Starring: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan
Director: John Glen
Running Time: 131 mins
Octopussy is a British film and the thirteenth installment in the James Bond series. After learning of a fellow agent’s death and the emergence of a mysterious fake Fabergé egg, Bond is lead to India, where he discovers an international jewel-smuggling contingent that hides an even darker secret behind it.
Roger Moore. James Bond. Gadgets. Innuendo. Need I say more? When it comes to thinking up some of the most ludicrous and ridiculous premises the entire James Bond series has had to offer, Octopussy comes very close to being the top. Hilariously stupid at almost every moment, but featuring a painfully boring and predictable story, this isn’t a classic Bond for any of the right reasons, but you can sure have a hell of a lot of fun with it.
And the main reason for that is certainly Roger Moore. As legendary as Sean Connery is in his Bond films, no one quite does the comedy of the series like Moore. Effortlessly charming and likable from start to finish, he delivers the worst of dialogue in absolute style, and plays a large part in making this film as entertaining as it is.
At times bordering on so-bad-it’s-good, Octopussy is filled to the brim with the most ridiculous things you’ll ever see in a movie. You can tell a Bond film that effectively begins with a clown being chased through a forest by a vicious murderer isn’t taking itself too seriously, and it follows that up with constant double entendres, endlessly insane gadgetry, and some of the most preposterous action sequences of all the James Bond movies.
However, that’s part of the charm of some of these films, having a good old laugh. Sure, it’s not a thrilling or engrossing action ride like some of the best of the series, but the main thing about Octopussy is that it does know it’s being stupid (although maybe not as much as it actually is). That means you can watch it just like a comedy, and not take any of the film’s ridiculous clichés too seriously, making for a properly entertaining watch throughout.
That said, there is one caveat in calling this film the most ludicrous Bond has ever had to offer, and that caveat is called Moonraker. Whilst Octopussy is wonderfully idiotic from start to finish, Moonraker is arguably the James Bond film that I could watch most again and again, and that sat in the back of my mind watching Octopussy.
The story here is atrocious, and offers very little intrigue or excitement, effectively ripping off previous Bond installments with cheap knock-offs, including the Indian Jaws, another bad guy wearing Blofeld’s boiler suit, and much more. I was enjoying the idiocy of it all, but when compared to Moonraker, where Bond goes all out into SPACE to deliver his innuendos and save the day, Octopussy still feels a little tame, and nowhere near as brilliantly braindead as can be.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with Octopussy. It’s by no means a good Bond movie, thanks to its awful plot, but its ridiculous sense of humour makes for huge laughs from start to finish, and with yet another charming turn by Roger Moore in the lead role, there’s a lot to love about this stupid, stupid movie, which is why I’m giving it a 6.8.