Lupin III: The First

Lupin III: The First

"Nazis lose!"

Part Indiana Jones, part Tintin, part Bond but undeniably, all Lupin the Third. A character created by the manga artist Monkey Punch, he's a gentleman thief who has been around for over 50 years and is likely most familiar to Western audiences thanks to the great Hayao Miyazaki and his film The Castle of Cagliostro.

This film begins with a mysterious diary and a bunch of Nazis who wish to get their hands on it. Before we know it, the action starts, continuing at breakneck speed and rarely letting up from there unless it's a chance for our Lupin to crack wise. He's in pursuit of the diary but this brings him into conflict with Latitia, a young woman who has her own reasons for trying to track down the diary. He also has to contend with his ongoing nemesis Inspector Zenigata of Interpol, although the latter would not look out of place in the Keystone Cops.

The animation is stunningly rendered and the kineticism of the story is vividly matched by the animators and director Takashi Yamazaki - there are a number of memorable set pieces but the sequences that take place in the air really pack a punch. And while there's plenty of fighting, shooting and nefarious Nazis, it is pitched very much at a family-friendly level, to be enjoyed by all ages and the film is wrapped up neatly in just over 90 minutes. There's a reason this charming character has been around so long and it's wonderful to have the opportunity to see him and his friends on screen again.

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