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  • Octopussy
    • Octopussy
    • Runtime:127 min
    • Release Date:2014-08-22 19:46:28
    • Director: John Glen
    • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Octopussy
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13th of 23 Bond movies.

Having seen most of my Bond movies on VHS years ago, I was under the
impression that it was maybe "Octopussy" and "A view to a kill" which I
found terminally boring…did seem to remember falling asleep to at
least one of them and not seeing how the film ended. Am glad to report
that "Octopussy" is a superior Bond movie, having rewatched it recently
as part of a Bond movie festival on free to air TV here in Australia.
Whereas I found "For your eyes only" an exhilarating introduction to
the franchise as a child, "Octopussy" is more serious, plot
wise…perhaps best suited to an adult palate.

The major drawback to this film is its length…it's overlong.
Notwithstanding this, the movie has a lot of laughs in it. There are
some absurd scenarios, but this is a Bond movie after all…what did
you expect? The plot actually makes sense too and there is a lot of
tension throughout the movie. This might be the first Bond movie where
you can say this. Sure, Bond movies have lots of world endangering
scenarios, but gee, tension? Hmm…dunno about that. This tension is a
major plus for the film.

Franchise clichés:

Exotic locations:

East Berlin, U.S.S.R, India.

Plot:

Fabergé eggs are being forged (i.e. highly expensive decorative
jewelry). The Soviets are presumed to be the culprits with the intent
being to finance their covert operations or to pay off corrupt
officials elsewhere. Super spy James Bond is brought into the case
after 009 is killed working on this case.

Inside the Soviet Union, the 'dove' – General Gogol – is shown to be
battling for influence with the 'hawk' – General Orlov. Their superior
bares a resemblance to a former Soviet leader, I think. Anyway, Orlov
wants to extend the Soviet Union's territory and not give away their
supremacy in tank numbers in West Germany to the US and West. So, a
very Cold War scenario playing out here.

Pre-title sequence:

Gun barrel sequence followed by Bond impersonating a Spanish military
leader…with a Fidel Castro like leader seen making speeches. Roger
Moore impersonating a Spanish man is far more convincing than Sean
Connery impersonating a Japanese man!

Theme song:

One of the great Bond songs, by Rita Coolidge. The accompanying visuals
are suggestive and nice…a throwback to the Connery sequences.

Q: A low point in his relationship with Bond…open hostility towards
him. Genuinely unpleasant.

Silly female character names:

Ms. Penelope Smallbone; 'Octopussy'

Sexism/misogyny:

some boyish leering by Bond here.

Wine snobbery:

sort of related…M is yet to stump Bond on any matter whatsoever…he
asks him about Fabergé eggs and – sure as death and taxes – Bond gives
him the good oil on the subject. Bond is the Huggy Bear of the spy
game!

End teaser:

"From a view to a kill". First time the title in the end teaser is
different to the eventual title…the next movie was released as "A
view to a kill".

Things to watch out for:

* Self-referential…an Indian character plays the Bond theme on his
musical instrument. Haven't seen something like that since the greatest
Bond movie of them all…"On her majesty's secret service".

* The first "00" to get a credit at the end in a Bond movie (apart from
Bond, of course)…in this case it's "009".

* The Chairman of the sitting (with Gogol and Orlov) sounds very
Churchillian! That's the Soviet leader, I presume. Gogol is making
another appearance in a Bond movie…perhaps his 3rd?

* Khan's henchman reminding us of "Oddjob" in Connery's "Goldfinger".

* Octopussy mentions Major Dexter-Smythe and how Bond arrested him. The
major was her father. Not sure if this factoid was mentioned in a
previous Bond novel…it sort of seemed like we were expected to know
this link.

* Kamal looking like one of The Beatles when with Octopussy!

* A really silly Tarzan call…movie could have done without that.

* Bond on an aeroplane…hmm…

* note to self…

- look up phrase "Diese Englander. Die sind ganz verruckt".

- actor Vijay Amritraj…familiar name…look up.

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I have no intention of insulting anybody who likes this film, but I
disliked this film. The Bond series may have a couple of bad eggs as
well as some golden treasures, and I am sorry to say I consider
Octopussy one of the bad eggs.

First off, it starts off brilliantly with a great opening sequence,
while the locations and cinematography are suitably exotic. Roger Moore
is decent as James Bond, apart from some very bizarre moments which I
will be describing later, he seems to have toned down a bit, and Steven
Berkoff and Louis Jourdan make for a pair of intriguing villains. Oh
and Octopussy is sexy.

However, plot wise it is probably the most careless in the series. The
plot meanders all over the place and lacks focus, complete with some
truly bizarre scenes such as Bond in a clown suit(???) and the Tarzan
yell in the jungle was for me unintentionally hilarious. The script is
also paper-thin save for a few fun one-liners and the direction is
disappointingly flat. The film is also too long and is fairly
pedestrian, and I admit I have a love/hate relationship with All Time
High. Personally I think the one sung by Madonna is the worst Bond
song, but this one is for me one of the least melodious or memorable.

All in all, pretty disappointing and although a lot will disagree I do
consider this the weakest Roger Moore Bond movie. 4/10 Bethany Cox

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