Mesrine: Public Enemy No 1

"Excellent"

Mesrine: Public Enemy No 1 Review


Picking up where Killer Instinct left off, this second part of the biopic has a 1970s style, with grittier edges and darker violence. But it takes the same anecdotal approach, never quite letting us in.

In 1973, rampant criminal Jacques Mesrine (Cassel) has finally been captured by the cops but stages a daring courtroom escape with the help of his pal Charlie (Lanvin). He's soon back to his bank-robbing, executive-kidnapping ways, taunting the tenacious detective Broussard (Gourmet) even when he's arrested.

In prison he concocts an elaborate escape with fellow inmate Besse (Amalric), and the two go on another brazen crime-spree, meeting Mesrine's next wife Sylvie (Sagnier) along the way. But as Mesrine adopts the politics of Germany's Baader-Meinhof gang, the cops are closing in.

Once again, the film's outrageous stylishness keeps us watching, as Richet recreates the period with a remarkable attention to detail, using coarse touches to ground the chaotic shootouts and heists in reality. This film has the same snappy pace, leaping through the story and only giving us brief insight into the characters as it creates each set piece. But what set pieces they are!

Every sequence snaps with inventive energy, and the robberies, kidnappings and escapes are all utterly riveting in their outrageousness (Cassel insists they toned things down because the reality was too incredible). This half of the story actually stretches Cassel more, as Mesrine is paunchy and a bit crazed, always wearing ludicrous disguises and drifting deep into philosophy. This adds to his charismatic mystique, although it doesn't make him any more sympathetic.

The film is framed with Mesrine's death, which plays out in thrilling detail.

Like other scenes, it's a seriously brutal sequence of events, rendered by Richet on a big scale but also anchored in earthy authenticity. The standout supporting role this time belongs to the remarkable Amalric as a character who deserves his own film. And Sagnier is terrific as always. But they're only in orbit around Cassel as a man who saw himself as a Robin Hood figure, except that he kept all the money. "At least I can say I didn't waste my life," he says. Some of us might beg to differ.



Facts and Figures

Budget: $80M

Production compaines: Remstar Productions, La Petite Reine

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Maxime Remillard, Andre Rouleau

Starring: as Jacques Mesrine, as Sylvie Jeanjacquot, as François Besse, as Charly Bauer, as Michel Ardouin, as Commissaire Broussard

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.