Lupin The 3rd: The Master Thief (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Director: Ryûhei Kitamure
Distributor: Splendid Film
Duration: 134 minutes

Lupin The 3rd: The Master Thief (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Live rendition of Lupin the 3rd, Had a lot of promise
Bad: Fails to deliver, Certain action scenes
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Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

After Bruce Willis starred in the movie Hudson Hawk in 1991, we learned that movies about big heists should not always be extremely serious to be rather enjoyable. This brings us to the live action adaptation of the manga/anime series of Lupin the 3rd, which is about a humoristic master thief. Even though Lupin always has his eye on legendary treasures, this movie will not be as impressive as his targets.


Arsene Lupin III (Shun Oguri), grandson of Arsene Lupin makes it a sport to steal the most expensive treasures in the world, from the best guarded places on this very planet. Nonetheless, whilst it is often only for fun, Lupin is part of a thieving guild, where status tends to be important. There is nothing more amusing than a good contest to see who gets his hands on the prize first. That being said, after the latest competition between his compatriots Fujiko Mine (Meisa Kuroki), Michael Lee (Jerry Yan), Jigen (Tetsuji Tamayama) and a few others, things turn sour shortly after the guild returns to its headquarters. The leader, Dawson (Nick Tate), decides to pass on his leadership to the one who succeeded in the last heist, but after he opened the safe of the guild, which only gets opened on special occasions, disaster strikes. Michael betrays his allies, as he thinks Dawson was responsible for the death Edward Lam, who was a father to Michael. In the skirmish, one of Michael’s henchmen shoots Dawnson and another allied thief, who both die shortly after. Michael, however, steals a necklace from the safe, which belonged to Cleopatra, albeit without the legendary Crimson Heart jewel embedded within. This is a quest Michael will undertake, even though it’s clear he already regrets his actions.

Lupin and his allies wish to get back on Michael, by outsmarting him and stealing the jewel for themselves. Sadly, the jewel is kept safe in a gigantic building called ‘The Ark’, which is guarded by Pramuk (Nirut Sirichanya), who is considered the king of the underworld. To make matters even worse, Lupin is constantly being chased by inspector Zenigata (Tadanobu Asano), who is always right on his tail. A tricky heist where one small mistake could mean the very end of Lupin’s career, as well as his life.


The flow of the movie is quite hard to describe as the buildup is rather slow but the ending is action packed. Nonetheless, the movie sometimes feels a bit too long to suit the story properly. Other than that, it takes some time getting used to the fact that the movie is voiced in two languages, namely English and Japanese. Whilst this is of course nothing bad, it is something you’ll have to grow accustomed to. Lupin The 3rd: The Master Thief might not have the best flow, it does have a few fun moments, as well as certain plot twists that improve the overall quality of the movie.

Even though the plot itself could be considered fairly realistic, as well as many scenes in the movie, the larger battle scenes ruin this feeling. The ‘key’ battles are often quite ridiculous, and not in a good way that adds up to the wittiness of the characters. It’s quite weird to see certain characters get beaten by one man, whilst they fight off fifty men later on, with their bare hands, whilst more than 150 soldiers are firing upon them. Perhaps it’s just a matter of turning off your brains for a short amount of time, but in the end, it hampers the realism and flow of the movie. Other than that, keep your eyes out for scenes with cars that crash and bash on each other, whilst they take no damage at all.

Acting performances are quite decent, certainly those of the lead characters named above. Lupin and the inspector provide the most comical notes, whilst Fujiko plays the foul temptress quite well. Truth be told, Goemon (Gô Ayano) might just present the viewers with the best fights throughout the movie, but falls short in his other acting performances. Overall, you’ll not be wowed, but most actors do a good job.



Lupin The 3rd: The Master Thief might offer hardcore fans a bit of solace, those who have no connection with the original series might not share the same feeling. Whilst the movie is never truly bad and has a decent amount of good scenes, it’s never remarkable either. All in all, fun to watch once if you’re into the theme of the movie, if not, this one might not suit your own treasure chest.

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Lupin The 3rd: The Master Thief (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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