Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1

Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1

A great conclsuion - Mick Jordan

10 Points

Viewer Rating:Mick Jordan has rated Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 rating: 4 Star

Mesrine Part 2 starts up pretty much like Part 1, that is with a brief preview of the end – of part 2. This time we see the Paris crowds surging in to get a glimpse of Jacque Mesrine's (Vincent Cassell) bullet spattered corpse. Then we're pretty much back into the thick of it, the violent chaotic life of France's most wanted criminal of the 1970s. Continuing his practice of robbing banks back to back he is eventually caught (again) and eventually escapes (again) and goes on the run – again. Mesrine commits so many robberies and gets away with so many of them you begin to suspect that he was very, very good at what he did or that those who were trying to catch him – weren't. The fact that when Mesrine, who had escaped from prison four times is finally caught he is put in the same prison – Hell the same wing, as another major French criminal Francois Bessa (Mathieu Amalric), who had escaped from prison four times, doesn't say a lot for the prison services and their subsequent – escape, comes as no surprise. But all this success is going to Mesrine's head and he is beginning to believe his own hype. He tries to convince the world that he is a revolutionary linked to the Red Brigades and Baader Meinhoff and ends up convincing himself. He becomes fat and paunchy, his puffed up face not hiding the heavy bags under his eyes. By the time the end comes he is a bit of a buffoon, and a rather tragic figure. Where Part 1 portrayed him as no hero but a violent thug, Part 2 shows him finishing up as no hero but a delusional fool. As before the film is full of exceptional set-pieces packed with tension and excitement. Each robbery, each escape is as exciting as the last and if there seems to be a tad too many of them – well blame the French police. Someone clearly did at the time because when the Police (led by someone who rather disconcertingly looks like Dr. Seuss from Planet of the Apes) finally do corner Mesrine they hold nothing back and it's a Bonnie and Clyde finish. The finale of the film works exceptionally well, primarily because we've already seen it – twice. At the start of Part 1 we don't know anything about this man and at the start of Part 2 we have the first half of the story but by the film's conclusion we now know what shaped the man we are seeing going to his death and we are seeing the whole of the ending now, the preparation, the closing in - and the final hail of bullets.

Review published on the 16 September 2009 15:45


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Definitely up there with Goodfellas and other gangster movies - Paula

I enjoyed Mesrine Public Enemy No 1 as much as I enjoyed Killer Instinct. There was much more humour in this second movie, along with a slightly more humane side to Mesrine, especially in his... MORE
06 September 2009 12:33

Star Rating: has rated Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 rating: 5 Star


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