You have to admit that Octopussy is an insanely bad title for a film. Or a book. Or a football team. Octopussy is pretty much a bad name for anything but a spunky all-girl neo-punk band.
The most Bondian moment in Octopussy is the pre-credit sequence in Cuba, where a disguised 007 escapes from the commies in an Acrostar, the smallest jet in the world. Bond evades a heat-seeking missile by flying the jet into a huge warehouse. At the far end, bad guys struggle to push the hangar doors close, but Bond busts a Han Solo move and flies sideways through the narrowing gap. The missile on his tail destroys the whole damn warehouse and everybody inside. D’oh!
15. Licence to Kill
The two Dalton movies each have my favorite stunt sequences in the entire franchise: the battle between Necros and Bond on a bucking cargo net hanging off the back of a plane in The Living Daylights, and the barefoot waterskiing gag in Licence to Kill.
This film, much-maligned by Bond purists, was a rarity in the franchise: a box office dud. Licence to Kill is a more personal and street-level story than most Bond films. Audiences were underwhelmed by Bond’s quest for vengeance against a drug lord and many people were critical of the film’s violence. Plus, Bond orders a Budweiser in this movie. A fucking Budweiser. Not okay.
There are a couple of nuggets of Bondian gold hidden in the film. There’s an absolutely huge gas tanker explosion at the end of the film that is particularly impressive to fans of absolutely huge explosions. I read an interview with Dalton where he claims that during the filming of the scene, he was running from the pyrotechnic charge towards the camera when he felt a huge wave of heat and saw all the camera crew running away in terror from the rapidly expanding fireball. When the camera guys run, you know you’ve got a big frickin’ explosion.
The other moment of Bondian radness is the waterski sequence. In short, Bond wreaks havoc on a drug smuggling yacht, then goes underwater with SCUBA gear to sabotage a drone submarine that shuttles drugs beneath the surface from the yacht to a nearby sea plane full of money. Bond gets jumped by speargun wielding frogmen who don’t take kindly to the British agent screwing up their drug/money exchange.
Bond grabs a speargun during the struggle and shoots up at one of the departing sea plane’s pontoons. A thin cable unspools from the spear and the plane yanks him to the surface and away from the enemy divers.
The plane is building up speed, trying to take off. Bond pops to his feet and begins barefoot waterskiing behind the plane. He swings out wide until he’s skiing nearly parallel with the sea plane. Cue that theme music.
Bond yanks hard and shoots himself toward the plane, slamming into one of the pontoons. He hooks a support strut and just like that he’s on the plane, which is now airborne. Bond defenestrates the pilot and co-pilot and commandeers the plane – which is loaded with a fortune in drug money. Score.
I love that scene. The rest of the movie plays like a Miami Vice episode with British accent, but man, that scene kicks all kinds of ass.
16. The World is Not Enough