Bond: Roger Moore
Classic, Cheese or Crap?: CHEESE
Ah, cheese. Sweet, delicious cheese.
The “Plot” of “Octopussy” is so convolulted that I still don’t think I understand it 100%. Honestly, I’m not even mocking it, it’s just a) complicated and b) not well spelled out – so it takes a while to put it all together. Octopussy is an international jewel thief/smuggler, who as part of her diversified “empire”, owns a circus. Which she uses to assist her global smuggling operations. General Orlov is a Russian general who has been working with Octopussy, forging some of Russia’s priceless jewels/art and then smuggling the real items out of the country, leaving the forgeries behind in their place. He sees Octopussy’s circus/smuggling operation as an opportunity to smuggle a nuclear device onto an american military base. In order to do this, he works with Khamal Khan, Octopussy’s associate, who double crosses her. If Orlov is succesful, he feels the explosion will look like an American nuclear accident, and Russia will be blameless. This accident, he theorizes, would lead to a global nuclear weapon ban which then, finally, would allow Russia to use their conventional forces advantage to take over Eastern Europe.
Now, that paragraph isn’t the easiest thing to follow… but try figuring it out from watching the movie. I swear it took me like three viewings. I’d always be like, “Why the #&$% is there a nuke all of a sudden?” and “Wait, what? She owns a circus?” or “Hang on, I thought Khan was the bad guy, what does he have to do with Orlov?” I’m telling you, it’s all over the place.
Which SHOULD qualify the movie as crap. Except this movie is filled to the brim with Bond Goodness. The things people love about Bond. Action sequences. Gadgets. Hot women. Cartoonish henchmen. Roger Moore also has genuine chemistry with Maud Adams (Octopussy). She’s around his age it seems, so you don’t feel as though he’s robbing the cradle as you do with half of his other female co-stars. Even Q gets some action!
The “Star Wars” effect on Moonraker is well documented. But I’ve never seen anyone discuss the “Raiders of the Lost Arc” effect on “Octopussy”. To me, it’s blatantly obvious they were cribbing from that movie. The action sequences all have that “Non-Stop” feel to them. And there’s some really great action sequences, with people hanging off of trains and stunts with planes. Even if it is blatantly obvious that they’re all stuntmen and that Roger Moore was off drinking tea in his trailer, somehow, I don’t mind in this one.
In the end, this chapter in the Bond saga is lighthearted, fun, and cheesy.