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Friday, 28 August 2009

Film: ‘Mesrine – Public Enemy Number One’ – directed by Jean-Francois Richet
Star rating - 7/10

This is the second half of the film portrait of the charm, violence, escapes, more charm, and a lot more violence of real life criminal Jacques Mesrine (pronounced Meerine as he insists throughout the film). Vincent Cassel again excels as the infamous French gangster who we catch up with here as he revels in his own infamy, and believes that his bank and casino hold ups are somehow his fight against the system.

It is a fast paced action piece, although his wit and humour also make it very funny in places. There are also a couple of touching scenes with his dying father and his daughter that help to show his more gentle side. Just before one court room escape, Mesrine delights in demonstrating the packed courtroom just how corrupt the system is by showing off the key to his handcuffs that he claims to have bought from a police officer.

He writes his life story during one of his short prison stays- and revels in the embellishment that he gives the tale. He really is out to create his own legend.

Again it is fast, funny and brilliantly filmed. But very violent – and the ending (which we saw through different eyes at the start of the first installment) is inevitable when it finally comes. This beats anything else in its genre around at the moment hands down.

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