Sunday, 21 February 2010

[302] Mesrine: Parts 1 and 2 (2008) Review

It has been a busy week or so, since getting back from Finland, so I have plenty of pieces up over at Den of Geek. I'll hopefully get back to blogging and Monumental Textualising as soon as possible. Meanwhile, here's a piece I wrote a month or so ago, about the two recent films starring Vincent Cassel about French criminal Jacques Mesrine.

It feels unfair to contextualise a French film using a similarly-intentioned, latterly-released one from Hollywood, but the Mesrine duology, directed by Jean-Francois Richet, requires it.

Jacques Mesrine (Vincent Cassel) is the French John Dillinger, a cocky crook whose tremendous heists, prison breaks, and media manipulations weaved a real-life action film narrative, right to a bloody death. Indeed, his determined answer - "I rob banks." - when asked early on by Quebec secessionist Jean-Paul Mercier (Roy Dupuis) what he does, curiously prefigures Johnny Depp's murmured, "I'm John Dillinger, and I rob banks" from Michael Mann's wham-bang 2009 film
Public Enemies. However, the Mesrine two-parter, made up of Killer Instinct and Public Enemy No.1 (L'instinct De Mort And L'ennemi Public N°1, both released in France in 2008), is a uniquely slippery property.

Read the full article here.

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