ASSIGNMENT #013: Octopussy (1983)
Let’s talk about this terrible film. I think this is the worst of the James Bond franchise and to be perfectly honest, I lost interest in this film I don’t remember what goes on it and just wanted it to be over. I know I said I wouldn’t do this to another film, but this is one of the worst films I’ve seen alongside Diamonds Are Forever in the franchise. The plot is setup is pretty stupid being that a Faberge egg and many other relics are being stolen by a thief named Octopussy to be used by the Soviets in exchange for nuclear weapons to attack NATO forces. I, in fact, turned off this film around the one hour and thirty minute mark because I was bored and the jokes just didn’t work. I gave it as much as a chance as I could and I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. Sure, there are some films that are so bad, they are good which this is considered by many, but this one didn’t do it for me and I love The Room.
Most of the complaints are the same complaints I had with the other bad films I reviewed in the franchise. Some of the action is awful, plot is wretched, and it is boring as all hell beating out Thunderball for me. There really is no saving grace for this film. Edgar Wright, director of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Shaun of the Dead, enjoys this film on a ‘bad, yet good’ level, which I can see why. Bond swinging from branch to branch while Tarzan sounds are playing to Bond escaping via mechanical crocodile are pretty odd moment that will have you scratching your head, but when the wrap around story to it all is a waste, they feel like a waste. Not to say there aren’t some highlights.
I did get a kick out of the chase that takes place in the streets of India is pretty fun and reminds me of why I enjoyed Temple of Doom providing a few fun moments, such as someone getting tossed on a bed of spikes resulting in the person laying before the incident to say “Get off my bed”. That got a pretty good chuckle out of me. I do like the return of Maud Adams from The Man with the Golden Gun who pulls off a wonderful performance as Octopussy. Roger Moore is always wonderful as Bond, so no ill-will. The villain, Kamal Khan, played by Louis Jourdan didn’t leave a lasting impression and I really found him just to be there for the sake of villainy. The side characters feel like an afterthought and don’t give anything, with the exception of Q, Moneypenny, and the new M played by Robert Brown.
My overall problem was the story that seem to be grabbed the first plot written on a note in a fishbowl and the rest of the action besides the India chase just fell flat for me. I truly despise this film because it doesn’t deliver the thrill For Your Eyes Only gave us with hope for a return to the series’ root or the fun that The Spy Who Loved Me delivered ensuring that humor can live in this series. Octopussy didn’t work for me, but it might work for someone else in a ‘So Bad, It’s Good’ way. This is just my opinion and you don’t have to agree, but I would probably skip this one.
How’s the theme? It isn’t one of my favorites and is a bit too cheesy, soft rock-esque and generic than I would like for a James Bond film. Luckily, it isn’t one of the worst I’ve heard. Rita Coolidge has a pretty voice, but I don’t think it is suited for Bond film status, but on its own, it’s pretty okay. Octopussy is a serious blow to the franchise with a dumb premise, dull action, and forgetting everything that made the previous film a joy to watch.
Assignment Status: 1 out of 5
Next time, Roger Moore ends his long time run as James Bond as he is up against Christopher Walken in a film I think succeeds at being ‘So Bad, It’s Good’.
Next Assignment: A View to a Kill