Lupin was created by a manga artist who goes by the alias title of Monkey Punch, eventually leading to a popular TV series (and multiple manga feature films). This time, movie lovers get to see a whole new feature film following the character in a brand new unique style of colourful animation for the first time. Lupin The Third: The First takes the leading man on an action-adventure, unlike anything fans have seen before. This feature is also inviting to those who are unfamiliar with this character or any of the previous shows and feature films.
For those who are not familiar, Lupin III is a gentlemen thief. He’s known for going on wild adventures and investigating some of the world’s biggest mysteries, taking joy in discovering incredible artefacts. As a character, he is quite cheeky, loud, witty, but also knowledgable and smart. Lupin is also a wanted man by authorities, but they continue to fail at capturing him every time they have the opportunity to bring him in. Lupin follows his famous grandfather’s footsteps, who also led a life full of fun, action-packed adventures.
The film opens with a mysterious and tragic flashback, and shortly after we see Lupin III getting involved in attempting to recover an item known as “The Bresson Diary”. Soon Lupin III discovers that not only does this item holds the power to destroy the world, but this item is also somehow connected to his grandfather’s past. Lupin III will work with his skilled team to finish the adventure that his grandfather was never able to complete.
Visually, Lupin The Third: The First delivers terrific animation. The film is filled with bright colours and sharp visuals. I also enjoyed all the character costume designs along with other concepts which are quite creative and fun. The film’s audio track is also excellent, particularly Lupin’s “spy-like” theme song featured throughout the film.
As a plot, I found this pleasing for the most part. I feel those who are familiar with this character will gain the most enjoyment from this feature. Those unfamiliar with Lupin’s character might be slightly disappointed with the lack of character introduction. However, I found enough in this feature to find plenty of enjoyment in both the character and plot, which were equally likeable. The plot’s enjoyment is not diminished by the film’s similarity to other action-adventure films before it such as The Adventures of TinTin & The Indiana Jones franchise. The story is somewhat basic: a mysterious treasure, bad guys also wanting the same thing, and wild action sequences which are unrealistic but extremely entertaining. The film’s third act wraps up with a few fun action moments, but it also had predictable moments.
Overall, while I wasn’t overly familiar with this lead character, I found this film rather pleasing. The film’s animation is a major highlight as it’s stunning, sharp and bright. For the most part, the film’s plot is also engaging and delivers many moments of both action and adventure along the way. Naturally, existing fans of this character will be most pleased with the results here, but thankfully there is plenty to enjoy for those new to this world of a gentlemen thief.
Lupin The Third: The First (2019) is Now Available in Cinemas!
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Review Written by Peter Walkden