L'instinct de mort (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

L'instinct de mort (2007)

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Movie Info

This tough-as-nails, crime-themed docudrama constitutes the second installment in a four-hour, two-part biopic on the doings of infamous French thug Jacques Mesrine (1936-79), officially regarded for many years as "Public Enemy #1" in Gaul. Here, he is played to the hilt by Vincent Cassel, who underwent massive weight gain and weight loss to properly evoke Mesrine. Picking up where the same year's MESRINE: L'INSTINCT DE MORT left off, this outing covers Mesrine's life from 1973-79. The tale opens in March of '73, with Mesrine in the custody of authorities; he's accused of knowing an equally brutal and frightening mobster, Michel Ardouin (Samuel LeBihan), but aggressively denies this; a thrilling escape and an ugly shoot-out jointly perpetrated by the men, however, reveal the extent of Mesrine's deception. Mesrine, it seems, hasn't merely evolved into a legend in his own time, but a legend of his own making, aggressively feeding his own self-myth by perpetrating one outrageous criminal act after another. His latest ploy, it seems, involves donning a series of elaborate disguises (such as that of a doctor visiting his dying father, or a police inspector making inquiries) that enable him to pull off casino heists and other elaborate felonies. Eventually, Mesrine grows listless and bored with his own braggadocio and turns to extremist political factions for "inspiration," such as the Red Brigades and the Baader-Meinhof Gang, before an ugly incident with Parisian authorities brings him tumbling down from his throne.

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