Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Joel interviews the MIFF team to find out what's in this year's program announcement! Click to listen to our special SWITCHCast ep now.x
review, Lupin the Third: The First, Lupin, the, Third:, The, First, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Kanichi Kurita, Daisuke Namikawa, Miyuki Sawashiro, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Kouichi Yamadera, Kotaro Yoshida, Suzu Hirose, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Takashi Yamazaki, Action, Adventure, Animation, Crime, Family, Mystery film rating

LUPIN THE THIRD: THE FIRST

★★★

HONOUR AND ADVENTURE AMONGST THIEVES

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Joel Kalkopf
10th January 2021

Forty years on from Hayao Miyazaki's ('Spirited Away') enduring debut feature 'The Castle of Cagliostro', its timeless protagonist and serial Manga character Lupin III returns in his first CG-animated film, 'Lupin the Third: The First'. It's been 23 years since Lupin was last on the big screen, and it's an overall stylish and welcome return for the world's greatest thief.

Even those who merely dabble in Japanese Anime and Manga will be familiar with Lupin III, who made his start in 1967, and has gone one to become one of Japan's most recognisable and infamous characters. For those who are not familiar, I will give a short overview of the premise, although it must be said that minimal knowledge is needed for this film.

Created by the recently deceased Monkey Punch, Lupin III is the grandson of Frenchman Arsne Lupin, he himself a famous gentleman thief. Lupin's right-hand man is Jigen, a marksman of the highest talent. They also often work with Geomon, a master swordsman of few spoken words. There is also Fujiko, the sometimes love interest and sometimes double-crosser to Lupin, a handy thief in her own right. Lupin and his gang are always being chased by Interpol inspector Zenigata, who is determined to catch Lupin in the act and put him behind bars - a task that proves ever impossible.

'LUPIN THE THIRD: THE FIRST' TRAILER

Credit to director and writer Takashi Yamazaki ('Always: Sunset on Third Street') and the team behind 'Lupin the Third: The First', because even though there is some assumed knowledge of these characters and there is no backstory given in the film, anyone can pick it up pretty quickly, as they make it extremely accessible for any newcomers. That is one of the many shining lights of this enjoyable film: that it manages to both stay true to the canon and themes of the series, but that it equally manages to bring a fresh feel and invites a new audience to discover the characters.

Even if you are not interested in watching all 300 TV episodes, reading the hundreds of comics, playing the video games or buying all the merchandise, this latest adventure is still worth your time. Think of all the best bits of Indiana Jones, Tintin, James Bond and 'National Treasure', and you've got one hell of a ride.

Lupin's latest escapades see him try to steal the Bresson Diary, a diary with all the maps and secrets to uncovering a treasure, the "Eclipse". However, Lupin is not the only one searching for this secret treasure, as the now-underground Nazi cabal, Ahnenerbe, are hot on his heels. The film follows all the beats and standard tropes one would expect from this genre type, and the film essentially plays out by moving from set-piece to set-piece. I always have time for an anti-Nazi treasure hunt adventure flick - and this is no exception. The film's antagonist even has a scar on his eye to go with his evil German accent. Obvious parallels to 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' will undoubtedly be made, especially when things get a little supernatural in the third act, and it was impossible not to think about it during the film, but nevertheless, 'Lupin the Third: The First' proves to be a fun and engaging film in its own right.

One of the many shining lights of this enjoyable film is that it manages to both stay true to the canon and themes of the series, and that it equally manages to bring a fresh feel and invites a new audience to discover the characters.

One of the things working against this film is that, unfortunately, most audiences will not be able to catch this on the big screen. The animation is glorious and the action set-pieces are truly stylish and bombastic, however they just don't play as well when sitting at home. I would also like to try this film again with the Japanese voice cast, because as well the English actors did, the poor dubbing did take some getting used to and was often distracting. You eventually forget about it, thanks mainly to the wonderful voice work from Anime stalwarts Tony Oliver as Lupin, and Laurie Hymes as the spirited archeology student Laetitia. The dialogue itself feels very uninspired and often lacks the rhythm necessary to instil the rush of blood an adventure of this calibre deserves, but it can be mostly forgiven with the colourful visuals on screen.

There are very few surprises along the way, especially the major plot twist which can be spotted a mile away, but there is something here for everyone to enjoy. The script doesn't veer far away from the series to please even the most die-hard of fans, and the cartoon-like style of the animation is both fun and eye-catching. 'Lupin the Third: The First' boasts an excellent combination of what makes the series so popular - it's goofy, serious, adventurous - and dare I say, sexy. What else could you ask for?

Questions were raised when it was announced that Lupin would make his way into CG animation - but fear not fans, dedicated to the memory of the creator Monkey Punch, 'Lupin the Third: The First' makes a seamless transition. There's little here for fans not to enjoy, and although it's certainly not going to blow the mind of any newcomers, it's a fun introduction to the world's greatest gentleman thief, Lupin.

FAST FACTS
AKA: Lupin Iii: The First
RELEASE DATE: 14/01/2021
RUN TIME: 1h 33m
CAST: Kanichi Kurita
Daisuke Namikawa
Miyuki Sawashiro
Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Kouichi Yamadera
Kotaro Yoshida
Suzu Hirose
Tatsuya Fujiwara
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Takashi Yamazaki
PRODUCER: Takeshi Ito
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Who the hell is Bloodshot? - A primer on Vin Diesel's superhero
TRENDINGWHO THE HELL IS BLOODSHOT?A primer on Vin Diesel's superhero
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
The World at War - The landmark documentary series restored in high definition
TRENDINGTHE WORLD AT WARThe landmark documentary series restored in high definition
Malila: The Farewell Flower - Contemplating love and loss
TRENDINGMALILA: THE FAREWELL FLOWERContemplating love and loss
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two - New villains, same problems
TRENDINGBATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART TWONew villains, same problems
Buckley's Chance - Not worth a chance
TRENDINGBUCKLEY'S CHANCENot worth a chance
Calm with Horses - A savage and sensitive Irish crime drama
TRENDINGCALM WITH HORSESA savage and sensitive Irish crime drama
Shiva Baby - A comedy of discomfort
TRENDINGSHIVA BABYA comedy of discomfort
The Glass Room - Stunning yet soulless
TRENDINGTHE GLASS ROOMStunning yet soulless
Some Kind of Heaven - A bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
TRENDINGSOME KIND OF HEAVENA bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
The Swallows of Kabul - Unflinching and gorgeously animated
TRENDINGTHE SWALLOWS OF KABULUnflinching and gorgeously animated
Cerulean Blue - Promising debut for a new voice in Australian cinema
TRENDINGCERULEAN BLUEPromising debut for a new voice in Australian cinema
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
2:22 - Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
TRENDING2:22Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
Birds of Prey - I'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
TRENDINGBIRDS OF PREYI'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
La Dolce Vita - Not as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
TRENDINGLA DOLCE VITANot as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!