If you're a sucker for Agent 007, then by all means get tangled up in the tender tentacles of "Octopussy," the 13th screen outing for Ian Fleming's suave spy. It's also the sixth time Roger Moore has been James Bond, with Sean Connery's "Never Say Never Again" still in the can.
Octopussy herself is played by Maud Adams, the only woman who has ever had starring roles in two Bond films, and probably the only woman who has ever wanted to have starring roles in two Bond films, where women are barely verbal and play the scenery.
"Octopussy" is no exception, starting with the naked ladies admiring guns in the credits and ending with Adams in the arms of the leading man, while "the Bond girls" row her love barge down Lake Pichola, timing their strokes by shouting, "In. Out. In. Out."
That's pretty sophisticated shouting as dialogue goes here. Consider this sample: "I need refilling," says one miss, lolling in bed with Bond and brandishing an empty glass of champagne. We can't help but twirl our collective mustaches.
Luckily, action is louder than words in this movie, which packs it in, what with a demented Russian general smuggling Faberg,e eggs through Octopussy so he can finance a plot to blow up western Europe. To save NATO, Bond makes love when he's not involved in chases -- two in and on planes, one on and under a train, several in cars, one in a truck, one on a horse, another over a camel. All are given equal dramatic emphasis, so that it gets kind of boring.
And attempts at frightening audiences are more adolescent than the dialogue: Louis Jourdan, the Afghan villain, eats a lamb's head for dinner; a leech attaches itself to Bond's breast; an octopus falls out of an aquarium and onto a man's face.
There are some wonderful sight gags, though, with Bond performing his much- loved, totally unbelievable escapes with debonair bravado. Sometimes it's comic- book camp, sometimes it's tense, but mostly each scene plays on and on and on. We've come to prefer our adventures tightly edited and machine-gun paced.
While Moore is fit and has his cardboard charms, Jourdan doesn't make much of a villain. He seems always on the verge of asking the hero to dance. OCTOPUSSY -- At area theaters.