Top positive review
Moore of the same
on 2 August 2017
Growing up in the late seventies and early eighties, it’s fair to say that (despite the numerous amounts of evidence to the contrary supporting Connery) Roger Moore is my favourite Bond. I watched (the absurdly-titled) ‘Octopussy’ when it came out in 1983. I was six at the time and I loved it. However, now many decades later I can saw that there are Bond films that stand the test of time and will be enjoyed by future generations just as much and there ae Bond films that only appeal to you as a child. Now, I can see that Octopussy is probably the latter. Even as a cynical adult I still watch it and enjoy it for what it is (plus the nostalgia it induces in me), however, it’s probably the (first) best example that those who like to criticise Moore’s interpretation of Bond use when they say how much better Connery was as the superspy.
Many liked Connery because of his darker take on Bond. People felt that Moore was often too silly and self-knowing to be taken seriously. As I said, I personally liked Moore best and he probably peaked during ‘The Spy Who Loved Me,’ after that it was a slow descent into a little too much reliance on glib one-liners and parodies that would make Austin Powers blush. It focuses on a Soviet General who is trying to finance a new European war via purchasing rare jewellery. Naturally, Bond must stop a few bombs going off along the way.
Along with the obligatory car chases and punch-ups we see the first ever instance of a Bond girl returning for a new film. Maud Adams plays a different role than the one in ‘The Man With the Golden Gun,’ but I’m not really sure why she was chosen as she’s hardly the most memorable Bond girl of the franchise. Plus the villain is kind of weak, too. Gone are the days of ‘Jaws’ or ‘Blofeld’ and in their place are a forgettable Indian bad guy and the generic Russian general who’s always out to crush the decadent West.
Overall, I enjoy the film because I pretty much will watch anything Bond-related and I have a soft spot for the campiness of the Roger Moore era (even when it does come across more like a Flash Gordon movie during some of the climactic fight scenes!). However, I do appreciate that ‘Octopussy’ will not be for everyone. If you lean towards liking ‘dark and gritty’ Bond then you’re really going to have a hard time taking Bond seriously when he’s swinging through the jungle while they overlay a ‘Tarzan-like’ noise over him.
Perhaps the most pertinent thing to point out is that Bond has to infiltrate a circus and, in doing so, decides to (perfectly) disguise himself as a clown. He then flaps and waddles in his oversize shoes past all manner of guards in order to stop mass genocide. It’s a daft sight, but then it’s a pretty daft film. If you’re okay with that, then you’ll hopefully get some enjoyment in this over-the-top spy film (and not think that it’s a complete horse’s a$$ - as depicted in the opening stunt!)