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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Octopussy  rating

Review: written 2007

Strictly by the numbers Bond caper

octopussy

Of course, all the Bond movies are entertaining on some level or other. However, it becomes difficult when a film is as...well, routine as this one, to pick a number from one to five summarising the effectiveness of the movie. As a work of substance it is in the bottom few Bond movies. However, does it fulfil its remit to entertain..? Yes, it does - even if the chuckles are sometimes for the wrong reasons.

So just how by-the-numbers is it? John Glen, veteran of the Bond movies is back, an effective if arguably uninspiring director. John Barry delivers an adequate - but no more - score for the movie in conventional style.

How about the number 6? Moore is back for the 6th time, and while he looks good for his age, he is still in his mid 50's by this point, and definitely looking a little too old for the role. Especially when shown in counterpoint to hordes - and I mean hordes - of scantily clad athletic young women.

The number 2? The number of times the leading lady has starred in a Bond movie, Maud Adams having starred with Moore in The Man With The Golden Gun. It surely says something about the lack of originality when they have to recycle their leading ladies, even if they do have chemistry with the leading man.

octopussy

The number zero - the amount of truly memorable scenes in the entire movie.

1? Is the number of rival Bond films that year - the looming threat of Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again seems to have prompted the producers to go back to a more jokey style playing to Moore's strengths, after the significantly superior and more serious For Your Eyes Only.

It's not all bad though - Q finally gets a slightly larger role, Louis Jordan is a suitably slimy and cultured bad guy, there is a decent car chase as Bond races to the circus in Berlin (the only reasonably tense moment in the movie). However, this is offset by characterisation that is stereotyped and two dimensional even by Bond standards, and Steven Berkoff as the rogue Russian general is so hammy you expect someone to light up a barbeque.

All in all, this being the 13th Bond movie may well be the most pointed clue of all as to what to expect. Definitely unlucky for some. A mediocre outing for Bond

octopussy




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