French cinema has proven to be on the rise in the XXI century. Helped by a solid star-system and the ambition to cope with all kind of genres, the French cinema of our days seems to work both critic-wise and money-wise.
A good example of this can be found in Mesrine: l’Instinct de mort and its sequel Mesrine: L’ennemi public nº1.
Starring Vincent Cassel, Mesrine depicts the life of French Gangster Jacques Mesrine, the man that put all France in shock in the 70s.
As I said, the movie highly relies on the good actors and actress showing up on the reel, ranging from Vincent Cassel, to Giles Lellouche, Cecil de France, Gerard Depardieu or Mathieu Amalric, among others.
Still, the plot roughly follows Mesrine’s ventures in France and Quebec, and even though it has some added fiction here and there is quite loyal to the true story of the criminal.
As an action movie it delivers. Car persecutions, shootings, blood, explosions and a few sex scenes here and there… But the best thing is the ability of Jean-François to make it realistic and believable while keeping a certain author touch to the movie.
At the end, and as Vincent Cassel points in an interview, the goal of the project was to leave judgment in the hands of the viewer; however, the movie portraits a quite sympathetic face of the once most dangerous man in France.
A gangster-film done with a XXI century budget.