Octopussy (1983)

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Extremely enjoyable though occasionally goofy Bond flick with a traditionally kooky plot that is nonetheless fun and exciting and full of great action scenes and an almost obscene amount of sexual innuendo, starting with the title. And what a great performance from Roger Moore in what has to be his best Bond yet, and that’s saying something. He’s just so dead on, so smooth and elegant and charming, and his facial expressions whenever a character says the word “octopussy” are downright hilarious. Truly the best Bond ever, despite his age here. Sean Connery who, I ask.

Though the film is one of the stronger of the series, with a plot that’s not entirely difficult to follow and one of the best final action set pieces I’ve ever seen in a Bond movie, it suffers from the same issue a lot of the other Bond films do in the action department, namely, that they’re all extremely silly. Not sure why so many Bond films of this era do this, where the deadly serious, relatively realistic tone is momentarily given the heave-ho in favor of ridiculous scenarios and/or slapstick the moment an action scene or a chase sequence starts. **SPOILERS** Tarzan scene, I’m looking at you. **END SPOILERS** What gives? Just keep the film tonally consistent throughout, damn it! It’s very distracting and almost ruins the film at times. Fortunately it always bounces back, but man, totally unnecessary. The action scene in the last third of the film, though, is truly spectacular, starting with **SPOILERS** the race to stop the bomb and ending in one of the most nail-biting fight scenes on top of an airplane I’ve ever seen, made even more intense by the fact that it was all done by filming actual stunt people hanging off the airplane. No green screen or CGI here, at least where the main actors weren’t involved. **END SPOILERS** Yikes. Brilliant. And not goofy at all. Why couldn’t all the other action scenes have taken themselves this seriously?

Overall, I loved this film. It’s entertaining and enjoyable and funny, the various countries Bond visits and cultures he immerses himself in are portrayed beautifully, the action, at least at the end, is some of the best I’ve ever seen, Moore is even better than usual, the sexual innuendo is prominent and hilarious, and the story is actually somewhat multilayered yet not overly complicated. And, for once, **SPOILERS** no Bond girls die, nor are they even all that evil. **END SPOILERS** Wasn’t expecting that.

Just a great, great film. A touch long near the middle, but very, very good. It’s pure Bond, and one of the best ever. Strongly recommended.

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