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Mesrine: Public Enemy No 1

Year: 2008
Production Co: La Petitie Reine
Director: Jean-Francois Richet
Writer: Abdel Raouf Dafri/Jean-Francois Richet
Cast: Vincet Cassel, Ludivine Sagnier, Mathieu Amalric

This French miniseries gives the figure at the centre of the story ample time to grow and developer, and it's a better product than it perhaps would have been as a standalone 90-minute film.

Like a French Godfather, Jacques Mesrine has a sweeping story in the annals of crime, from his return from the war in Angola to his eventual execution at the hands of the police in Paris when he let his guard down long enough.

By the time Mesrine was stopped he had a long record of robberies and murders. The evil-looking Cassel - while he doesn't have to work too hard in the acting department - is perfectly cast as the man who looks like a psychotic tinderbox of violent temper about the explode.

The story is by necessity episodic, but no less interesting as everyone from wives to accomplices drift in and out of Mesrine's life.

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