Gala / UK premiere

Mesrine: Killer Instinct (Mesrine: L’instinct de Mort)

  • Jean-Francois Richet /
  • France /
  • 2008 /
  • 113 mins

Vincent Cassel, Cécile De France, Gérard Depardieu, Roy Dupuis, Gilles Lellouche, Elena Anaya / Fiction / French

The story of infamous French criminal Jacques Mesrine.

Mesrine (Vincent Cassel) returns home from the army and embarks upon a life of violent crime. Expertly handled by director Jean-François Richet, this is the first half of a double bill of epic proportions, executed with an explosive flair and a brutal realism that Hollywood can only dream of. Gérard Depardieu excels as grotesque mob boss Guido, but it’s the dangerous, unpredictable charisma that Cassel brings to the central role that mesmerises.

2009 Archive

Image from Mesrine: Killer Instinct

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  • #1 Richard Dickson / Wednesday 24 June, 2009 / 13:13 GMT

    Mesrine was the Dillinger of his time - but instead of The Great Depression and the 1930's, we have the turmoil and anti-establishment spirit of 60's and 70s Europe and a notorious criminal who becomes the perfect antidote to the late 60s summer of love. Vincent Cassell in a career best performance (to date), totally inhabits the larger than life, glory seeking gangster, full of violence but seeking understanding and applause. A pretend Robin Hood, whose vanity failed to recognise he terrorised as much as he was celebrated by the public, with a career that is the ultimate "To Do" list of law breaking; Murders, burglaries, kidnapping, bank robberies and several very successful prison breaks.

    This is an incredibly engrossing movie, with an Oscar winning lead and supporting cast - unfortunately only if it was made in English - and a great companion piece to recent European films; The lives of others and The Baader Meinhoff Complex, recounting the same revolutionary eras of thirty and forty years ago.
  • #2 Saima Zahid / Sunday 28 June, 2009 / 20:35 GMT

    Part One of this film was fantastic and compelling but it could have been a completed work with no need for the boring part two which just dragged out more of the story and could have been condensed and fit into part one.

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