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MOVIE REVIEW: Mesrine: Killer Instinct

Goodfellas with a foreign twist

Mesrine: Killer Instinct: Rates a C+.
Courtesy photo

Vincent Cassel pulls off a great performance as Jacques Mesrine. At times he’s charming, but most of the movie hejust looks like a weasel.

After serving in the Algerian War, and getting tired of his parents (for reasons we aren’t really sure of), he gets seduced by his friend's money, car and women. Of course, partying in Paris in the early 1960s helps point him in the wrong direction as well.

Before long, he’s working in the same business – robbery – as his buddy. He gets married, reports to Gerard Depardieu – who looks very Godfatheresque – and of course, he gets caught.

This movie came out a few years ago, but has been re-released (it’s at the Hillcrest Landmark) since the second part is coming out in a few weeks.

It reminds me a lot of Goodfellas and a little of Bonnie & Clyde. I’m not sure I’m all that interested in even catching the part two, though. I’m guessing Martin Scorsese will love these crime dramas.

I read up on the real Mesrine, and I found more interesting things the movie didn’t cover. He claims to have killed 40 people in his autobiography, and was dubbed the “man of a hundred faces,” for his disguises.

I thought the movie threw way too much at you, and a lot of this stuff we’ve seen before. The wife nagging about him going out to play cards and sleep with whores; wanting him to stay at his real job instead of returning to prison, etc etc etc.

Mesrine’s first wife is played by Elena Anaya, who might be the best looking actress working today. She was beautiful in Cairo Time, and is stunning in this.

Anyway, if you like these types of gangster films, you’ll want to see this.

I’m giving it a C+.