22) 1983’s Octopussy
I’m not sure there’s a single Bond movie with a more Bond-ish plot than Octopussy. A rogue Soviet General partners with a mysterious cult of beautiful women circus performers headed by a hot older lady named Octopussy to steal a Faberge Egg and trick European powers into disarmament. It’s all very well conceived. The circus allows the action to change places. The jewel thief angle allows Bond to investigate something more intimate with less stakes, and the rogue general element allows for political intrigue and General Gogol’s typical greatness.

Unfortunately, Octopussy mucks up that Bond-tastic premise with one big explosion of miscues typical to the Roger Moore era. At fifty-six, the actor was beginning to lumber a bit in the action sequences; yet, he’s presented like an unstoppable superman here. He flies on top of planes thousands of feet in the air, does complicated rope swinging maneuvers and rides underneath a train. It’s over-the-top in a bad way and made worse by John Glen’s hokey direction that scores his rope swings with Tarzan noises and lets Bond actually let out “ummphhs” while playing dead like some second-rate cartoon.

Thanks to some better than average henchmen including knife throwers, an alligator disguise each of us wishes we could use on Halloween and a Q-piloted Union Jack hot air balloon, Octopussy actually is watchable. I’ve always held onto a fantasy that someone would come along and use the basic premise as a jumping off point, but considering that fantasy is basically an admission that a lot went wrong, it’s not altogether shocking this wound up at twenty-two.

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