Reviewer's Rating 2 out of 5  
Octopussy (1983)

As titles go, "Octopussy" is one of the silliest, most convoluted, and embarrassingly innuendo-ridden imaginable. A perfect summation of this movie - 13th in the Bond catalogue, and an unlucky outing for Moore in the year when both he and Connery (in the infinitely more-accomplished "Never Say Never Again") stepped into the spy's shoes.

This is the one where Bond goes for an Indian - namely Kamal Kahn (Jourdan), a highly-polished gem smuggler to whom 007 is led after discovering a murdered British agent complete with Fabergé egg. What follows is an over-egged story which spirals off into ever more implausible dimensions - requiring at least eight pairs of eyes to follow it.

The joy of a great Bond movie is the way it pushes the limits of believability - and knows when to stop. "Octopussy" fails: when Moore starts galumphing round New Delhi in a gorilla costume borrowed from a travelling circus, one can only assume he's gunning to be headhunted for the remake of "Planet of the Apes".

The two-baddies-for-the-price-of-one formula (smug smuggler Kamal in cahoots with Steven Berkoff's Soviet warlord) feels unwieldy, and a plot spanning four continents and involving Russian nukes, a jewel heist, a mechanical alligator, and a Tarzan impersonation renders the word 'convoluted' sadly inadequate. Maud Adams, the eponymous Octopussy herself, fails to sparkle - she heads a band of female jewel thieves but has precious little to do.

As with so many of the below-par 007s, it's ultimately saved by one man: the stunt guy. Set on planes, trains, and automobiles - not to mention inside clown suits and up against heat-seeking missiles - the chases are the one element which passes muster.

After almost perishing during filming, Moore announced his retirement from the role (though he subsequently returned in "A View To A Kill").

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End Credits

Director: John Glen

Writer: George MacDonald Fraser, Richard Maibaum, Michael G Wilson

Stars: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan, Kristina Waybourne, Kabir Bedi, Steven Berkoff, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell, Robert Brown, Walter Gotel

Genre: Action

Length: 126 minutes

Cinema: 1983

DVD: 28 January 2001

VHS: 01 February 2000

Country: UK

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