Though his father's partner Jigen wants him to take charge of the Lupin Empire and the obsessed detective Zenigata wants him behind bars, Lupin III is only concerned about being with the beautiful (and treacherous) lady thief Fujiko.
When Lupin heads to the kingdom of Zufu to pilfer its treasure, he incurs the wrath of its psychotic ruler General Headhunter, who places a dead-or-alive bounty on his head that many intend to collect.
This Lupin the Third movie is set before he meets Daisuke Jigen, Goemon Ishikawa, or Fujiko Mine. It starts out with Lupin meeting a cute girl, who's on her way to being locked up. Lupin busts her out, only to be left behind. He later encounters Daisuke Jigen, who desperately wants Lupin to reincarnate the Lupin empire. Lupin also later (again) meets Fujiko, wanting expensive jewelry and promising Lupin a "worthy prize". He must do this (well, if he wants Fujiko that is) while avoiding being killed, and while deciding if he really wants to take over the Lupin empire. Written by
This is one of the more obscure movies in the 40 plus years old Lupin III franchise. As an adaptation of the manga or the 1971 anime that preceded it, Psychokinetic Strategy is mostly an "in name only" affair. Lupin is still a womanizer, but he's so easygoing that he doesn't even care about upholding the Lupin family name. Jigen's more a mentor figure than a partner, and his personality has been watered down. Goemon isn't present at all. Only Fujiko and Zenigata remain much the same.
PS is best described as a live action Warner Bros. cartoon. Characters get flattened, conjure up items out of hammer space, and run about in sped up chase scenes. The main theme sounds like the accompaniment to a 1912 Mack Sennett comedy, far from the jazzy fare folks associate with Lupin III. The story is episodic, little more than a string of energetic gags and innuendos. In many ways, PS is cartoonier than the many Lupin animated series and films!
Despite all the differences from the Lupin manga and animated canon, this is still a fun romp. The actors look like they're having the time of their lives and there's also an irresistible camp factor not too far removed from something like the 1960s Batman show. This is not any of the three TV series, it's not Cagliostro, and it's certainly not the recent Fujiko spin-off, but if you take it on its own terms, the insanity will provide a lot of entertainment.
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