Those of you keeping score at home may have noticed I haven’t yet given a 1-martini rating to a Bond movie. This is because long ago I decided that a 1 would be reserved for movies so bad I had to talk myself down from grabbing the remote and turning the movie off. I came pretty close to that state with Octopussy, but I’m a trooper and quitting isn’t an option when it comes to All the Bonds. We watched this movie on New Years Eve, so every time I was like “OH MY GOD THIS IS SO, SO BAD” I just drank more champagne. I’d like to say that helped make it more amusing, but it really didn’t.
Plot in twenty words or less: The Commies are trying to expand via manipulating the art market and duping jewelry smugglers into running bombs.
How it’s aged: Really, really bad, y’all. It’s not just the vaguely Cuban military dudes and the divided Germany – after all, the Commies have been a mainstay of many great Bond movies. No, this movie just kept getting worse and worse – from having not one, but two 00-agents dress up as clowns, to the Zzzzzzzzz opening credits to the awful Tarzan-yell Bond let out while swinging through the forest. It wasn’t that this movie was dialing it in – Diamonds are Forever is Exhibit A for Bond-franchise laziness. No, it’s because I’m pretty sure Octopussy was written by a 4th grader. Fiance claimed it reminded him of Axe Cop, in terms of improbable storytelling. The scene where Bond fiddles with a camera in Q’s lab to zoom in on some lady’s cleavage? Very much not like Bond. And it’s sort of where you hear a whoopee cushion go off in the distance, and any remaining class this movie had is just gone like a Faberge egg from the Kremlin Art Repository.
Something that was just weird and/or WTF y’all: I touched on several ingredients in this movie’s WTF soup already, but can we talk about the OMG WTF BBQ-levels of really awful colonialism and racist stereotyping in this movie? The Indian market scene (fire eaters! sword swallowers! dudes laying on a bed of nails!) would have been bad in a black and white silent film of The Olden Days, but at least it would have been, uh, of its time in terms of cultural sensitivity. Octopussy, on the other hand, was made in 1983. 1983!!!! Seriously, come on. Every time I think Bond takes a huge leap forward in portrayals of other cultures, we get a big giant one-way ticket to embarrassing land of clueless white privilege.
Obligatory feminist commentary: It’s hard not to begin counting the similarities between Octopussy and Pussy Galore. Pussy Galore is one of my favorite Bond girls, so I felt sort of bad that Octopussy left me feeling bored. I think she and I got off on a bad start with her hideously not-real tattoo and her cooing “That’s my octopussy.” Ugh. Like Pussy Galore, Octopussy has this totally awesome company of fightin’ ladies. And Octopussy had a circus – like Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus.
Completely hypothetical cultural reference points: Sorry guys, I was too busy hating this movie to tease out any meaningful cultural references.
Superficial Thing that did not Amuse Me: Pretty much everything. Y’all want me to tell you how I really feel about this movie?
Superficial Thing that highly Amused Me: The tour boat in one scene had a banner that said Cincinnati Moose Lodge 113. I’m from Cincinnati, so that was pretty awesome.
Interesting and possibly dubious thing I learned from Wikipedia: I typically source interesting tidbits for this category from the Production and Filming section of each Bond movie Wikipedia page. I typically have a hard time narrowing down the coolest factoid from these sections. But the Wikipedia page for this movie is one of the dullest I’ve ever seen, which should tell you something. The most interesting thing I could find was that Faye Dunaway was considered for the part of Octopussy.
Martini rating: Two martinis
Administrative information concerning this viewing:
Drinks consumed: Champagne
Food eaten: Fancy cheese and fig preserves with crackers, spiced nuts
Viewed on: December 31, 2013
Viewing Partner: Fiance, Cat