Movie Review: Lupin The Third (Live Action)

"Lupin III (ルパン三世 Rupan Sansei?) is a 2014 Japanese action film directed by Ryuhei Kitamura and based on the iconic manga by Monkey Punch. The film focuses on how the series' main characters met for the first time and will reportedly update the franchise to a contemporary setting. It was premiered in Japan on August 30, 2014." Wiki

As pure entertainment, LUPIN THE THIRD delivers decently on both cinematic fronts and with a tinge of verve recognizable in most Japanese films, with this more than the usual flavor, which is not a bad thing here, given the international pedigree of the actors line-up.

Story-wise, one could argue a tighter control over the plot and reigning back the melodrama just a squeeze, but all-in-all, it is mindless entertainment best enjoyed without baggage and fuss.

The version I saw had most everyone "speaking" the Japanese language, from the Chinese (Jerry Yan), to the Korean, to the Caucasians and the Thai actors, so thankfully there is not a whole lot of audio discomfort to be had, and I had chosen to throw all logic out the window, to be able to enjoy the film.

Production value scores decently against pedestrian Hollywood fare, with the right splash of panache and sincerity, if lacking a bit the the overall spectacle it tried to be, especially where The Ark was concerned. Overhyped and totally under-delivered. Reminded me somewhat of 80s-90s Hong Kong "big bad" confrontations though, with this definitely NOT a case of "pleasant reminiscence", I insist. Although the obvious 60s-70s vibe lingers thru the entire film esthetics.

"hahahaahaaaa this is assumption university, thailand.. but great to see the singapore text on it lol ;)" (@huapeeb on IG)
The "stars" were plucked from various parts of Asia, and did their bits admirably competently, with the exception of Lupin himself become a caricature, while even Inspector Koichi and Goemon was surprisingly plausible, given their character roles.

I consider it an "education" of the story, as I am unfamiliar with neither the manga or anime, so I refrain from comments about "authenticity to source material" etc - and view it as "tourist" with a surface understanding of the story, which essentially is recognizing Lupin's car and his dark red jacket, yep.

I watched this film via online streaming, which had murky dark visuals to overt shadows (compared to the youtube trailer shown above) with English subtitles to guide me through, never once given pause to suspect the authenticity of translation, but that's my POV anyways.

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I am glad I managed to catch this, but frankly need not have changed my world view but for the positives anime-to-live-action adaptation could be achieved - given the right notion … I am unsure if I could have enjoyed it more in a darkened cinema tho … Regardless, no DVD purchase for me here.

Popcorn-Rating: I would say 1 & 1/2 x fluffy piping-hot bags of salted popcorn (to give some semblance of a "kick" to aid in the enjoyment of the film) out of 5 bags … but I sat thru the 133-minutes without a bag of chips in front of my laptop, and survived.

#LupinTheThird screengrab for use in film review on #PopcornX

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Shun Oguri as Arsène Lupin III
Tetsuji Tamayama as Daisuke Jigen
Gō Ayano as Goemon Ishikawa XIII
Meisa Kuroki as Fujiko Mine
Tadanobu Asano as Koichi Zenigata
Jerry Yan as Michael Lee
Kim Joon as Pierre
Nick Tate as Dawson
Nirut Sirijanya as Pramuk
Rhatha Phongam as Miss V
Thanayong as Royal