As a Lupin reader, I was disappointed. There are a lot of good things. The first is Omar Sy. He is charming and his smile is contagious. It is 100 times better than the terrible caricature of Romain Duris. Then, the elephant in the room: He’s black. For God sake! Yes, Frenh have been terribly racist online… how come? France.
In my opinion, it’s wonderful (although a Beurre (French slang for North African arab) would have been perfect but good ennough). It allows us to speak head-on about systemic racism in France, even if sometimes it’s a bit too much on the nose.
For the rest, the scenario takes the spectators for idiots. The tribute is pleasant, but too simplistic. Of course, the diligent reader already knows where the story is going, which is normal, but even the neophyte can easily guess the twist plots which are practically telegraphed.
The great strength of Leblanc’s Lupin Adventures was the in media res and the mystery surrounding Europe’s most famous burglar. From his first adventure, he is already a legend, but he only appears at the very end (spoilers) or almost. In Netflix’s Lupine, we suffer from the superhero syndrom: the obsession with an origin story. Of course, it humanizes the hero and helps justify his crimes, but in my case it killed my curiosity. Omar Sy’s Lupine is very human, but he doesn’t always seem in control, and sometimes his plans seem mostly to be based on luck and luck.
If the shots of Paris are superb, the photography sometimes seems lazy. The play of the actors is not uniform. Omar’s more American style clashes a bit with the theatrical performance of French actors.
In short, a see-saw series, but which deserves a second season to tweak its weaknesses. Maybe we will soon see an Arsène vs Herlock Sholmes!