Mesrine is still as crazy as ever. Still escaping from prison. Still charming with the ladies, and helpful with the people, but merciless against cops and banks.
The movie starts with his execution, and then moves on to detail the adventures before that all went down. He comes off as a bit less intelligent in this movie; more stubborn, as if the people who made the movie wanted to justify his murder a bit more, and make it feel like less of a loss. But no matter how they angle it, he still is the main character, and when push comes to shove it's sad to see him go. Even if we are expecting it.
In a way, I appreciate the end being detailed at the beginning, so it didn't catch me off guard. He knew how it would end too, even if the officers on the scene claimed that his eyes
were so large with surprise they seemed to be bursting out of his skill. I suppose he didn't imagine himself being entirely helpless at the end. Getting shot down without being able to fire even a single shot back. A public execution.
His life was more interesting than his death, however, and it's amazing how long it lasted considering all the risks he took. He leaves a memo on who he was, how he chose the life of crime, and how if he dies it´s all on him. He chose to be comfortable as a criminal, and he was. As violent as he was, he didn't seem evil. He had humor. He had love - for life, and women, and he took only from those who had more than they deserved. That's how he reasoned, and that's how he lived. Mesrine, AKA the French Robin Hood, AKA The Man of a Hundred Faces.
Public Enemy #1.
Vincent Cassel put on a killer performance, in one of the greatest and most authentic gangster movies I've seen. And he's not alone. Every single criminal he hangs out with in the movie seems to radiate an aura of realness, from François to Michel to Charlie, not to mention the ones from the previous movie. They all had character, and François Besse in particular seemed like a dangerous fellow. They really captured the characters, and relations - the rage, and love, and passion, and not least the violence. The movie shows it all.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle