Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (2009)
Story by Akihiro Hino, screenplay by Aya Matsui; directed by Masakazu Hashimoto

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Based on the popular Nintendo DS video game series, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva was released on video in the U.S. in November 2011. The movie follows the same basic format as the video games: amateur detective Professor Layton (Christopher Robin Miller) and his apprentice Luke Triton (Maria Darling) must solve a series of puzzles to crack a mysterious criminal plot.

It starts out with Professor Layton receiving a letter from his former student, opera singer Janice Quatlane (Emma Tate) inviting him and Luke to see her perform. It turns out that the patrons at the opera were there to receive the elixir of eternal life. The only catch is that only one person can win—whoever solves the puzzles presented by a mysterious voice—and everyone else will be killed!

Similar to the video games, the plot becomes more and more convoluted to the point of almost incomprehensibility. However, plots are not the main features of the Professor Layton series, it’s the puzzle solving in exotic locations among eccentric characters, and the movie provides these in abundance. The art direction and character design are identical to the games, with Miller and Darling reprising their roles. Fans of the games will get the in-jokes, and non-fans will enjoy the over-the-top action and humor, too.

If you’re a fan of the Professor Layton games, definitely check out the movie. If you haven’t had the pleasure of Professor Layton’s acquaintance, I encourage you to try out this movie.

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