To keep his skin so tight, he drinks the blood of five virgins each morningOCTOPUSSY

(1983)
With Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jordan, Kristina Wayborn, Kabir Bedi, Robert Brown, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell
Directed by John Glen
Reviewed by JL and JB

     Roger Moore's penultimate Bond film is one of his better efforts, if not in a league with THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.  Louis Jordan makes for a fairly decent Bond villains; Maud Adams, in her second go-round as a Bond girl, is lovely and mysterious as the titular character; and there are a couple of chase scenes that are good for cheap thrills.  Other than that, it's the standard Bond formula, well executed.  The lingering image for those disdainful of the Moore years is that of Bond in a clown suit, but I won't go there. There, I got through the whole paragraph without making a single wisecrack about the title. 3½ - JL


     OCTOPUSSY is certainly a mixed bag, containing the best and worst elements of the Moore/Bond era. There are exciting action sequences, including a plane ride that makes me queasy every time I see it, but unfortunately there are also dumb-dumb sight gags and inappropriate sound effects (the Tarzan holler?  Really?). The film never makes up its mind what kind of Bond movie it wants to be. 

    The clown suit scene mentioned above is a skillful blending of the sublime and ridiculous.  Undercover at a circus, Bond must defuse a nuclear bomb smuggled into a circus.  It is a tense, suspenseful sequence in which Bond, under the circumstances, happens to be dressed as a clown.  And Moore gets away with it!  Out of all the actors who portrayed James Bond through the years, Moore is the only one who could pull off a scene in a clown suit, since Moore was widely accepted by this time as the most clownish Bond of all ("The Most Clownish Bond Of All!" would have been a perfect advertising slogan for just about any Bond film from Moore's tenure).  

    Clownishness aside, this is a decent entry of the series, one which features Louis Jordan's classic villain line "You seem to have this nasty habit of surviving!".  I take off one half-point to punish Roger Moore for his inexcusable punching-up of every double entendre with his eyes. 3 - JB

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