Arsène Lupin (15)


Period and swashbuckler films


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Time Out says

This is the umpteenth film outing of the fictional gentleman thief – as famous in France as his contemporary rival Sherlock Holmes – but the first to include extensive special effects. Lavish, tedious, ridiculous, seemingly endless, ‘Arsène Lupin’ is a swooning ’Scope costumer starring the glowering beauty Romain Duris as the eponymous kick-boxing cambrioleur and master of disguise. The complicated episodic plot – involving Marie Antoinette’s treasures, a Brotherhood conspiracy to sabotage the Republic, metronomic changes of identity, abattoir levels of bloodletting and l’amour – takes less time to show than synopsise. Duris has some of the physical arrogance of the young Alain Delon but proves tedious over two-hours-plus, while Kristin Scott Thomas’s devilish aristocrat-adversary-lover functions as little more than an exotic clothes-horse. The design and Pascal Ridao’s cinematography luxuriate seductively in ornate period excess, but merely add to the overall impression of stale Grand Guignol served up with bizarre modernist trimmings.


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Release details



UK release:

Fri Sep 9, 2005


125 mins

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