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James Bond 007 Ultimate Edition – Octopussy

Genre: , ,

Cast: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Vijay Amritraj, Cheryl Anne, Patrick Barr, Kabir Bedi

Director: John Glen

Rated: PG

Review By:
Rocco Passafuime

SUNY Purchase '05

"I don't compromise my values and I don't compromise my work. I won't give in." -Michael Moore

Release Date: September 4th, 2007
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Overall Grade: C-

James Bond 007 Ultimate Edition – Octopussy

Review By: Rocco Passafuime


In the early 1980's, the James Bond franchise seemed to have gotten back on track as far as its faithfulness to author Ian Fleming's vision with For Your Eyes Only. However, the Bond franchise would soon be challenged when Thunderball producer Kevin McClory decided to create his own Bond movie outside of EON Films with Never Say Never Again, despite Sean Connery making a return as the secret agent.

Despite the rival 007 film turning out to be a bust, the official film turned out that year by producer Albert R. Broccoli unfortunately had done little to turn the increasing tide audiences began to have against the series. The film, of course, was Octopussy, now available on DVD.

This entry is very loosely on the Ian Fleming short stories Octopussy and The Property Of A Lady. When agent 009 is murdered at a circus after retrieving a Faberge egg from East Berlin's British Embassy that turns out to be fake, secret agent 007 James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent to find the seller of the real egg at a Sotheby's auction and uncover the mystery of why 009 was killed.

When banished Afghan prince Kamal Khan (Louis Jordan) spares no expense to outbid him for the egg, Bond follows him back to his palace in India. His trail leads him to Khan's partner, an international jewel smuggler named Octopussy (Maud Adams).

Bond soon finds himself captured by Khan. However, the secret agent soon learns that the real brains behind the operation is a renegade Soviet general named Orlov (Steven Berkoff), who plans to use the value of the real Faberge eggs as funding to launch a nuclear bomb from East Germany, to incite an end to détente and a heating up of the Cold War.

For Your Eyes Only emerged as one of the better Bond films of the series due to its more serious approach and focus on character development. However, Octopussy, while more realistic than the outlandish Bond films of the 1970's, reverts back to the franchise's more sillier and campy tone.

With a rather strung-together plot and a cliché script, the film's exotic Indian setting comes out as part of some rather desperate gimmicks to enliven what was becoming an increasingly stale and repetitive franchise. Even some of the casting reflects this feeling as The Man With The Golden Gun's Maud Adams once again plays the role of a Bond girl (another antagonist, by the way) and Roger Moore, while turning in yet another effortlessly suave and gallant performance, is really starting to show his age here.

The DVD is presented in the 2:35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, with the sound quality in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. The sole special feature on this new single-disc DVD edition are two audio commentaries.

The first audio commentary features director John Glen, who provides plenty of information on the film's conception and development. The

second features actor Roger Moore who, while more scant and drowsy in delivery, provides plenty of charming and charismatic recollections.

While it continues the more realistic direction set by the previous film For Your Eyes Only, it's with Octopussy that the Bond franchise really started showing its age. Mired in formulaic clichés from its countless predecessors coupled with desperate gimmicks in a now all-too familiar environment, the film would be an indication of the steady decline that would continue to emerge with 007 films as the 1980's wore on.

Movie Grade: C-
DVD Features Grade: B-
Overall Grade: C-

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