Food & Adventures

Monday 16 December 2019

Project Bond: Octopussy

"Mr Bond is indeed of a very rare breed... Soon to be Extinct."

1983 was the battle of the Bonds as there were two James Bond Films to choose from, resulting from a legal dispute between Producer Kevin Mclory and Eon Productions. Sean Connery had returned in Mclory's remake of Thunderball 'Never Say Never again' and Roger Moore was back as James Bond for a sixth time in the Eon produced Octopussy.

Joining Roger Moore was Louis Jourdan as Kamal Khan, Steven Berkoff as Orlov, Kristina Waybourn as Magda and Maud Adams as Octopussy. Robert Brown had taken over the reins as M from Bernard Lee with Desmond Llewellyn and Lois Maxwell returning as Q and Moneypenny. Cue the Barrel Shot.

009 is killed trying to escape from East to West Germany carrying a Fake Fabergé Egg. MI6 suspect the Russians are behind it when the real egg is set to be sold at auction in London. James Bond is tasked by M to go to the auction and investigate any Soviet involvement. Bond enters a bidding for the egg with with an Exiled Afghan Prince called Kamal Khan. Bond Follow Khan to India where he discovers that Khan is working with Orlov a Russian General who is going against the Soviet High Command in an attempt to expand Soviet control in Central Europe.

Bond trails Kamal Khan to uncover more of the Soviets plan to smuggle Russian Jewels into the west in a circus that will be performing at a US Airbase in West Germany. Magda, Kamal Khan's Henchwoman, seduces Bond the get the real Fabergé Egg back but Bond is a step ahead having had Q place a bug in the egg to track it and listen in on Khan's plan. Bond Escapes and infiltrates a Floating Palace Owned by Octopussy a wealth business woman who turns out to be a smuggler in cahoots with Khan.

Bond finds out that Kamal Khan is planning to double cross Octopussy and Orvlov is planning to set off a dirty bomb at the Circus and make it look like an accident by the USA. It's a race against time for Bond to prove to Octupussy that Kamal Khan is mugging her off and to stop the Bomb and save the world from Nuclear War.

There is a lot to like about Octopussy, Louis Jourdan is one of those actors whose face you recognise but can't quite place where you've seen him before. I have seen in a few couple of other movies and he is usually chewing the scenery as a sinister villain, Kamal Khan is a good scheming baddie, with a penchant for gambling (and cheating) who of course has a burley bodyguard to do all of his dirty work.

Steven Berkoff is also great as over the top General Orlov and I just wish he had a bigger role in the film. Also something I hadn't noticed before watching the films again for these reviews, was that the Russian General Gogol, who disagrees with Orlov's plan, has been a returning character in several Bond Films, amazing that I still find new threads woven through the whole series after all these years.

I really liked the twist of a woman, Octopussy, being the Archetypal Bond Villain with a Floating Palace and an Army of criminal women (even if that are dressed like the incredibles) and even a personal connection to Bond from his past. Magda, however is a bit of a generic Bond Girl, beautiful but one dimensionally written and could have been cut and pasted from any Bond movie.

Finally I really enjoyed the action pieces, the pre title scene at an airfield in a Latin American Dictatorship was great. The Tuk-Tuk chase through the streets 'Delhi' was fun and Bond using the Hollywood tropes of India by using sword swallowing, a bed of nails and snake charmers as a means to defeat his pursuers.

Octopussy continues the steady course set by For Your Eyes Only in that it is a good entry in the Bond Franchise. Not great, but not terrible. Roger Moore, however, is getting a bit stale as Bond by this point and it's not surprising that his time as 007 is almost up.

Project Bond will return with A View To A Kill

Well, thats all for now.



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