Man, did they ever miss out on a marketing campaign in 1983. “Ladies and Gentleman! Children of all ages! Welcome to the match of the century! In the red corner, that man who likes his martinis shaken, not stirred. James Bond. In the blue corner, that dashing rogue agent of MI6. James Bond.” Well, when you have two Bond movies coming out at the same time, that is almost what it felt like. However, only one of the films was “canon” so for that reason, I am reviewing Octopussy today.
The plot: A British agent is found dead at the British Embassy in East Berlin, dressed as a clown and clutching a fake Fabrege Egg. Mi6 suspects Soviet involvement and when the real egg appears at an auction in London, they send Bond to investigate. Bond’s investigation leads him to India where he discovers an exiled Afghan prince named Kamal Khan is working with a Soviet general, Orlov, to expand Soviet control in Europe. He also discovers a woman named Octopussy who is helping Khan and Orlov smuggle smuggle Soviet treasures into Western Europe using a circus. When Orlov replaces one of the shipments with a nuclear bomb, attempting to cause an explosion during a performance at a US Air Force base, Bond must stop the bomb from going off and stop Khan and Orlov from succeeding in their plans.
Long story short, back in the 60’s there was a legal battle between Eon studios and Kevin McClory, the writer for the movie Thunderball. McClory won the legal battle and wanted to remake the movie but it would be years before he would get his chance, calling the film Never Say Never Again. Meanwhile, Roger Moore had actually been considering quitting the Bond movies but when the studio heard that Sean Connery was playing Bond in McClory’s movie, they decided they needed an established Bond in the movie, rather than risk a new one. So for the first time ever, fans had two Bond movies come out in the same year but starring two different Bonds. So who won? Well, Never Say Never Again had better reviews from the critics, but Octopussy was a bigger success, earning 187 million to Never Say Never Again’s 160 million. But to be honest, the fans really won.
So this was a fun movie to watch. Plenty of action and some tongue-in-cheek scenes and dialogue that you would expect from a Bond movie. The scene where Bond was being hunted in India was pretty good, although him doing the obligatory “Tarzan yell” when he swings on a vine was a bit much. Roger Moore turned in a pretty solid performance in this movie. Maud Adams, making the first time ever that someone who played a Bond girl in a previous film returned in a different movie, was great as Octopussy and matched up well with Moore.
So if you want to see the commercial winner of the Battle of the Bonds, or just want to watch a fun Bond movie, then watch this movie
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5