Film Reviews:

Lupin III: Legend of The Gold of Babylon

aka Lupin III: The Gold of Babylon

(Seijun Suzuki and Shigetsu Yoshida, Japan, 1985)

[Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon] Released in the UK about the time that the actor who voiced the Lupin character died, this second Lupin release from Western Connection is the fun mix of characters and situations that the Monkey Punch-created series if famous for. The plot takes a good twenty minutes to get going and follows the pursuit of the legendary gold of Babylon. As always, police Inspector Zenigata is on Lupin's trail, this time aided by the female contestants in an international policewoman beauty contest!

The bringing together of the best elements from Bond, Pink Panther and Indiana Jones films, as the Lupin films frequently manage, can never be far off the ball. But, as always, it's the distinctive characters that populate the series that brings the most joy. Everybody looks and dresses like they are in an early 70s Roger Moore Bond film. Lupin is like an animated Panther jewel thief and leads the way, but the peripheral characters are often even more likeable. Jigen (one of Lupin's sidekicks) is as cool as ever - a trilby-wearing beatnik who always speaks (in a laid-back voice) with a cigarette in his mouth. Zenigata is the manic police officer obsessed with tracking Lupin's every step and ultimately catching him.

The caution that accompanies the anatomical reality of some Japanese animation is thrown to the wind as characters (along with cars, buildings and anything else dramatic) bend and twist as only things can in an animated world. Not the best in the series of Lupin films but, as you can hopefully tell from the above, fun nonetheless and worth your time. (Co-director Seijun Suzuki is the same director of cult 60s violent thrillers Branded To Kill and Tokyo Drifter.) 7/10

Rob Dyer

See also:

Castle of Cagiliostro
Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy
Lupin III: Get Lost Nostradamus
Lupin III: The Secret of Mamo

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