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Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (Part 2) [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (Part 2) [Blu-ray]
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  • Mesrine: Killer Instinct: Part 1 [Blu-ray]
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  • Tell No One [Blu-ray]
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Now back in France, Mesrine is finally in police custody and facing justice for his crimes. After escaping a courtroom and kidnapping the judge at gunpoint, Mesrine is declared Public Enemy Number 1 and is eventually condemned to a maximum-security prison where he writes his memoirs, establishing himself as a household name and the anti-hero across France. Mesrine stages another daring escape and disappears into the lawless underworld, taunting the police and reinventing himself as a celebrity criminal through his savvy manipulation of the media. After such a monumental rise, comes the inevitable fall as the police close in, bringing the life of Jacques Mesrine to full bloody circle.

Review

"An Instant Gangster Classic. This is In a League with The Epics of Coppola & Scorsese" --Kim Newman, Empire

"One of the Ten Best Films of The Year" --Bob Mondello, National Public Radio

"Riveting, Visceral Entertainment" --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Special Features

- English language dub track
- Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Vincent Cassel, Mathieu Amalric, Ludivine Sagnier
  • Directors: Jean Francois Richet
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Music Box Films Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004ITYDSO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,685 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Note: This DVD presentation is a direct continuation of the Jacque Mesrine crime saga that began with "Mesrine: Killer Instinct." If you haven't seen that film, you will probably want to in advance of screening this one. Both theatrically and for DVD distribution, this film was split into two distinct parts and packaged separately. There are, however, international DVD versions available that have the complete product--if you choose to go that route and buy only one DVD, just make sure that the DVD is compatible with your DVD player.

Branded his country's Public Enemy No. 1 for his international exploits during the sixties and seventies, Jacque 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. The first--"Mesrine: Killer Instinct"--charts his initiation into a gangster existence and his rise to worldwide attention while this follow-up "Mesrine: Public Enemy #1" charts the height and end stages of his criminal career. Where the first installment was an episodic character study that explained Mesrine's descent into crime, this film boldly takes on the appeal of a full fledged action epic.

Don't expect any back story or recap going into "Public Enemy #1." The narrative starts right off with an exciting court house escape and the momentum rarely wanes. Vincent Cassel delivers a performance of much power and charm as the relentless Mesrine. These years (the seventies) have Cassel embracing his criminal notoriety and fame.
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Format: DVD
MESRINE: PUBLIC ENEMY #1 is a sequel, or actually Part II of MESRINE: KILLER INSTINCT. It is important to note this fact because for the casual viewer who picks up this DVD first there will be a lot of background story missing. Apparently there is somewhat of a cult of Mesrine devotees, so powerful was his image as the most devious criminal of the 1960s -1970s in France. Or perhaps it is the media that makes criminals like Charles Manson, Bonnie and Clyde, John Gotti, Al Capone, John Dillinger etc etc 'heros' to the public. But if examining the lives of such beings entertains you then this film may register.

Apparently the first film in this biopic showed the development of Jacques Mesrine (Vincent Cassel) as he becomes a bank robber, kidnapper, jail breaker, etc, but this film starts with Mesrine in court form which he escapes and then proceeds to rob banks and kill people and eventually end up believing in his own grandeur as Public Enemy #1. The film was written by Abdel Raouf Dafri and director Jean-François Richet who obviously are more concerned with setting up ambushes and escapes and robberies than with character development. The is one well-written scene in the film - Mesrine sneaking into a hospital where his father (Michel Duchaussoy) is dying that is true drama, but the rest is rather uncontrolled raucous crime. Vincent Cassel is such a fine actor that he is able to bring to life this atrocious character (having not seen Part 1 leaves any advantage that film may have given to his character development and why this actor suddenly has a beer gut, etc).
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a great gangster film, in league with Scarface and Goodfellas. Mesrine was quite a character in real life, and this movie based on his autobiography is exciting and fascinating. Vincent Cassel burns up the screen as Mesrine, a hotheaded, violent, but at the same time, tender and emotional man. He became somewhat of a folk hero in France for thumbing his nose at the judicial and penal systems. He beat both systems numerous times, and this movie shows how he did it. Highly recommended!
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Format: Blu-ray
As an American with an appreciation of French cinema, I enjoyed "Mesrine: Public Enemy #1" (MPE1), but wouldn't rank it alongside the best gangster or crime movies from the U.S. or the U.K. The filmmakers do an excellent job of recreating the scenery, clothing and hairstyles of the 1970s, and the movie has its moments of suspense. However, American audiences are likely to compare it to the many thrillers that fill our cineplexes, and MPE1 doesn't quite measure up. The gunfights and car chase scenes are just not as powerful; in fact, when a cheap Renault getaway car gets spun around and dented in MPE1, I chuckled a bit at the thought of such an underpowered car being used by criminal masterminds in a life-or-death situation. I guess it's better than a Vespa...

The primary reason why "Mesrine: Public Enemy #1" can't compare to over-the-top thrilling crime movies such as "The Dark Knight" is that MPE1 is actually based on factual people and events. There really was a Jacques Mesrine in France who robbed banks, murdered several people, and escaped from prison multiple times. MPE1 does adhere to the basic facts of Mesrine's actual life story, at least as it is captured on Wikipedia.

Vincent Cassel gives a decent performance as Mesrine. At times Mesrine's viciousness comes through, but much of the rest of the time Mesrine is clowning around or strutting about with his chest puffed out. I wondered if Cassel was perhaps playing the role a bit too much for laughs, but maybe this is the way that Mesrine really was. The chief question posed by the film is: why did Mesrine do it?
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