Octopussy (1983)

Rating: B-

Dir: John Glen
Star: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan, Kristina Wayborn

[22] Chewing scenery as he goes, Steven Berkoff is the archetypal madman, plotting intricate schemes involving fake Faberge eggs, a travelling circus and a nuclear bomb; fortunately, he’s largely in the background. The morally ambivalent Maud Adams is the only woman to appear in the series as two different characters (see also Joe Don Baker), and India is used nicely, Vijay Amritraj turning in a winning performance as 007’s assistant – contrast Moneypenny replacement, Penelope Smallbone, so dreadful she vanished hereafter.

The whole film is defiantly light-hearted (check out Bond’s flip-top croc), and never quite topples into the ridiculous, despite Berkoff’s ham-handed efforts to make it. There’s a particularly enthralling sequence on top of a train careering through the German countryside, and Bond raises saving the world to a closer edge than ever before. Makes you feel somewhat nostalgic for a bygone era when digital watches were cutting-edge and cool…