While the first part of Mesrine is tense, thrilling and interesting, the second part lands with a bit of a thud. After starting with a few minutes in the last day of the life of career-criminal Jacques Mesrine (Vincent Cassel), the first film flashes back to 1959. After leaving the Army, Mesrine shuns a decent job and a normal life for a more dangerous life of crime under the mentorship of aging crime boss Guido (Gérard Depardieu, surprisingly good in a serious role). Throughout both films, Mesrine wreaks havoc everywhere he goes. From what I’ve been able to gather, the film stays pretty close to actual events, taking liberties here and there, if only to shorten the films’ massive runtime. However, the second half brings the set of films down from “classic” to “just OK.” With many gripping and genuinely tense scenes, the first part is truly excellent, but the second part only starts that way, before losing steam and concluding in a neither exciting nor thrilling way.


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