Diabolik: Ginko Attacks (2022) poster

Diabolik: Ginko Attacks (2022)


aka Diabolik: Ginko on the Attack
(Diabolik: Ginko All’Attacio!)

Italy. 2022.


Directors – Manetti Bros., Screenplay – Michelangelo La Neve & Manetti Bros. Story – Mario Gomboli & Manetti Bros., Freely Adapted from the Comic-Book Diabolik No 16: Ginko All’Attacio by Angela Giussani & Luciana Giussani, Producers – Pier Giorgio Bellochino, Paolo Del Brocco, Carlo Macchitella & Manetti Bros., Photography – Angelo Sorrentino, Music – Also & Pivio De Scalzi, Visual Effects Supervisor – Simone Silvestri, Visual Effects – Palantir Visual Effects, Production Design – Noemi Marchica. Production Company – Rai Cinema/Mompragem/Astorina srl/Bleidwin/Emlia Romagna Film Commission/Fruili Venezia Giulia Film Commission/Regione Lazio/Comune di Bologna/Cultura e Bologna/Musa.


Giacomo Gianniotti (Diabolik), Miriam Leone (Eva Kant), Valerio Mastandrea (Inspector Ginko), Monica Bellucci (Altea Von Waller, Duchess of Vallenberg), Alessio Lapice (Officer Roller), Linda Caridi (Elena Vanel), Pier Giorgio Bellocchio (Sergeant Palmer), Urbano Barberini (Police Chief)


Diabolik conducts a daring theft to steal first the Crown of Armen from a guarded vault and then the Armen Jewels during a performance of the Emerald Ballet. However, this is a trap set by Inspector Ginko and the jewels have been coated with radioactive materials that allow the police to track them. As Ginko and his men dynamite their way into Diaboik’s mountain hideout, Diabolik and Eva Kant flee, hotly pursued. However, Eva twists her ankle and Diabolik abandons her to make a getaway. Having captured all of Diabolik’s treasure haul and found the factory where he produces his masks, Ginko realises that Diabolik must be in a desperate place. Eva then approaches Ginko, hurt over her abandonment, and offering to collaborate with Ginko to show him how to capture Diabolik.

Diabolik is the classic Italian comic-book created by sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani in 1962 and is still being produced today. It features the titular masked thief who, aided by his love Eva Kant, comes up with outrageous robbery schemes and always ends up running rings around the police. This was filmed by Mario Bava as the witty and stylish Danger: Diabolik (1967) starring John Phillip Law as Diabolik and Marisa Mell as Eva Kant. There was also a US co-produced animated tv series Diabolik (2000-1) that ran for 40 episodes.

More recently, the comic-book underwent a gorgeous revival by the Manetti Bros., Marco and Antonio, as Diabolik (2021), a beautifully stylish period-set adaptation that brought the original to life with perfection. Diabolik: Ginko Attacks, which was titled Diabolik: Ginko on the Attack on the subtitles of the version I watched, is a sequel to the 2021 film. It brings back the Manetti Bros., co-writer Michelangelo La Neve and most of the same producers and production personnel, along with Miriam Leone as Eva Kant and Valerio Mastandrea as Inspector Ginko. The only major name not to return from the first film is Luca Marinelli as Diabolik who has been here replaced by the impossibly handsome Giacomo Gianniotti. The sequel is ‘freely adapted’ from the Giussani sisters’ sixteenth Diabolik story Ginko All’Attacio (circa 1962). The Manetti Bros. and most of those present here returned for a subsequent sequel Diabolik Chi Sei? (2023).

I don’t have details on what the original Ginko Attacks storyline consisted of, but if the finished film is any indication to go by, it becomes clear why it was chosen. The reason is that it raises the stakes for Diabolik – it has Inspector Ginko gain the upper-hand in a scheme that allows him to find Diabolik’s hideout, snatch all of his treasure and deprive him of trademark Jaguar E Type, gadgets and masks. More crucially, it introduces a plot where Diabolik and Eva are split apart and she decides to gain revenge by betraying him to the police.

Diabolik (Giacomo Gianniotti) in Diabolik: Ginko Attacks (2022)
Diabolik (Giacomo Gianniotti)
Eva Kant (Miriam Leone) and Diabolik (Giacomo Gianniotti) in Diabolik: Ginko Attacks (2022)
Eva Kant (Miriam Leone) and the unmasked Diabolik (Giacomo Gianniotti)

This certainly raises the stakes and makes things as about as difficult as it is possible to do for the film’s anti-hero. On the other hand, it is also an approach that strips all the things that are cool and fun out of the Diabolik story. The fun of the films and comic-books is always Diabolik’s outrageous capers, the way of outwitting the police, the improbable gadgets and getaways, and the smouldering love affair with Eva Kant. Ginko Attacks is a film missing almost all of that. The opening scene is a caper with Diabolik breaking into a guarded vault and getting away by hang-glider to land in the car driven by Eva, followed by a more elaborate one where Diabolik conducts a heist in the midst of an opera (where the dancers perform amid the titles like a variant on the James Bond credits sequences). On the other hand, that doesn’t quite match the sublime cool of the opening sequence in the 2021 film.

The great disappointment of the film is that we get hardly any Diabolik throughout. The plot makes a vast mistake in having Diabolik in disguise for a substantial part of the film. Certainly, it is not too hard to guess who he is disguised as and there is a fairly predictable denouement to the sting of the eventual caper that Diabolik pulls on the police. But it is a disappointment, especially in that Giacomo Gianniotti nails the part of Diabolik with a smoulderingly intense handsomeness that Luca Marinelli lacked.

Similarly, the relationship between Diabolik and Eva is largely not there as a result of the way the plot is set up. Indeed, due to Gianniotti’s absence, this is more of a Ginko film than it is a Diabolik film, where Monica Bellucci as Ginko’s love interest performing similar but not quite the same role that Miriam Leone’s Eva did in the first film. Certainly, Miriam Leone cuts an elegant figure dressed in long orange coat and elegantly tilted picture hat but you wished the sequel had found more of the sizzle that drove the first film.

Trailer here

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