Film Review: Octopussy

I am really starting to dislike the whole Roger Moore as James Bond “era” and sadly, part of me is longing for the day when Rog’ retires and I get to rejuvenate my interest in 007. The problem is that right now, I’m almost becoming bored with the franchise. It’s just too hit and miss as to whether you’re actually going to be entertained by the “latest” film and annoyingly, I am stuck with this sense that firstly: Roger Moore is fast becoming less and less convincing as a British secret service spy. Not only does he seem to be capable of performing any task: better than anyone else, at any time, but he also has an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything, and an amazing ability to dodge bullets, knives, bowler hats at any distance you care to think up.

Forget Neo being “The One” Morpheus should be looking for Roger Moore!

Secondly, it’s almost becoming “paint by numbers” film making as well. You start off with a sequence pre titles that makes no sense and serves no purpose to the plot, then you take Bond and see how many “new” countries you can visit on Roger’s round the world tour, before throwing in a car chase, a girl who proclaims to appear strong, mighty and independent, a bunch of villains with a lot of guns but no ability to hit a barn door let alone PTFE Bond, before finishing off am almighty flash-mob style fight scene in which Bond just runs around a lot “saving the day and the girl” and just before you roll the credits you take said previously strong, mighty and independent girl and tuck her neatly into a strangely positioned, double entendre riddled bed, alongside Rog’ while Q shakes his head with a look of “this ending again…” across his face.

Occasionally though, they will try and mix it up, make it different, paint over the lines and then, sadly, it goes wrong as we saw with For Your Eyes Only. And so, Octopussy unapologetically returns to painting 1’s red, 2’s blue and 3’s green.

In terms of Bond films, it’s another with a famous title, that I’m sure not too many people could actually tell you much about. You might be able to explain its plot, but there’s no real substance to it. I found myself watching it but never really drawn into it. I never felt like the movie wanted to let you in. It had a path from A to B and it was going to take it and not stop for questions. As a result, large chunks of the movie just seem to tick by. Once again, it’s a case of you could be anywhere, dealing with anybody and the movie wouldn’t change. It’d still tick along.

I must point out that at no point did I think about giving up on it, I sat there from start to finished always feeling involved, but I’d struggle to say it really kept me entertained or overly fulfilled. That might be down to the pace of the film. It feels very slow, although it’s only two hours long, I just never really got any sense of excitement, I never felt my heart beat increase. It seems weird thinking back on it, even with Bond hanging onto the outside of a plane mid air, or running across the top of a speeding train, I never once felt like he was ever in any real danger. I just sat there and thought “blah”.

Now, the worst part is that I should probably love Octopussy, after all it is the first Bond film to involve a hot air balloon, and it has a pretty big starring role in our paint by numbers flash-mob battle. But I found myself, thankfully not thinking “you can’t steer a balloon like that” but rather “Blimey, that’s a Thunder Balloons bottom end” (basket & burner) and “I wonder who the actual pilot was?” and that it’s Octopussy’s problem nail firmly on the head – it the big fight scene I am thinking about 1980s hot air balloon manufacturers!

This film is just forgettable entertainment. It’s not popcorn fodder, it’s not exciting, it’s just a pass you by, here’s another Bond film, film and I am sure that in the future if people ask me about Octopussy, all I will remember is the balloon and not events that went before it.

7 out of 10 stars (7 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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