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Mesrine Part 2: Public Enemy #1 (2008)
"L'ennemi public n°1" (original title)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 20,515 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 35 user | 108 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

The story of notorious French gangster Jacques Mesrine.

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(scenario), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Michel Ardouin
...
...
Georges Wilson ...
Michel Duchaussoy ...
Le père de Jacques Mesrine
...
L'avocate de Jacques Mesrine
...
La journaliste interview
Alain Fromager ...
Jacques Dallier - journaliste pour Minute
Alain Doutey ...
Le président du tribunal à Compiègne
Arsène Mosca ...
Jojo - un policier
Christophe Vandevelde ...
Inspecteur Gégé
Luc Thuillier ...
Le commissaire OCRB / Lucien Aimé-Blanc
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Storyline

The story of Jacques Mesrine, France's public enemy No. 1 during the 1970s. After nearly two decades of legendary criminal feats - from multiple bank robberies and to prison breaks. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody brutal violence, a scene of sexuality, nudity and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

19 November 2008 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Mesrine Part 2: Public Enemy #1  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

€21,166,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$100,242 (USA) (3 September 2010)

Gross:

$275,125 (USA) (11 February 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Thomas Langmann first contacted Vincent Cassel about the Mesrine project in 2001, after the release of Jacques Audiard's Read My Lips (2001). Cassel initially accepted, but then bowed out as he found the script too "black and white". Benoît Magimel and 'Vincent Elbaz'convinced by new helmer 'Jean-Francois Richet' were then successively attached before Cassel returned' and especially Abdel Raouf Dafri's two-part script, claiming the screenwriter had succeeded in bringing the right tone to the picture and the character, bringing out all his darkness and paradoxes. See more »

Goofs

Mesrine, Bauer and Tillier are near a newsstand. Beside, there is a street plan in which a Ford Ka is reflected. A bit later, the three men get into a car which is parked 20 m in frond of a Renault Express. Both these cars were launched later than 1970s (1986 for Renault, 1996 for Ford). See more »

Quotes

La journaliste interview: [Begins interview] Why are you doing this?
Jacques Mesrine: [long pause] Because I don't like laws.
Jacques Mesrine: I don't like the laws and I don't want to be a slave of the alarm clock my whole life.
Jacques Mesrine: I don't want to spend my entire life dreaming. I don't want to always think how I have to work half a year just so I could buy some thing.
La journaliste interview: What do you expect from your life? Recognition? Money?
Jacques Mesrine: [chuckles] What a question! Money, money, money... all of you just keep talking about it, always the same. But I'm completely different.
Jacques Mesrine: ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Follows Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cassel still dazzles as 'Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1'
5 September 2010 | by (LA Area) – See all my reviews

Once gain directed by Jean-François Richet, Mesrine: Public Enemy No.1 (Part 2) continues on from Mesrine: Killer Instinct (Part 1) the outlaw odyssey of Jacques Mesrine (Vincent Cassel), the legendary French gangster of the 1960s and 1970s who came to be known as French Public Enemy No. 1 and The Man of a Thousand Faces. Essentially, this film focuses on the latter half of Mesrine's life, based on Mesrine's memoirs. Whereas the first film focused on Mesrine's rise from the average joe to a big time criminal, this film shows the events after Mesrine has been declared Public Enemy No.1 in France, and then his eventual demise. (My review of Part 1 is here.) In this film, Mesrine appears to have gained some weight and seems to be balding. He is also at the height of his game and notoriety. He has been playing the media, which has been labeling him a "Robin Hood," of sorts. Meanwhile, he has been declared "Public Enemy No.1" in France. One can guess that things will start to go downhill for him. As indicated in the first film, Mesrine will eventually be gunned down.

The visuals are grittier this time around, more modern, and much of the action takes place in the city. As opposed to the deep reds and greens of the first film, the modern environment is more gray with contrasts. The first film felt more "old school" Hollywood. It is more modern here. We now see more sideburns.

My complaint for the first film was that it felt episodic and crammed together as we watched Mesrine going from one caper to the next across a span of many years, sometimes almost like a documentary. This time, the film takes place mostly in the 70's and a less condensed period of time. The pacing is noticeably more even. More importantly, we also get to see more aspects of Mesrine's personality, his thoughts, and there are occasional contemplative scenes. If the first film was more action-driven, this one feels more character-driven.

Vincent Cassel is terrific as usual playing Mesrine, and here, he is now the man people know him for, he is more comfortable in his skin, confident, and has more wisecracks to dish out. Proud of his growing notoriety and his ability to manipulate the media, Mesrine appears to be having a lot of fun here as well as Cassel playing him. Olivier Gourmet plays Le commissaire Broussard, who is leading a task force to apprehend Mesrine. Broussard and Mesrine appear to have a respectful mutual understanding of each other. Broussard appears relaxed and fairly controlled most of the time, and compared to the vast emotional range of Mesrine, Broussard can feel a bit two dimensional. Matthieu Amalric is terrific as the bulgy-eyed French criminal named François Besse, a master of prison-escapes, whom Mesrine befriends in prison. After helping Mesrine escape, Besse and Mesrine begin working together in their heists. Besse is essentially the opposite of Mesrine--he is efficient, intelligent, lacks showmanship, and takes his work more seriously. There's a revealing moment in the film where Mesrine argues with Besse about their end goals.

Mesrine has also gotten a new woman, Sylvia (Ludivine Sagnier), who becomes a bit of a Bonnie to his Clyde in his heists. There's a bit of familiar glamour and lightness to the film when they dress up and start spending the money away. Cue the happy music and the lady trying on expensive hats. As in the first film, these moments are contrasted with Mesrine's violent side. The darkest moment in the film is when Mesrine's partners up with the politically radical Charlie Bauer (Gerard Lanvin) and kidnaps and tortures a journalist who had written unflattering things about him. The scene is harsh and gritty.

Ultimately, the film's greatest asset is still Vincent Cassel's amazing performance and believability. The action scenes and the progression of events are solidly directed by Jean-François Richet. Admittedly, this film still feels rather episodic like the first film. But, it is deeper. A good, solid cap to the 2-part series.

*** 1/2 out of **** stars You can also follow my movie reviews on http://twitter.com/d_art


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