Mesrine, Part 2 Public Enemy #1

Mesrine: Part 2 Public Enemy #1

On DVD: 
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Running Time: 
134 minutes

"Mesrine, pt 2: Public Enemy #1" is the continuation of Jacques Mesrine's, famous French gangster, history of crime and leisure. If you read my review of Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Part 1, then you know I absolutely LOVED the beginning of this man's story. The conclusion is no disappointment.

Part 2 picks up in 1973 and takes us all the way to November 2, 1979. It's no surprise what happens to Mr. Mesrine (and it's pronounced May-Reen, for the record), I mean the first ten minutes of either movie tells you what befalls our main character.

Crime, fame, prison, more fame, breaking out of prison, money, money, and money are pretty much all that encompass Jacques' mind. All in all he broke out of prison four times, robbed upwards of 40 banks, became a master of disguise, and charmed almost everyone he came in contact with, even the police. Yet the relationship he managed to salvage with his father and his daughter kept him surprisingly-grounded and human even up to his tragic end. Known for his kindness to his victims, Jacques only used situations to get ahead, rarely harming those that never sought to harm him.

Vincent Cassel continued his brilliant performance of Mr. Mesrine, evolving from a petty thief and sometime-thug into a full-time idealogist, wannabe revolutionary, and borderline terrorist who was completely obsessed with fame. Mr. Cassel was able to go from uber charming to utterly frightening in about 2.3 seconds. Like I said before, Johnny Depp wishes he could be this good.

 Jean-Francois Richet finished part 2 where part 1 started, almost making this a sort of story cycle. The pacing is a little off in the middle of the film, but I think Mr. Mesrine's life was so full of details that Richet tried to add as many as he could. The ending is painstakingly suspenseful even though the audience knows what is going to happen.

"Public Enemy #1" is definitely not one to miss.

Review by Jennifer Isbell