More noise than signal


So, Octopussy.


Octo. Pussy.


The name says enough about it that there seems to be little point elaborating on it. But, I knew this day would come when I started on the project, so better to take my punishment and live with it. On the plus side, things can only get better from here on in.

The thirteenth Bond film, then. John Gruber of the Talk Show podcast reminds me of a salient point that, if not excuses Octopussy, goes some way to explain it. The thirteenth Bond film. Consider that for a moment. The thirteenth entry in a series. How many franchises have we seen that run out of ideas and quality halfway through the second entry? The answer, of course, being “most of them”. Thirteenth. Thirteen films.

It’s unprecedented and impressive. I suppose after having to make twelve Bond adventures, it’s natural to get a little sick of him, which I can only assume to be the reason to put the man known for his suave sophistication and put him in a clown outfit.

I suppose after finding twelve at worst competent actors to play Bond villains, you’d have to get to Steven Berkoff eventually. I’m sure no-one was looking forward to it, or wanted it, or thought he’d be anything better than the dreadful screeching annoyance that he is. There just wasn’t anywhere else to go.

After twelve plots, even by the variable standards to which Bond films are judged, you’d have to cobble together some loosely connected bullshit with jewellery smuggling and a corrupt Soviet general attempting to arrange a nuclear ‘accident’ at a U.S. Air Force base using a Trojan circus. I’m sure no-one thought it was a good idea. There just wasn’t anything else for Bond to do.

I’m sure after filming a scene where Bond swings from vine to vine, no-one wanted to overdub Tarzan yelling on to it. Nobody would want that. There just wasn’t any other option.

I sure after twelve films, there just wasn’t any other option than to replace the series’ trademarked car chases with a motorised rickshaw chase.

I’m sure there wasn’t any other way to make this thirteenth Bond film without the god-awful, more stop than start stop-start pacing, and ham-fisted action scenes, and structuring it to go on for another half hour after the obvious dramatic conclusion, and to bafflingly turn Q into a field operative.

There just couldn’t have been another way to do this film. Surely. The alternative is patently ridiculous. The alternative is that someone thought that all of the above was fine, and that Octopussy would make for a good Bond film.

I’m not prepared to believe so unbelievable a scenario. I’d find it more believable to find out that this had been planted by David Icke’s reptile people to prepare us for their unveiling, as told in the holy text V. I’d find it more believable that the script had been sabotaged by the makers of Never Say Never Again to give them an advantage in the War of the Bonds.

In fact, I think I shall reject this reality where Octopussy exists, because logically something like it cannot exist, so I must be delusional.

Yes, that’s it.

This isn’t a worse film than On Her Majesties’ Secret Service, because this film doesn’t exist.

Yes, that’s it.