The Russians have amassed huge armored forces, much stronger than
the West's, along the Czechoslovakian and East German border. In the
secret councils of the Russian army, the hawks, and what goes for
doves, argue over the strategy to best deal with the West. The most
ardent nationalists are willing to risk world war and a potential
nuclear holocaust to reign supreme over their Western foes. Meanwhile,
someone on the Russian side is starting to flood the world's art market
with fake Faberge eggs. Thus we set the stage for OCTOPUSSY - you
gotta love those Bond names -- 1983's episode of the James Bond saga,
and Roger Moore's penultimate appearance as the famous secret agent.
Louis Jourdan, as Kamal Khan, is one of the most debonair and
suave of all of Bond's villains, who traditionally are crude ones like
Spectre's #1 or Goldfinger. Khan has the looks and demeanor that come
closest to rivaling Bond's own. The smooth talking Khan, wearing
clothes that look like retro Mao, never breaks a sweat. Going back to
the earlier films, in which Bond is as successful at gambling as with
women, James joins a rigged game of Baccarat with Khan and destroys him
with the ultra-confidence that comes from knowing just how Khan is
For exotic locales we have a most colorful India and a bleak East
Germany. We are introduced to two Indias, one with the abject poverty
of the street vendors and the other with the opulence of marbled
palaces complete with an array of elegant waiters. And in a scene
designed solely to shock, we find that the superrich view sheep's eyes
as a special delicacy. In order to make the ever-gray East Germany
interesting, the picture is visually enlivened by setting it in a
circus, bursting with characters in colorful costumes.
The best action sequence has Bond himself turned into sport and
hunted like a tiger with men on elephants and on foot, yelling, blowing
horns and banging sticks and drums as they hunt him down.
John Barry, the Academy Award winning composer for BORN FREE, THE
LION IN WINTER, OUT OF AFRICA and DANCES WITH WOLVES, produces the most
haunting and lovely score of any of the Bond films. This along with
director John Glen's deliberately slower pacing gives the strangely
serene film the feel more of a romance than an action thriller.
In the title role of Octopussy we have Maud Adams, who, a decade
earlier starred in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. Octopussy -- her
friends drop the octo - got her name from her father. She and her
minions wear robes and have tattoos of colorful octopi. Octopussy's
purpose is more to provide a romantic element than to provide an
The endings of Bond pictures are traditionally full of theatrics.
The overblown conclusion of OCTOPUSSY includes a sequence of James
ridding high above the battle on a hot air balloon made of bright
British flag material.
OCTOPUSSY runs too long at 2:05. It is rated PG for comic
violence and sexual innuendo and would be fine for kids around 9 and
My son Jeffrey, almost 9, thought it was an okay movie but
complained that there weren't any real bad guys in it and that he
didn't understand what all of that egg thing was about. Overall he
felt the show just didn't make enough sense for him.
Copyright © 1998 Steve Rhodes