Combustible Celluloid
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With: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan, Steven Berkoff, Desmond Llewelyn, Kristina Wayborn, Kabir Bedi, Robert Brown, Lois Maxwell, Vijay Amritraj
Written by: George MacDonald Fraser, Michael G. Wilson, Richard Maibaum, based on a story by Ian Fleming
Directed by: John Glen
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 131
Date: 06/06/1983

Octopussy (1983)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Call to Arms

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Octopussy is the thirteenth official James Bond film (an unofficial one, Never Say Never Again, was released the same year). Roger Moore appears in his sixth of seven outings as Agent 007. It's one of the sillier outings. John Glen directed, and he was already growing lazy. The movie indulges Moore's taste for ridiculous humor, which might have been fine, except that the movie bungles the more serious aspects of the story. The movie runs awfully long, but the timing is all off. Things seem rushed and clipped when they should have been more exploratory and suspenseful.

After another agent discovers a fake Fabergé egg, Agent 007, James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent to an auction in London to find out more. He traces the egg to an exiled Afghan prince, Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan). Khan is involved in an international crime ring, stealing priceless Russian treasures and smuggling them through a circus run by the beautiful Octopussy (Maud Adams). Khan is also working with a Russian general (Steven Berkoff), who plans to set off a nuclear warhead in order to trick the United States into lowering its defenses. It's up to Bond to expose the bad guys and save the day, all the while evading deadly circus performers, like the twin knife throwers, who are hot on his trail.

Jourdan, who had worked with Hitchcock, Ophuls, and Cukor, does his best as the head villain, but he's limited by the screenplay. Ms. Adams falls short with not much to do as the provocatively-named title character. Meanwhile, Moore barely seems involved in the story at all, and even disguises himself as a clown in one scene, thereby sucking all the dignity out of an otherwise suave and exciting series. Even the worst Bond movies can be entertaining, but Octopussy seriously pushes the envelope.

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