Julien Neaves, Editor
Back in January I did a review of the first five episodes of Netflix French mystery thriller Lupin. Only after watching I realised the show was not being released in traditional seasons but “parts” and what I had watched was Part 1. Well, Part 2 and a second batch of five episodes recently dropped and I enjoyed the first so much I was not going to miss this new one.
For those unfamiliar with the series Lupin follows modern-day gentleman thief Assane Diop, a character who is inspired (in and out of story) by literary character Arsène Lupin, the fictional gentleman thief and master of disguise created in 1905 by French writer Maurice LeBlanc. The character has been adapted in several films and television shows (mostly French) including a manga and anime series called Lupin III.
For my Part 2 review I will be going into SPOILERS so be forewarned. Let the caper begin!
Part 2 picks up right where Part 1 left off with police officer Guedira confronting Diop after henchman Leonard kidnapped his son Raoul. But instead of the huge police/criminal confrontation Guedira pretends to be a concerned stranger and helps Diop try to rescue his son. I didn’t mind the twist as they are a cool pair, and of course he knew he was a cop. This is Assane Diop after all. The confrontation with Leonard at the old house was more action thriller than the series has been so far (this part was more action heavy overall than Part 1) but I was invested in what was going on.
And I will admit that I thought Raoul was trapped in that burning car, which would have been the darkest moment in the show yet. But why did Leonard go to the trouble of carrying him into the house only to carry him back to the car trunk? Answer? To trick the audience. And did the female cop really not expect Diop to escape when he asked to use the bathroom? Come on. Has she never watched a movie? This was one of the moments where the writing felt somewhat generic and I think it could have gone in a more original direction.
The son kidnapping and rescue felt like the first part of Part 2, and the conflict with utterly despicable business tycoon Hubert Pellegrini was the second part. Kudos to actor Hervé Pierre because he truly made me despise the sickeningly superior and conceited Pellegrini with a passion. The acting overall continued to be very good, with Omar Sy (The Intouchables, X-Men: Days of Future Past) continuing his star-making performance as Diop and Antoine Gouy getting more screen time as Diop’s partner-in-crime Benjamin Ferel. Mamadou Haidara also continued his commendable work as young Diop, even if I found they leaned just a little too heavily into the flashbacks for this part.
And after all the build-up I found the actual takedown of Pellegrini was somewhat anticlimactic. Turning his daughter Juliette against him wasn’t the most interesting thing to watch, and of course Diop was recording him during his confession at the concert. It couldn’t have been any more obvious. The only thing that actually surprised me was the shady young financial expert working with Pellegrini was actually a Diop plant, but that was about it. And it was a welcome revelation that Leonard killed Diop’s father Babakar and he did not actually commit suicide. I’m glad that slimy henchman got his.
Though I thought the writing and plotting was better in Part 1 I still found Part 2 entertaining and Omar Sy’s endless charm continued to shine through. The ending promised a Part 3 which I presume will see Diop taking on a new villain and challenge as the Pellegrini arc is pretty much tied up. And whenever that drop your intrepid reviewer will also return to give you the lowdown on the gentleman thief’s latest adventure.
Editor Jules’s Score: 7 out of 10
You can check out more Netflix crime drama content below:
Netflix Crime Thriller ‘Lupin’ is Worthy to Steal Your Time
‘StartUp’ Season 1 Delivers Great Viewing Equity
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.