After becoming one of the most-watched Netflix original series of all time for the second time and then incurring an extended absence from screens since the final episodes were released in June 2021, the pressure is on lupine: Part 3 to pick up where it left off and deliver a light, breezy and light-hearted crime thriller performance that further cements its unexpected reputation as a top contender for the streaming service.
This time, however, Omar Sy’s gentleman thief Assane Diop must contend with a very different mystery, one rooted decades in his past. Walking the line between what audiences have come to expect from the series and a much-needed evolution of the standard formula, Part 3 explores several new creative directions without sacrificing the twinkle in the eye or the spring in the step that made it so special Moloch from the start.
After exiling himself from his wife and son to ensure their safety at the end of Part 2, the notorious thief is inevitably drawn back to Paris with the plan to disappear and start a new life as a family. Of course, the ghosts of Assane’s past always lurk in the shadows, and some new ones are even added to add even more mystery to the intrigue, not to mention the impeccably staged heists, revelations and heists that have always been this way lupineThe stock is on sale.
The return of France’s most wanted fugitive to his old stomping grounds for the fabled “one last job” smacks of predictability on the surface, and that too lupine won’t win any points for its originality, no matter how hard it tries to branch out in Part 3, it’s never tried to portray itself as anything other than escapist entertainment. As a result, despite all the opposing forces closing in on him, Assane never once feels that he is in any real or tangible danger. Normally that would be a disadvantage, but it’s not like anyone pays attention to tension where the stakes are high. He is a stalwart hero brought to charismatic life once again by Sy, with the journey infinitely more important – and exciting – than the destination.
In the seven new episodes, premiering on Netflix next week on October 6, the fleet-footed protagonist is embroiled in ambitious plans to steal a priceless black pearl, a closely guarded Manet painting, and an antique bracelet thought to be in short supply tamper-proof, while the authorities – and even his own family – remain equal parts confused, perplexed and outraged that he continues to do what he’s always done, what with an early and brilliantly executed early twist that we’ve won . I’m not spoiling anything here.
He pulls out every trick in his playbook Sherlock-style rewinds and fast forwards that show how the impossible events have, will, or could have unfolded – coupled with 007-style gadgets, time jumps, slow motion and sleight of hand – the propulsive pace, the captivating performances, the stirring cinematography and the stylistic Flourishes keep things moving along at a brisk pace, with Assane also continuing his penchant for disguises that are ridiculous to everyone except the people who live there lupine‘s world.
So, as always, suspension of disbelief is key. Netflix has been all-in on crime dramas for years, and while many of them are gritty, gritty, and realistic, that’s a feeling that’s never remotely applied to it lupine. There are fake eyebrows, even less convincing beards, leaps of logic that barely make sense, and revelations that fall back on themselves to provide yet another twist, and it’s all just part of the fun.
This time around, the always engaging Sy is a true folk hero and feels more comfortable in the lead role than ever before. He exudes star presence and is a boundlessly charming anchor, always ensuring that the story begins to creak under the weight, no matter how much of your own convoluted ambition, never leaves you less than fully engaged and be fully committed to going along for the ride.
In keeping with the increasing exaggeration, Assane literally tells the police the exact date, time and location of his next robbery, knowing full well that it will be guarded to the utmost. Can he do it? You know the answer, but that’s far from the point. It’s difficult to find a balance between executing a labyrinthine caper that’s clearly rooted in a reality that isn’t our own, without seeming like it’s either too self-referential or ironic, not to mention ironic fact lupine is influenced by the Lupine books, which inspired its main character. So it’s a credit to the creative team that they’ve done it again.
Sure, the family drama feels too thin in places where resolution is almost inevitable from the opening frame of the premiere, and some of the extended scenes set in the past exceed both their frequency and their popularity, but it’s hard not to not understanding carried away by joy lupine For the third time in a row. If there is any justice in the world given Netflix’s widespread cancellation habit, it won’t be the last either.
Omar Sy’s gentleman thief is finally back after a long absence, but “Lupin” has lost none of his ability to deliver a heist of the highest order, full of energy and enthusiasm.