Despite its various flaws, Lupin III (2014) still has a lot of visual appeal. It doesn’t deserve the flame it received post release.
Lupin III, grandson of legendary gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, steals an Olympic gold medal in Singapore but is forced to surrender the treasure to his rival Michael Lee. Later, Lupin is (again) betrayed by Fujiko and captured in Thailand by Zenigata. However, Zenigata soon reveals he needs the help of Lupin to stop an underground auction. Should Lupin succeeds, his criminal record would be erased for good.
Most critics, including Japanese ones, slammed Lupin III (2014) after its release. To be honest, while I agree with their criticisms about the action sequences and plot holes, I didn’t feel the movie was that terrible. After all, most of what I expect from a Lupin Anime movie were in this live-action adaptation.
A high-tech stronghold. In an exotic land.
Lupin III’s endearing cheekiness. And boy-like infatuation with Fujiko.
Jigen’s astonishing marksmanship.
Goemon slicing the most impossible things with Zantetsuken.
In my opinion, the reason for Lupin III (2014) receiving such damning reviews is that many elements from Manga and Anime just do not feel right when played out in real-life. In the case of Lupin III, this would be the characters’ signature but impractical costumes, Zantestuken decimating everything and anything, Fujiko’s inexplicable betrayals, etc.
Yet these things are expected to be present in any live-action adaptations, the absence of which would bring on a different wave of criticism. Going by this, I think it’s perhaps best to stop adapting Manga and Anime for live-action, because it’s seldom going to end up well. But of course, business would dictate that this practice continues. Fans would insist so too. And so we can look forward to more indignity over disappointing adaptations for years to come.
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