Lupin III (film)
Japanese promotional poster
|Directed by||Ryuhei Kitamura|
|Produced by||Mataichirō Yamamoto|
|Written by||Mataichirō Yamamoto|
|Based on||Lupin III
by Monkey Punch
|Music by||Aldo Shllaku|
|Cinematography||Pedro J. Márquez|
|Edited by||Shûichi Kakesu|
Lupin III (ルパン三世 Rupan Sansei?) is a 2014 Japanese action film directed by Ryuhei Kitamura and based on the iconic manga by Monkey Punch. The film focuses on how the series' main characters met for the first time and will reportedly update the franchise to a contemporary setting. It was premiered in Japan on August 30, 2014.
Arsène Lupin III, grandson of the legendary gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, is a member of the Hong Kong-based thieving ring known as The Works, which specializes in stealing valuable objects from wealthy owners. Lupin beats his fellow Works members Fujiko Mine (his would-be lover), Pierre (a computer genius) and Jiro to the theft of a valuable medal in Singapore, but is forced to surrender it to his rival, Michael Lee, when he threatens to kill him and Fujiko. At a meeting of The Works, Fujiko is hailed as the culprit behind the theft (thanks to Michael's machinations), and Thomas Dawson, the leader of the organization, shows them the most valuable item in The Works' possession - the Crimson Heart of Cleopatra, a necklace commissioned by Mark Antony to symbolize his love for the Queen of the Nile. However, a ruby of Cleopatra's intended to complete the necklace has not yet been recovered. A trio of thugs led by Michael - Royal, Saber and Maria - steal the necklace and kill Jiro and Dawson, apparently in revenge for 'Edward Lam', resulting in the dissolution of The Works. Lupin, Fujiko, Pierre and Daisuke Jigen join forces to find Michael and the necklace.
Over the course of a year, Lupin and Jigen establish themselves as accomplished thieves, but Jigen grows weary of following Fujiko's false leads. While meeting with her, Lupin is turned in to the police in Thailand. He then meets Inspector Koichi Zenigata of ICPO, who informs him that Michael, using the alias 'Georgio Zhang', is arranging a major buy/sell transaction with Mamrachiao Pramuk, the chairman of Navarone Security (and underworld kingpin). Zenigata wants Lupin to 'steal' the items that they intend to sell to each other for the police so that he can arrest them; in exchange, Lupin's criminal record will be erased. Lupin accepts, and enlists Goemon Ishikawa XIII into the gang.
Fujiko arranges a meeting with Michael, who explains that Edward Lam was a member of The Works and a father to them both, but after helping Dawson find the Crimson Heart and the accompanying ruby in Egypt, Dawson betrayed and killed him, and Pramuk then stole the ruby. Michael intends to buy the ruby to complete the necklace. Lupin, who has been spying on the pair, tells Michael that no matter who wins the buy/sell, he will steal the necklace.
At the buy/sell, Michael and Pramuk prepare to sell each other the necklace and the ruby respectively. During the transaction, Pramuk tells Michael that he was a former member of The Works, and killed Lam while trying to kill Dawson. Michael attempts to kill himself and Pramuk before the latter can buy the necklace, but Pramuk reveals that Royal, who (along with Saber and Maria) now works for him, disarmed the explosives. Pramuk leaves the buy/sell with both the ruby and the necklace, while Michael walks away with $200 million. Lupin calls off the theft, much to Zenigata's frustration.
Disheartened, Michael offers to join Lupin's gang to steal back the Crimson Heart and ruby from the Ark, Pramuk's stronghold, and is accepted. Lupin and Michael enter the Ark disguised as Zengiata and Commander Narong of the Thailand Police, and upload a virus into the Ark's networks in the guise of a calling card from Lupin. Jigen, Goemon and Fujiko attack the Ark's main defenses, killing Royal, Saber and Maria in the process, while Lupin and Jigen, aided by Pierre and Joseph (another hacker), along with prior research made by Goemon, penetrate the security defenses protecting the Crimson Heart. Pramuk traps the pair in the vault, intending to suffocate them. Michael places Lupin in the vault's safe and blows the vault door up, killing himself but saving Lupin. Lupin and the others are handed over by Pramuk to Zenigata and Narong, but they instead arrest Pramuk for his crimes, using the Crimson Heart as evidence. Zenigata then discovers too late that the necklace and ruby given to him by Lupin were fakes.
Later, Lupin deduces that Fujiko was not Michael's real sister, but had pretended to be to give him a reason to live, and he offers her to wear the Crimson Heart (now complete with the ruby) to seal their relationship. However, as Zenigata returns to pursue them, Fujiko escapes on her own with the necklace, Goemon goes his separate ways, and Lupin and Jigen escape together in their Fiat 500.
- Shun Oguri as Arsène Lupin III
- Tetsuji Tamayama as Daisuke Jigen
- Gō Ayano as Goemon Ishikawa XIII
- Meisa Kuroki as Fujiko Mine
- Tadanobu Asano as Koichi Zenigata
- Jerry Yan as Michael Lee
- Kim Joon as Pierre
- Thanayong Wongtrakul as Royal
- Kazutaka Yoshino as Saber
- Yuka Nakayama as Maria
- Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi as Jiro
- Kohtee Aramboy as Joseph
- Rhatha Phongam as Miss V
- Vithaya Pansringarm as Narong
- Nirut Sirijanya as Pramuk
- Nick Tate as Thomas Dawson
The film has been in the works for four years, with script development alone consuming two-and-a-half years. Franchise creator Monkey Punch acted as a creative consultant during the scripting and production. Filming began on October 3, 2013, and included scenes shot in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines, before moving to Thailand for two months. Principal photography concluded on December 26, 2013. A confidant of Ryuhei Kitamura told the media that the director intended to update Lupin III to be more modern.
The film's first promotional images of the cast were released on April 9. The first teaser for the film was released online on April 25, 2014, while the full trailer was uploaded on June 25. The full trailer features the theme song, "Trick Attack -Theme of Lupin the Third", which was written and performed by Tomoyasu Hotei.
Upon release, the film reached second place at the Japanese box office. It was released in Japan on DVD and Blu-ray on February 18, 2015 with a collector's edition. Madman Entertainment has additionally licensed the film for Australia, with a release planned sometime in 2015.
Ryuhei Kitamura has confirmed that a sequel is in development.
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