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MOVIE REVIEW: Mesrine: Public Enemy #1

Part II is better than Part I

Mesrine Public Enemy #1: Rates a B-.
Courtesy photo

Ah, writing another review of Mesrine. It feels like only yesterday…

Well, it was last week that I wrote about the first part. Now it’s the second, which is slightly better than the first. It’s a tad longer, yet it deals with a shorter timeline.

The first movie made me think of Bonnie & Clyde. I thought about that again in this, for two reasons. One, Mesrine is told by a casino manager, “Where is your warrant?” He follows that by saying, “Here’s my Warren Beatty” and pulling out his heater.

Oh, and there’s that finally scene with his girlfriend that ends in a hail of bullets (did the dog really have to die?).

I didn’t spoil anything. The movie poster shows a bloody Mesrine from the final scene, and the opening of the first movie showed him being gunned down in a car (a very artistic shot of blood dripping off a strand of hair, by the way).

There’s a scene in this movie where Mesrine buys a new BMW and is singing an Edith Paif song at the top of his lungs. And that got me thinking – I would’ve rather seen a four-hour biopic on her. I don’t think I needed this much time devoted to Mesrine.

Sure, this movie is a bit more focused than the first, and we learn a little more about what makes his bizarre mind tick.

Mesrine, as he goes through the 1970s with the same thing we saw in the first – a bank robbery, short escape, picking up a new woman, capture by police, followed by a prison escape – at least you’re interested in the process of how he’ll make his escapes.

Vincent Cassel again does a nice job playing Mesrine (this time with long hair and sideburns, and looking a lot like Bruce Springsteen in the '70s).

All in all, I think this two part series doesn’t hold up particularly well. A great two or two and a half hour movie would’ve been perfect. This is a bit much.

I would’ve rather watched Godfather I and II again on DVD.

The movie was entertaining enough to snag a B-.