Film Reviews:

Lupin III: The Secret of Mamo

(Soji Yoshikawa and Yasuo Otsuka, Japan, 1978)

[The Secret of Mamo]The infamous thief Lupin III, gets another outing via Manga's second dubbed release of this popular Monkey Punch-created character. Featuring some of the most attractive and colourful artwork in the Lupin series of films, The Secret of Mamo can also boast a lot of plot.

When a series of daring and baffling robberies take place across the globe, Inspector Zenigata knows only one man can be responsible - Wolf (alias Lupin III). As the hapless inspector follows Lupin's trail from Egypt to Paris and beyond, events are rendered more complicated when grotesque millionaire Mamo decides to get his hands around the neck of the Wolf and around the waist of the lovely Fujiko - Lupin's gutsy girlfriend.

There's always much manic fun to be had from the globetrotting master thief. Scattered with intellectual gags to counterbalance the usual wealth of slapstick, the film, even slips into surrealism, literally, at one point, as a chase across Mamo's private island turns into a pursuit through Salvador Dali's Metamorphosis of Narcissus! There is much country hopping and, if anything, the meaty plot is just a little too much - occasionally at the expense of the humour.

While watching this it suddenly occurred to me that in his prime Jim Carrey would have made a perfect Lupin if Hollywood had gotten around to making a live-action version (maybe with Johnny Depp stealing it as Jigen?). You cannot find better groovy 70s action/adventure/comedy than this. 8/10

Rob Dyer

See also:

Castle of Cagiliostro
Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy
Lupin III: Get Lost Nostradamus
Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon

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