Lupin Part 2 is “a thrilling encore for TV’s suavest scammer”
Three days after loading on Netflix, Lupin Part 2 has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Where is the other 1%? Because these five episodes are sizzling hot; maybe even better than the first five.
Was it only six months ago that Assane Diop (Omar Sy) launched on our screens? The cliffhanger ending feels like so long ago. Kudos to Netflix for delivering the rest so quickly (even if it did originally promise us April; it is worth the wait). In anticipation, I made a conscious effort to keep the final scene of Part 1 if not in the forefront then definitely in the middle of my mind.
There’s no recap, so allow me to remind you: Assane’s son Raoul (Etan Simon) was kidnapped from the Lupin festival, by Leonard (Adama Niane), on Pellegrini’s (Hervé Pierre) orders. Part 2 begins with Assane and Claire’s (Ludivine Sagnier) frantic search continuing.
On the scene is cop Youssef Guedira (Soufiane Guerrab), the one who shares Assane’s interest in the Lupin stories, and he hops in the car with Assane to help him find his son.
If you’ve watched Part 1, the rest of the details will quickly fall back into place: how Hubert Pellegrini (nasty piece of work) framed Assane’s father and got him killed, and Assane’s subsequent quest for revenge. Assane is a gentleman burglar, based on the popular French literary character Arsène Lupin. He is a master of disguise and an accomplished thief. He can defend himself in a fight but he will never kill anyone.
Lupin is at its peak when Assane’s schemes, plots and plans are revealed – after the fact. Through clever construction, the action unfolds as it does in crime mystery thrillersm but afterwards we are treated to what went on behind the scenes to brilliantly orchestrate it. It’s a joy to watch.
Critics around the world are ecstatic. “Lupin is heart-in-your-throat, gasping-at-your-TV stuff. If you thought the first half of the slick French heist thriller was already exciting, it’s really ramped up the fireworks for the second five episodes,” says news.com in Australia.
“One reason Arsène Lupin became popular in the first place is that he’s an enjoyable fantasy of shapeshifting brilliance. The show offers us the pleasure of watching Assane getting out of seemingly inescapable situations by slapping on a phony mustache, doing some mysterious computer trick, or pulling off a ridiculously complicated plan that requires 10 things to go right — which, of course, they all do,” says NPR in the US.
The Guardian (UK) calls it a thrilling encore for TV’s suavest scammer: “‘This is not a game,’ Assane scolds cop and fellow Lupin fanboy, Guedira. Not a game, maybe, but still a lot of fun. These new episodes involve a spooky, subterranean jaunt in the catacombs of Paris, a high-speed heist at the Musée d’Orsay, and midnight chases along the Seine.”
Free tip: watch with the original French dialogue and English subtitles rather than the sub-par dubbed version.
Good news: Part 3 has been commissioned.