Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Review, Part Deux--Netflix's Lupin is Back


First rule of successful plotting: always include a dog.

By Claire Booth

Back in February, I reviewed Lupin, a French thriller series that was showing on Netflix. That was five episodes of perfection that Netflix called Part 1. The next five installments (or Part 2) were released in June. And I’m delighted to say they were just as entertaining.

Omar Sy stars as Assane Diop, whose Senegalese immigrant father gets a job as chauffeur for a wealthy businessman. Things end badly, Assane grows up vowing revenge and sets out to accomplish it in the manner of his literary hero, the gentleman thief Arséne Lupin. I can’t say enough about Sy, who is perfectly cast. Suave with thievery, uncertain with his family; towering over everyone in size but able to use a lithe chameleon-ness to disappear. He makes it believable that he can bend circumstances to his will.

The story picks up right where it left off and races on from there. The problems get worse and the stakes get higher, which is as it should be in a thriller. The pacing, which I admired in Part 1, is substantially the same. The set pieces weren’t quite as jaw dropping as before (how can you top crashing a car into the Louvre?), but you do get a fun extended scene in another iconic Parisian location. I won’t spoil it by telling you which one. 

There are beautiful women over 40! Gasp!

I will divulge that the evil businessman’s daughter plays a bigger part in these episodes than she did in the first ones. This is a huge deal, but not for a plot reason. She’s gorgeous (see above), but she is also allowed to look her actual age. That’s 41. There’s even a streak of gray in her hair. And she’s the love interest. If this were an American show, it would be a 25-year-old who unrealistically captivates the hero. Clearly, the French have a thing or two to teach us about age-appropriate casting. (And fashion, and food, and . . . but I digress.)

Part 2 wraps up many but not all of the plot points. That’s no surprise—they have to leave some things for the next season. With something this successful, it’s almost certain that Netflix will give us one. 

This one does look like a superhero rip-off, I admit, but it's still pretty cool looking. One last thing: watch it in French with subtitles. You can switch out of the dubbed English in your Netflix settings. It's so much better in French.


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