MP Bartley

"The One With The Clowns"
2 stars

Like Sean Connery, Roger Moore should have quit as Bond after his fifth film. 'For Your Eyes Only' was his finest performance as Bond, and its melancholic atmosphere would have been an ideal way to bow out. Instead he carried on and carried on the inconsistent trend that his Bond films had. One would be great, the next sucked, the next great, the next not so great etc. 'For Your Eyes Only' was great so guess what? 'Octopussy' was yet another backwards step.

After an uninvolving pre-credit sequence, which has the benefit of ending with a fairly nifty stunt we have Rita Coolidge's jazzy ballad over the credits. It's pleasant on the ear, but another in the long line of dull ballads for Roger Moore films.

009 has been found dead in Germany, dressed as a clown and clutching a fake Faberge egg. British Secret Service suspect that the Russians are producing the fakes to fund their operations and assign Bond to find out who's behind the eggs. This takes him to India and into conflict with a mad Russian General, Orlov (Stephen Berkoff), an exiled Afghan prince, Kamal Khan (Louis Jordan) and the mysterious and beautiful Octopussy (Maud Adams).

'For Your Eyes Only' had been the best Roger Moore Bond because it had removed all the annoyances that had so blighted his other films. Gone was the self-mockery, smugness and terrible quips to be replaced by a seriousness of tone and plot. 'Octopussy' would seem to be heading down the same route as the plot is far from silly and positively Connery-esque in its intrigue and twists (the real plot isn't even unveiled until the last 30 minutes).

It's a shame then that director John Glen, lets all the old traits slip back in with a vengeance. 'Octopussy' is at times a very silly film, which is totally at odds with the tone of the plot. When Bond has to slip underwater into a floating palace, does he use a wet-suit like you would assume a secret agent would? No, he dresses up as a crocodile. When he's faced with a snarling tiger he shouts "Sit!" at it. And it does. When he makes an escape through the jungle trees, he swings on a vine accompanied by a Tarzan cry. It's quite fitting that Bond is dressed as a clown towards the climax of the film.

This silliness would be understandable if the plot was as outlandish as 'Moonraker', for example. But it's not, it should be handled with serious and intrigue. However, this is Glen's second mistake, because as well as being silly 'Octopussy' is probably the most boring Bond film yet. For a director who had done such terrific work on the action sequences on 'For Your Eyes Only' there's barely anything to stop you snoozing throughout most of 'Octopussy'. One chase through an Indian market is spoiled by, you guessed it, silly jokes. Assailants are beaten off with a tennis racquet and Moore tosses out several dreadful puns throughout. It's the kind of film where about an hour into it you realise "Jesus, has anything actually happened?!". Yes, there's a great climax on top of a plane but to get to that you have to suffer an interminable romance between Bond and Octopussy.

After his previous sterling work in the last film, Moore undoes all that good work with a juvenile performance. At his age (and he's showing it here) Bond should be a cynical, slightly weary killer (like 'For Your Eyes Only'). Instead Moore again portrays him like a vain playboy. He's surrounded by lacklustre performances too. Maud Adams, who had been so good in 'The Man With The Golden Gun', is bland and does nothing to justify having the film named after her. Instead, the sexier and more interesting Kristina Wayborn is relegated to background eye candy.

'Octopussy' is seriously lacking on the villian front too. Berkoff gives an over the top performance, reminiscent of Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove (this isn't a compliment in this instance) and Jordan phones in his performance. Even the tough henchman Gobinda, (Kabir Bedi) is just a dull version of Jaws or Oddjob.

Perhaps the best thing about 'Octopussy' is that it's a very good Q film, Llewelyn's performance being one of his exasperated best. Robert Brown is a dull and anonymous M, however.

As well as having a casually racist tone (Bond gives some rupees to an Indian friend with the cheerful comment "That'll keep you in curries for a few weeks!"), 'Octopussy' has little to offer other than being a standard and totally forgettable Bond. With too little action, the majority of which is dull anyway, it falls back into routine and bad habits throughout. It also has the misfortune to be silly AND boring, which is something no Bond should ever be.

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originally posted: 07/30/04 22:13:51
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell dull bond movie imho 1 stars
7/06/16 Billy34 Silly, camp and entertaining. When Bond movies knew how to have fun. 4 stars
10/16/12 Dr.Lao Moore had outstayed his welcome as Bond by this point 2 stars
11/10/08 Mark Gibson not one of the best, not one of the worst, enjoyable romp! 4 stars
9/03/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was Awesome!! Loved It. 5 stars
3/31/08 The Golden Martian Classic Bond! 5 stars
10/14/07 mr.mike it was much better than the rival "Never Say Never Again" 4 stars
7/21/07 Sugarfoot Too long with bad pacing. Roger Moore really is too old for this. 2 stars
4/26/07 David Risser It was fake. Ex. James hanging on the back of the plane while it is upside-down, yeah right 3 stars
3/09/07 David Pollastrini Not great not terrible 3 stars
9/24/06 ProSneakyD One of Moors best bond thriller, climatic, spectacular & the indian locations are gorgeous. 4 stars
1/08/06 Yorkee You are left wondering what its all about - not a lot!! 2 stars
1/03/06 Anthony Feor A very great one, i loved it 5 stars
11/20/05 chris i just simply loved louis jourdans performance he made this fil a bond classic!! 5 stars
5/27/05 tony One of my favorite bond movies. EXELLENT STUNT SCENES! great name to OCTOPUSSY 5 stars
4/13/05 Indrid Cold Not the best Moore, but plenty of those fantastic, inventive scenes that make Bond great. 4 stars
1/08/05 keithers.. One of the best bond films 5 stars
12/06/04 sbpat21 has violated the 1st law of Bond: cannot be boring 2 stars
11/20/04 Laura Glen Moore is a more convincing Bond this time around. He fits the role more comfortably. 5 stars
9/24/04 RJ968 Bond Dresses in an ape costume and a clown outfit. That shows how far the Moore movies sunk 1 stars
9/19/04 Viktor Navorski movies is good!!! 5 stars
8/17/04 Herolder Pretty average Bond movie 4 stars
11/29/03 john the last good Bond movie- they did them well in those days - 4 stars
10/11/03 JimmyC Excellent Movie 5 stars
7/06/03 Paul S. Classic scenes: Backgammon, yo-yo,octopus (still can`t believe it was a puppet! ), clown 5 stars
1/29/03 Charles Tatum Some of the best action sequences in the series 4 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby The best of the Bonds! 5 stars
9/17/02 CVJ Roger Mooores best Bond Movie Brilliant 5 stars
3/18/02 Zargo a substandard-effort 2 stars
2/22/02 Cat One of the best bond films! 4 stars
1/28/02 Andrew Carden Roger Moore Is The Best Bond. 5 stars
1/26/02 murat An all time high and where would you find bond in a clown suit 5 stars
1/20/02 David A. Top-notch Bond movie. Roger Moore shows Connery et al the way it should be done! 5 stars
6/04/01 keith langman best bond movie for roger 4 stars
1/27/01 R.W. Welch Routine Bond flick, nothing much new here/ 3 stars
1/02/01 Terry Great fun, fantastic pre-titles sequence. 4 stars
6/25/99 David Keech If you like JB's classic one-liners, this film kicks ass! Pretty dull villain though. 4 stars
3/12/99 Claude Serralt Maud Adam is great, as is the story 5 stars
10/27/98 Silent Rob SEE the make -up melting right off of Roger Moore's face! ick 2 stars
10/25/98 Patrick888 This film can't decide if it's a serious Bond film or a comedy. 3 stars
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  02-Jul-1983 (PG)


  24-Nov-1983 (PG)

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