^^^^^^ She is superb, isn’t she?
Octopussy (Glen, 1983)
(Straightaway, let’s just take the cocking dreadful Coolidge number All Time High as the pile of auld spunkfling that it is, so we don’t have to dissect it any further, cool? Cool)
The quite hideously-titled Octopussy, then. Hm. I have to say, I didn’t find it nearly as objectionable as I assumed I might. The story yet again was appropriately Bond-sized in its reach, the gadgets started creeping back in again but were, for the large part, fairly low-tech (floaty croc-a-float thing) or, at least, fairly low-key; the plane out the horse’s @rsehole was probably the "Bond"est of gadgets and it was over and done with before the opening title credits hit (No, we’re not discussing All Time f*cking High. We agreed that), I again enjoyed the locations; I was beginning to wonder when the sub-continent would put in a significant appearance, the tone - with some glaring exceptions - was largely serious and befitting of the franchise as I appreciate it, and tennis player Vijay Amritraj, who I thought would balls everything up… um, didn’t. He was quite good really, all things considered and despite the heavy-handed tennis gags.
Still, it’s far from top-tier stuff. Why? Well it’s hard to put my finger on it since much of what I dislike about Bond has still been jettisoned for this outing. I think that the most obvious things to which I can point are that a) it’s almost certainly a good half-hour too long and b) it’s… well, it’s just a bit dull, really. Beautiful at times, but dull. Like a Bond girl! Talking of which: Maud Adams (Octopussy), Kristina Wayborn (Magda) - nah. You can keep the pair of 'em. Stephen Berkoff unabashedly screaming his head off and chewing the scenery non-stop simply kept pulling me out of the proceedings. I was sure he was trying not to corpse throughout his performance. I know he was playing a Russian but he kept reminding me of either Ade Edmondson or Ken “Reg Holdsworth” Morley in their comedy turns as German military officers in Blackadder Goes Forth and Red Dwarf VII respectively. I read that critics and fans alike were unimpressed by James Bond being made to dress up in a clown outfit but that didn’t bother me, and not just because I’d already referred to Moore’s Bond as a clown previously. No, if he’s a spy, he needs to be undercover, in whatever outfit is appropriate. What did grate though was the “Tarzan” ullulation as Commander B swung from a vine, and also agent Vijay attracting Bond’s attention as he stepped ashore with a blast of the Bond theme on his pungi. Needlessly kept pitching the movie - and by association, the entire franchise - back into daft light comedy territory.
Ah well. A “meh” film, but tbh I was expecting a lot worse, so we’ll bung it in the “partial victory” pile, eh? One more Rog to go.