Customer Reviews

32
4.4 out of 5 stars
Mesrine: Killer Instinct: Part 1
Format: DVDChange
Price:$10.42 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I have been eagerly awaiting the DVD release of the saga of notorious French criminal Jacque Mesrine! Branded his country's Public Enemy No. 1 for his international exploits during the sixties and seventies, Mesrine's notoriety brought him a certain celebrity status. With murders, bank heists, kidnappings, and bold prison breaks--Mesrine embraced his lawlessness with a flair and flamboyance that have maintained his cult appeal even thirty years after his death. Adapting Mesrine's own memoir, writer/director Jean-Francois Richet has divided Mesrine's escapades into two feature films. This one--"Mesrine: Killer Instinct"--charts his initiation into a gangster existence and his rise to worldwide attention while the follow-up "Mesrine: Public Enemy #1" charts the end stages of his criminal career. "Killer Instinct," in fact, ends quite abruptly and will certainly feel incomplete without its second half. So be prepared for a two-parter because you'll want to see this tale through to its bitter finale!

In "Killer Instinct," we meet a young Mesrine (the always reliable Vincent Cassel) as he is exiting a morally ambiguous post in the Army and starting a fresh life. He hungers for an excitement and payday, however, that the straight life can't provide. An old friend introduces him to a local mob boss Gerard Depardieu and soon he discovers where his true talent lies. Trying to balance a family normalcy proves difficult, though, giving way to Mesrine taking on a full ownership of his criminal enterprise. Embarking on a Bonnie and Clyde adventure in Canada with girlfriend Jeanne Schneider (Cécile de France), the two make waves when a daring kidnapping goes awry. And as they meet their fate in the aftermath of this event, the movie truly kicks into high gear. One sequence, outside a Canadian penitentiary, is as exciting and unpredictable as anything you're likely to see in a thriller! In whole, the film is a bold exercise in crime melodrama.

The film, however, is episodic by nature. We don't truthfully get to know much about Mesrine as the screenplay never delves into his psychology. We are forced to understand him through his actions as opposed to his thoughts--and this does leave a central aloofness that is undeniable. Thankfully, Cassel powers through this performance with an unexpected charm, a surprising intelligence, and an unrelenting brutality. Certainly Mesrine was a beast in many ways, but he had an appeal that held people in thrall. Cassel is a perfect blend of these disparate elements and his performance ignites like a powder keg in the film's most pivotal moments. Left with a somewhat superficial look at his bad deeds, the film doesn't deliver a lot of emotional attachment (I understand that certain dramatic elements ramp up in the second part). But for purely visceral thrills and a dynamic lead, you can't deny that "Killer Instinct" is a well crafted and thoroughly entertaining biography! Cue part two! KGHarris, 2/11.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
if you saw, black swan & were impressed by the actor who played her dance director in the movie, go no further in your pursuit of catching
this amazing actor in action.vincent cassel also played the cross-dressing french duke in, elizabeth, starring cate blanchett..what you see in
mesrine, killer instinct is a bravura performance of an actor who uses his entire body, much in the style of a kirk douglas, or robert mitchum,
to convey the ebb & flow of reason, cause & effect of circumstance to inflict consequences beyond ordinary control..i highly recommend
both mesrine films..vincent cassel is a new kind of movie star to come out of europe. very gifted & not afraid to use his body as an instrument.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2012
Format: DVD
MESRINE: THE KILLER INSTINCT

A French film starring Vincent Cassel, Gerard Depardieu, Cecile De France, Elena Anaya, Gilles Lellouch & Ludivine Sagnier. It tells the tale of the man considered to be the head of France's Bonnie & Clyde. There are lots of hardnosed men & lovely ladies in this one.

The movie skips forward all on its own & sometimes disturbing so but as it deals with a career that is known as fact in journal's & in fable through story perhaps that was unavoidable. Beginning with Mesrine's maturing during the existence of the Algerian Liberation Front & continuing through the Baader/Meinhoff Gang in Germany we're introduced to a character that loved to rob banks, consider himself a revolutionary (though he wasn't), kidnap the wealthy & get caught.

He bragged that no prison could him & he was right. Doing time on two continents & getting a special security classification of prison closed down in Canada. I was as surprised at the ineptness of Mesrine in-between jobs as well as the inept forces trying to corral him.

Nevertheless this was a good movie. It's an enjoyable watch & more than anything a wonderful portrayal by Vincent Cassel. He is Mesrine. Gerard Depardieu plays his crime family father figure which is set against Mesrine's detestation for his own working father. Depardieu's character is very well-done as he seems to admire the young & upcoming killer but is powerless to contain him, as he well knows. The ladies play his various love interests & they do it well. From the love of his life to his well reasoned choice between his work & her, his many mistresses & his soul mate the scenes are touching, intense & alternately casual. One thing is certain; his appetite for danger barely exceeded his appetite for beautiful women.

Violence rules the day here as well as a perplexing personality. It's better than a 3.5 Amazon star movie but not quite 4.0. There is a second Mesrine movie called Public Enemy #1 & he was that. It is somewhat less of a show than Killer Instinct due to writing I feel but Vincent is dead-on as Mesrine again & the role of the women is beefed up in a criminal sense. Ludivine Sagnier returns in her role as Sylvia & plays one of the most lithesome sensual females you'll see on screen. Public Enemy #1 gets 3.5 Amazon stars in my book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 14, 2012
Format: DVD
The Seventies were good years for charismatic French gangster Jacques Mesrine. Except, of course, for the last five minutes. Mesrine tells us his story in two parts: Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One. Each film runs about two hours. It's quite a ride.

Jacques Mesrine, with an outstanding performance by Vincent Cassel, captured the French imagination in the Seventies. He was born in 1936 to middle-class parents, went to good schools as a boy, demonstrated a taste for violence and probably found his criminal career in Algeria as a count-insurgency paratrooper and, so it was said, killer of prisoners. Whatever the truth, Mesrine, back in France and out of the army, became a full-time criminal specializing in bank robberies and burglaries. And what a criminal. He was shrewd, unpredictable, violent one moment, playful with his daughter the next. He'd rob a bank with a partner, then notice another bank down the block and run over and rob it, too. Other criminals learned to cross him, or just mispronounce his name, at their risk. During his career he managed to kidnap two millionaires from their country mansions, one in Canada and the other in France. Both times he carried it off with bravado and a crazy kind of belief that what he'd planned would work. Occasionally he'd be caught, sent to prison and then escape. When he landed in La Sante, a tough, maximum-security French prison located in Paris, he escaped again...in broad daylight...in a mixture of audacity, luck and determination.

Mesrine seemed to think he was invincible. He also believed he'd die young, not the least of his contradictions. As Cassel plays him, he is a figure a person can't keep from watching. Cassel's Mesrine isn't handsome, but a dangerous, unpredictable, confident and, at time, charming gangster who has little trouble finding women to share his bed and partners who, initially, anyway, join his schemes. As his notoriety grew, so did his ego and his sense of injustice. He gave interviews to the press and even wrote an (unreliable) autobiography. He killed a few people along the way, not always fellow gangsters. The French police were fit to be tied. And then we come to the last five minutes of Part Two.

The two movies are episodic at times. They jump from Paris to here and there, including the Canary Islands and Quebec, following Mesrine's unpredictable criminal life. Both movies are well cast, with actors who look as tough as Cassel. Gerard Depardieu in Part One plays Guido, a kind of mentor to Mesrine. He almost steals the show. Ludovine Sagnier as Sylvie Jeanjacquot, Mesrine's last woman, is as fine an actress as she is good-looking.

Cassel, however, is what makes these movies. Like Belmondo and Bogart, he qualifies as a dominating male lead actor despite his considerably less than handsome looks. Style, confidence and talent - plus a camera that loves you - don't need a chiseled profile.

Remember, the next time you're in a smoke-filled Paris bar and you think you see him at a table, it's pronounced "may-reen." Good luck.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the saga of notorious French criminal Jacque Mesrine! Branded his country's Public Enemy No. 1 for his international exploits during the sixties and seventies, Mesrine's notoriety brought him a certain celebrity status. With murders, bank heists, kidnappings, and bold prison breaks--Mesrine embraced his lawlessness with a flair and flamboyance that have maintained his cult appeal even thirty years after his death. Adapting Mesrine's own memoir, writer/director Jean-Francois Richet has divided Mesrine's escapades into two feature films. This one, "Mesrine: Killer Instinct," charts his initiation into a gangster existence and his rise to worldwide attention while the follow-up "Mesrine: Public Enemy #1" charts the end stages of his criminal career. "Killer Instinct," in fact, ends quite abruptly and will certainly feel incomplete without its second half. So be prepared for a two-parter because you'll want to see this tale through to its bitter finale!

In "Killer Instinct," we meet a young Mesrine (the always reliable Vincent Cassel) as he is exiting a morally ambiguous post in the Army and starting a fresh life. He hungers for an excitement and payday, however, that the straight life can't provide. An old friend introduces him to a local mob boss Gerard Depardieu and soon he discovers where his true talent lies. Trying to balance a family normalcy proves difficult, though, giving way to Mesrine taking on a full ownership of his criminal enterprise. Embarking on a Bonnie and Clyde adventure in Canada with girlfriend Jeanne Schneider (Cécile de France), the two make waves when a daring kidnapping goes awry. And as they meet their fate in the aftermath of this event, the movie truly kicks into high gear. One sequence, outside a Canadian penitentiary, is as exciting and unpredictable as anything you're likely to see in a thriller! In whole, the film is a bold exercise in crime melodrama.

The film, however, is episodic by nature. We don't truthfully get to know much about Mesrine as the screenplay never delves into his psychology. We are forced to understand him through his actions as opposed to his thoughts--and this does leave a central aloofness that is undeniable. Thankfully, Cassel powers through this performance with an unexpected charm, a surprising intelligence, and an unrelenting brutality. Certainly Mesrine was a beast in many ways, but he had an appeal that held people in thrall. Cassel is a perfect blend of these disparate elements and his performance ignites like a powder keg in the film's most pivotal moments. Left with a somewhat superficial look at his bad deeds, the film doesn't deliver a lot of emotional attachment (I understand that certain dramatic elements ramp up in the second part). But for purely visceral thrills and a dynamic lead, you can't deny that "Killer Instinct" is a well crafted and thoroughly entertaining biography! Cue part two! KGHarris, 2/11.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2012
Format: DVD
Jacques Mesrine pronounced Meyrine became French public enemy no.1 for good reason. The movie loosely based on Mesrines autobiography `L'Instinct De Mort was filmed in two separate parts, in French with English subtitles. . Mesrine lead a violent life as gangster, bank robber, lover, kidnapper and multiple prison escape artist. DVD Part One (Killer instinct) and DVD Part Two (Public Enemy No.1) follow Messines criminal exploits over several decades in France and abroad, his growing notoriety and final demise in a police staged ambush in Paris. The French actor Vincent Cassel is Mesrine the `man of a thousand faces', in a career defining role. Notable heavy weight French actors play close support roles, not least girlfriend Cécile De France and Gérard Depardieu in awesome form as `Guido', Mesrines Alma mata in the French underworld. The direction, cinematography and music are a superior mix of Gallic self absorption and sex with a good measure of Hollywood action and sinister violence thrown in for good measure. Although Mesrine isn't the average role model for society he certainly is an interesting subject for this very good hero/anti hero movie. As for Jacques Mesrine the man this movie invites you to be the judge.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
We saw Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Public Enemy #1 in the theater and HAD to buy it on blu-ray. Great movie and incredible true story.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Great film! Tight script, good story, well acted and directed. If you like a good gangster flick, this one is for you.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I tried to order this a few months ago but it was only available on region 2 players,so I thought I would check again and viola it was available(thank's Amazon).This is a great flick,action,great storyline(it is based on true events)and Vincent Cassel what can I say he is excellent!Also,it is dubbed in English(also has an option if you want sub-titles)the dubbing couln't be better in some of these dubbed movies it is sometimes difficult to understand what they are saying not so here!This movie is great,it starts out as Jacques gets out of the french army and is living with his parents and moves on to his beginnings in crime and escapes.Love this movie!
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Note: While definitely worth the rental, the Mesrine Saga suffers (as do most movies) with an awkward English dub. Both Part One and Two are currently being offered in the original subtitled version for those interested.

I have been eagerly awaiting the DVD release of the saga of notorious French criminal Jacque Mesrine! Branded his country's Public Enemy No. 1 for his international exploits during the sixties and seventies, Mesrine's notoriety brought him a certain celebrity status. With murders, bank heists, kidnappings, and bold prison breaks--Mesrine embraced his lawlessness with a flair and flamboyance that have maintained his cult appeal even thirty years after his death. Adapting Mesrine's own memoir, writer/director Jean-Francois Richet has divided Mesrine's escapades into two feature films. This one--"Mesrine: Killer Instinct"--charts his initiation into a gangster existence and his rise to worldwide attention while the follow-up "Mesrine: Public Enemy #1" charts the end stages of his criminal career. "Killer Instinct," in fact, ends quite abruptly and will certainly feel incomplete without its second half. So be prepared for a two-parter because you'll want to see this tale through to its bitter finale!

In "Killer Instinct," we meet a young Mesrine (the always reliable Vincent Cassel) as he is exiting a morally ambiguous post in the Army and starting a fresh life. He hungers for an excitement and payday, however, that the straight life can't provide. An old friend introduces him to a local mob boss Gerard Depardieu and soon he discovers where his true talent lies. Trying to balance a family normalcy proves difficult, though, giving way to Mesrine taking on a full ownership of his criminal enterprise. Embarking on a Bonnie and Clyde adventure in Canada with girlfriend Jeanne Schneider (Cécile de France), the two make waves when a daring kidnapping goes awry. And as they meet their fate in the aftermath of this event, the movie truly kicks into high gear. One sequence, outside a Canadian penitentiary, is as exciting and unpredictable as anything you're likely to see in a thriller! In whole, the film is a bold exercise in crime melodrama.

The film, however, is episodic by nature. We don't truthfully get to know much about Mesrine as the screenplay never delves into his psychology. We are forced to understand him through his actions as opposed to his thoughts--and this does leave a central aloofness that is undeniable. Thankfully, Cassel powers through this performance with an unexpected charm, a surprising intelligence, and an unrelenting brutality. Certainly Mesrine was a beast in many ways, but he had an appeal that held people in thrall. Cassel is a perfect blend of these disparate elements and his performance ignites like a powder keg in the film's most pivotal moments. Left with a somewhat superficial look at his bad deeds, the film doesn't deliver a lot of emotional attachment (I understand that certain dramatic elements ramp up in the second part). But for purely visceral thrills and a dynamic lead, you can't deny that "Killer Instinct" is a well crafted and thoroughly entertaining biography! Cue part two! KGHarris, 2/11.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Mesrine: Public Enemy #1
Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 by Vincent Cassel (DVD - 2011)
$11.99

Carlos (Criterion Collection)
Carlos (Criterion Collection) by Edgar Ramirez (DVD - 2011)
$32.99

A Prophet
A Prophet by Tahar Rahim (DVD - 2010)
$9.70
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.