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Lupin III: Walther-P38


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Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: watchable
  • form: sub
  • source: fansub
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Sun Mar 11 16:36:03 EST 2001
  • mod: none

Another rather cool movie about super-thief Lupin and the amazing situations he tends to end up in. But in this case he's got his serious hat on, and the movie is suprisingly violent.

But first some general information for those unfamiliar with Lupin. This series actually derives from some french novels (and an animation) about a devious gentleman thief. This idea was `borrowed' for anime, albeit not with complete copyright approval, leading to some variation in western titles. Although the anime version is actually the descendant of the original Lupin and is a bit more wild, and physical in his manner. Yet he still has a good heart, and ends up helping people more often than not. Along with his trusted (cough) companions he travels the globe searching for legendary treasures to `borrow'.

The gang are good fun in their own right. There's the suit wearing, laid back Jigen who's a master with every firearm. He seems to be with Lupin as much for the excitement as the financials, and is probably the most loyal (and balanced) companion. Especially when you consider that Goemon, the neo-samurai master swordsman has promised to kill Lupin one day. While the femme-fatale, but also a talented thief in her own right, Fujiko often has strange idea's about the distribution of the spoils. Mind you, Lupins most faithful companion is probably inspector Zenigata of Interpol (or other police organization) who has devoted his life and talents to catching Lupin. Which Lupin seems to regard as an entertaining and friendly rivalry. This could be because Zenigata has a strong sense of justice, and can often be convinced to look aside when Lupin is obviously working for what is `right'.

In this film lupin and zenigata are playing their usual games in the shadows of some VIP's party. However things get a lot noiser when the party is crashed by assassins clad in black, well armed, and marked with a spider tattoo on their hands. And these guys are vicious, gladly killing anyone who gets in their way as they advance to assassinate their target. And one of the victims is zenigata himself, but the ornate gun with which he is shot seems to have some meaning for Lupin, perhaps almost a challenge. And lupin is not one to back away from a challenge.

Although in this case no one would blame him. It seems that, on an island absent from the worlds maps, there's a powerful assassination group. They're supported by the worlds governments, and well paid, in order to perform hits on inconvenient people. Yet at the same time the forces that support these criminals also restrict them from leaving the island. The weird society that results is filled with violence, bloodlust, power and conspiracy. And the addition of Lupin and his gang to the mix starts the final phase. Although, the full picture is actually pleasantly complex.

Indeed this movie is suprisingly action based for a Lupin film. Being set, largely, on an island fortress there is little chance for thievery and social manipulation. Although the collected wealth of the assassins certainly is a motivator for several characters. Instead the focus is on physical action, especially combat, as the various factions and people are led into conflict. There's also quite a high body count with lots of quite graphic violence for a Lupin film.

It's done well though. While lupin gets quite a couple of lucky breaks there's nothing too offensive. In general most of what happens makes sense, the dialog is serious, believable and dramatic and the outcomes are logical. It's a well written, well crafted spy movie which is quite entertaining. On top of all that there's also some nice moments from the rest of the team and a couple of cool (and deadly) characters among the killers to provide some human interest. This includes a rather nice, and well handled, romantic interest. The background plot is discovering the nature of the challenge to Lupin, and the history behind it, and this does lead to a pretty solid conclusion.

The animation is a bit dated, and not super high budget, but it is fairly solid. The characters, old and new, look good and move well. The action, while often somewhat obscured by darkness, tracks well and is entertaining. There's also some interesting weapons, styles and environments in which to fight to keep things interesting. The general design and direction is good and the writing is skilled. The voices worked well but the music was relatively basic and sparse.

Other Reviews

  • Lord Carnage review A Long and good review from Lord Carnage. He points ot that while it might be a decent film in itself, the plot is fairly formulaic and the essential personality of a Lupin movie largely absent. A very good point (2.5/5).


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:21 WST 2009