nspired by Jacques Mesrine’s autobiographical book L’instinct de mort – which he wrote in prison shortly before his magnificent final escape – Jean-François Richet’s fast-paced drama charts Mesrine’s rise from a wayward French soldier in Algeria to a bolder and bolder criminal on the streets of Paris. Mesrine’s outlaw odyssey even brought him to Canada, where he fell in with separatist radicals in Quebec. Thirty years after French police gunned him down in a spectacular shootout, his infamy lives on. Equal parts thriller and biopic, Mesrine remains faithful to its central character, a dynamic figure who is by no means a model protagonist. –cineuropa
Jean-Francois Richet is a French screenwriter, director, and producer, born on July 2, 1966 in Paris. He grew up in Meaux, a suburb east of Paris.
État des lieux (1995) – named at the César Awards 1996 in the Best Debut category.
Ma 6-T va crack-er (1997) – a film which caricatures(?) gang warfare.
Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) – an action/thriller starring Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Maria Bello, Ja Rule, and Drea de Matteo. It is a loose remake of John Carpenter’s 1976 film of the same name, with an updated plot.
Mesrine (2008) – featuring Vincent Cassel as Jacques Mesrine, co-starring Gérard Depardieu, Mathieu Amalric and Cécile de France. The movie (an adaptation of L’Instinct de mort) is being released in two parts, the first L’instinct de mort (English title: Killer Instinct) was released in France on October 22, 2008 and the second part L’Ennemi public n°1 (English title: Public Enemy No. 1) was released in French… read more
This film is nearly as mesmerizing, complex, charismatic, yet utterly brutal and uncompromising, as its titular character, Jacques Mesrine. Cassel plays the part beautifully, and the rest of the film tries to keep up. Gorgeous camera work follow great fast-paced scenes and knuckle-whitening action. Overall, a wonderful introduction and ultimately a perfect set up for the next film.
Let's begin this weekly roundup of critical voices on theatrical releases with The Milk of Sorrow, winner of the Berlinale's Golden Bear in