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 »
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 »
Madrid, in the seventeenth century. Abandoned at the doorstep of a monastery, Ambrosio has been brought up by the Capucin Friars. After becoming a friar himself, he becomes an unrivaled ... See full summary »
The filming of this and Mesrine Part 2: Public Enemy #1 (2008), which lasted nine straight months, was done in reverse chronological order so that Vincent Cassel could progressively lose the weight he gained in preparation of the role, as Cassel knew he couldn't gain weight while filming. See more »
At the roadblock in Monument Valley, the film stated it was in Arizona, but the scene was filmed just south of "Forest Gump Hill", in Utah. See more »
A hugely entertaining action vehicle for Vincent Cassel on fine form. One can't help but think of it in terms of its close comparitors: Michael Mann's Public Enemies, a biopic of American gangster John Dillinger, is still on general release; and Steven Soderbergh's Che (Part One) was playing on the screen in the next-door auditorium. Not only is this Mesrine a more entertaining character than both Depp's Dillinger and Benicio Del Toro's Che Guevara, the bipartite biopic is a more entertaining film. That's not to say it's better though.
In this first part, we are shown Mesrine the career criminal. He gets underway with little backstory or prompting, and plays out the film as an increasingly autonomous bank robber. There's no empire building, no examination of the criminal mind or relationships, peripheral or central. It's basically a cycle of robbery, jailbreak and swagger: a brisk, urban updating of the gentleman highwayman.
This makes for a punchy criminal escapade, nicely shot in well-judged industry-standard-Greengrass-cam by Robert Ganz and lovingly charted with well-dated design by Emile Ghigo. Cécile de France's moll Jeanne is as subordinate as Marion Cotillard's Billie to Depp's Dillinger. I would have liked to have seen more of Elena Anaya's Sofia, both actor and character, who promised to be a significant figure in the Mesrine mythology but goes the same way as even the mighty Depardieu. By the end I was looking forward to the second instalment to develop something a little more revealing, or at least complex. 7/10
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