Octopussy (1983) Movie Review: Eight Ways to Tell Your Script Needs Help

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for Roger Moore-era Bond silliness

Take a Drink: for Agent in a clown-suit

Take a Drink: when Bond’s Indian partner dies

Do a Shot: for gadget usage

Do a Shot: was that a buzz-saw Yo-yo?  Yes, yes it was…

Community Review


Movie Review

By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Five Beers) –

After MI6 agent 009 turns up dead in East Berlin with a knife in his back, Agent 007 (Roger Moore) is assigned to investigate the connection between his death and the Faberge Egg in his possession.  Bond soon connects the murder to an Indian crime lord, a traveling circus, and a crazed Soviet General bent on making war with the West.  He also meets “Octopussy”, the proprietor of an all-woman’s army who lives on an island off the coast of India. All in a day’s work for Britain’s best super-spy.

A Toast

There are some genuinely wonderful elements of the classic Bond franchise contained within this film. As Kamal Kahn, actor Louis Jordan has gravitas to spare.  He takes advantage of every little moment to ham it up in the best of ways, most notably in extended Backgammon scene and the Tiger Hunting sequence, where he dons a safari cap, jumps on an elephant, and picks up a scoped rifle to chase down Bond the gentlemanly way.

Quite sporting, old chap!
Quite sporting, old chap!

Beer Two

If you look closely enough in the scenes where Bond dons clown makeup, you can almost see Roger Moore’s train of thought, and the only stop is “Regret Street”.


Beer Three

Jesus… I almost forgot about the gorilla suit.  James Bond wears a gorilla suit, and not just a gorilla suit, but the least convincing, bargain-basement “Spirit Halloween Store” quality gorilla suit…. As if Roger Moore hadn’t suffered enough?


In fact, why did the circus even have a gorilla suit?… The Circus has a whole stable of real living elephants, bears, and horses. Why would they need a cheap gorilla suit, why would they want one?

Beer Four

The scenes at Octopussy’s compound are functionally meaningless to the plot, other than to write a Bond girl into a story that wouldn’t otherwise have one. And at the end, the circus-based showdown where Kamal’s base is attacked by Octopussy’s women-army is one of the most ludicrous and awkwardly shot sequences you’re apt to see.  The sequence is complete with human pyramids, net traps, trapeze-swinging attacks, and James Bond inexplicably arriving on scene via hot air balloon/obvious miniature shot.

But isn't it such a convincing miniature?  No?
But isn’t it such a convincing miniature? No?

The fun doesn’t end there, as Bond then chases after Kamal and his crony on horseback, chasing down a twin-engined airplane taxiing down a runway.  Bond jumps onto the back of the plane and instantly turns into a stunt-double.  Actually, the whole thing it is so absurd that it kind of works… kind of.

Beer Five

The infamous James Bond Tarzan scene…  *drops mic, walks off stage…*



Octopussy has some fun moments, and the Indian setting makes for a nice change of pace for the franchise, but it ultimately is brought down by a plodding, overlong pace, a positively by-the-numbers plot, and the worst use of the Tarzan-yell until the Return of the Jedi supplanted it the same year



About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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