Lupin The Third: Fujiko's Lie (Japan 2019)

Rating: **
Review Date: 2/14/23

Fujiko Mine is working as a maid for a man who has embezzled $500 million to pay for his son's heart operation. But his employer doesn't take too kindly to that and sends a creepy supernatural assassin after him to recover the cash. Now, only the kid knows the location of the money, which has Fujiko, Lupin, and the bad guys trying to pry it out of him. Although, is it fair to call them bad guys? They got robbed and they're the victims, but they're also very bad people, so there's some moral ambiguity there. Fujiko employs her womanly charms to ultimately come out on top, with bittersweet results.

I've always liked Fujiko as a rival and love interest in Lupin's adventures, but as a lead character she comes across as nasty, manipulative, and generally unpleasant. Sex is her weapon, and she wields it with mean and deadly force. I found her presentation to be tasteless and vulgar, which was disappointing. Interestingly, Lupin seems to have given up on getting in her pants, and views her more as a friendly rival as well as a general nuisance. Regardless, the animation is superb and the film looks and sounds great. Lupin has upgraded his ride to a Dodge Challenger, which came as a pleasant surprise. While Lupin and Jigen are only supporting characters, they still see a fair amount of action, but Goemon and Zenigata are absent this time around. Not surprisingly, the kid is annoying and cries a lot, which gets on everyone's nerves. The creepy assassin adds a supernatural element which is at odds with the otherwise grounded and realistic setting, and that sabotages the film a bit. Thankfully, it's a short movie and doesn't overstay its welcome. I wanted to like it more, but it's just not very entertaining or endearing.