Mesrine was the foremost criminal, public enemy N°1, the man most wanted in France, guilty of 39 crimes. "In the police or newspaper history, Mesrine broke all records". The film begins ... See full summary »
In the underbelly of the Parisian criminal world, the Police are frustrated by a gang committing a series of violent robberies. Leo Vrinks and Denis Klein are two cops seeking promotion, ... See full summary »
The outcast red-haired teenager Rémy is bulled at school and lives with his estranged mother and sister in France. The also red-haired psychiatrist Patrick befriends Rémy and helps him to ... See full summary »
The pediatrician Alexandre Beck misses his beloved wife Margot Beck, who was brutally murdered eight years ago when he was the prime suspect. When two bodies are found near where the corpse... See full summary »
Parisian murder detective commissioner Pierre Niemans is called to Gueron, a self-sufficient, prestigious university in a mountain valley, to investigate the murder on 32-year old professor... See full summary »
After growing up in a poor gypsy camp, Edmond Vidal, aka Momon, has retained a sense of family, unfailing loyalty and pride in his origins. Most of all, he has remained friends with Serge ... See full summary »
The charismatic criminal Dobermann, who got his first gun when he was christened, leads a gang of brutal robbers. After a complex and brutal bank robbery, they are being hunted by the Paris... See full summary »
When Mesrine & Mercier are standing on a the roof of the building in Montreal, you can see cars/trucks/vans on the street, you can clearly tell they are modern vehicles and not ones from the '70s when this is supposed to take place. See more »
It is true that Jacques Mesrine (Vincent Cassel) was France's public enemy number one during the 60s and 70s. It is also true that he murdered several people, robbed banks, repeatedly escaped from prison, and basically did all the things that legendary criminals aspire to do. But to think of him as just another criminal would be an unreasonable caricature.
In this first half of the notorious gangster's life, director Jean-Francois Richet evinces the louche charm of the French criminal underworld in an effort to depict Jacques in a sympathetic light.
After a troubling time soldiering in the Algerian War, Jacques returns to Paris, where before long his sense of dissatisfaction takes charge of him and he accepts a friend's offer of 'off-the-book work', i.e. crime.
He is introduced to Guido (Gerard Depardieu), the head of a right-wing terrorist group operating in France's underworld. Guido recruits him, but warns that 'In our business, you don't win'. Depardieu plays his role with quiet brilliance. His acting is understated, yet he manages to be eerily menacing.
While on holiday Jacques, in a manner that would rival a James Bond-style seduction, beguiles then later marries his Spanish wife, Sofia (Elena Anaya). His sojourn is curtailed, however, when he goes back to Paris to murder the Arab pimp of a former lover.
That Jacques is a ruthless, relentless recidivist is never for one moment hidden. He may be a gangster, who violently casts aside his wife for his friends, but this is a man of principle, albeit criminal principle. He steals only from banks because, in his words, they have enough money to allow it; he never kills a person if they are unarmed; and he fulfills his promise to liberate his ex-prison inmates once he has successfully escaped himself. It is precisely these paradoxes which never quite allow you to feel that he is completely worthless.
He is finally jailed (on the first of several occasions) for a botched bank robbery. When he is released, he makes an attempt to 'go straight'. However, he is easily lured back and teams up with a new muse, Jeanne (Cecile De France), who displays a similar adroitness for crime. Jacques is now a celebrity, admired by the press, but demonised by the authorities.
The film's director claimed that only Cassel could have embodied this role. It is indeed the sheer magnetism of Cassel's portrayal that compels you to watch the second instalment.
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