Are you excited about seeing master thief Lupin III pulling off heists in live-action on the big screen? So are we!
Thanks to Encore Films, AFACHAN was invited for a first peek at the film, and here’s what we got:
Lupin III (Rupan Sansei) is based on a 1967 manga series of the same title. It was written and illustrated by Monkey Punch (Katou Kazuhiko) and it follows the adventures of Lupin III as he tries to find and steal worldly treasures.
In the second live adaptation of Lupin the Third, Shun Oguri (Rui Hanazawa in Hana Yori Dango),plays title character Lupin III, a gentleman thief who goes around the world stealing treasures. Joining him in his heists is his wingman, expert marksman Daisuke Jigen, played by Tetsuji Tamayama (Nagasawa in Norwegian Wood). Master swordsman, Goemon Ishikawa XIII, played by Gou Ayano (George Asakura in Gatchaman) tags along for the ride, bringing Zantetsuken, a sword that can cut anything. The woman called Mine Fujiko, played by Meisa Kuroki (Sister Angela in 1 Pound no Fukuin), extends a helping hand to Lupin and his gang. With her is Pierre, played by Kim Joon (Song Woo Bin in Boys Over Flowers), the tech guy who provides intel to the gang.
In the film, Lupin and his gang takes on the Ark, a state of the art facility where the world’s greatest treasure, the Crimson Heart of Cleopatra, is kept. Time is running out for the team with the arrival of Michael Lee,played by Jerry Yan (Dao Ming Zi in Meteor Garden), who sets his eyes on the treasure. Not far off is Inspector Kouichi Zenigata, played by Tadanobu Asano (Dr. Ishi in live adaptation of Kiki’s Delivery Service), who has made it is his life’s mission to see Lupin and his gang behind bars. Will Lupin succeed and get to the treasure first or will Zenigata finally capture Lupin?
First and foremost, this was not going to be your typical Lupin series to begin with. The movie opens with what looks like a scene from Mission Impossible, a man stealing a treasure by hanging upside down to avoid heat from the pressure-sensitive floors. A scene that the audience would always see in a Western film. As the film progresses and the plot thickens, it was evident that this will be anything but ordinary.
Enter: Goemon Ishikawa XIII
One of Lupin’s comrade-at-arms, Goemon Ishikawa XIII, steals the thunder when he displayed amazing sword skill, showing great dexterity while fighting off one of the henchmen. One wonders who would win a battle if Kenshin Himura and Goemon Ishikawa XIII were to face each other. Goemon is one endearing character in the movie having shown off his aloof side while trying to decipher what looks like a heavily-coded puzzle. It was very much one of the light-hearted moments from the movie.
Jigen and his Smith & Wesson Model 19 Combat Magnum
Who can compete with Jigen, a marksman of high-calibre? His scenes were well executed when he fends off one henchmen from the other. He was quick-witted during a very well-played showdown with Royal, played by Thanayong Wongtrakul (Ramrowan in The Man from Nowhere).
What’s in the language?
This is a case of having too many cooks spoiling the broth. The movie with its stellar international lineup cost the movie its lingua franca. Dialogues were a mess and there was no clear direction of the movie’s spoken language – was this supposedly to be in Mandarin, Japanese, Thai or English?
The bad angles and that shaky feeling from the camera
Clearly there was enough action scenes for this movie but audiences may complain about the bad angles used in scenes. Often, visuals turned out shaky and blurry, reminiscent of scenes from the Blair Witch Project.
The side characters are the stars of the movie
There are good characters and there are bad characters. Lupin III had it worst. It is odd to find obscure, minor characters showing off at crucial scenes of the movie where the main focus ought to have been with Lupin, Goemon and Jigen. The roles of these men, a pair of hackers, does not even stand out. They did not warrant the attention they got when all they did was to churn out random typing on the keyboard. The heckling and cheering by one of the hackers did not help at all (or contribute to the story).
OVERALL RATING ( 3 out of 5 stars )
Well, for fans of the franchise, if you are willing to view it in another light, it will nevertheless still be an enjoyable watch. For first timers, it will be a refreshing sight to see an all-star Asian cast coming together for an Ocean Eleven-like heist. It’s like an Asian “A-Team”. The film not only does it come with high adrenaline action scenes but also interjects witty humour into some portions. With that, just sit back, relax and enjoy the film!
Lupin III is now showing at Singapore cinemas starting 25 September 2014.
Cast: Shun Oguri, Meisa Kuroki, Jerry Yan, Kim Joon, Gou Ayano, Tetsuji Tamayama
Runtime: 133 mins
Language: Japanese with English and Chinese subtitles
Rating : PG 13
Source: Lupin the Third Official Website