Vincent Cassel (La Haine, Irriversible, Ocean's Eleven...), probably my favourite actor of recent years, plays the role of Jacques Mesrine, the notorious French gangster who started out with a Robin Hood image, robbing banks and capitalist fat cats, and lost control along the way, swaying to the dark side.
Eventually he was gunned down by a police squad (execution-style: in broad daylight) at the Porte de Clingancourt in Paris . His body had 19 bullets in it when they pulled him out.
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The life story of Jacques Mesrine is split up into two movies: "Public Enemy Number One (Parts 1&2)".
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The first movie is about Mesrine's formative years and his affiliation with extremist right wing army organisations. The second film deals with his ascendancy to fame and notoriety as a modern day anti-establishment Robin Hood, escaping from prison and living in disguise (he sometimes wore three wigs at a time, just so he could change quicker). Method-actor Cassel put on 40 pounds for the second film so he could play the fatter, meaner Mesrine. A cold-hearted killer to some, a cult hero to others, these two movies will show all sides to the legend of Mesrine.
The French have already had their chance to see it, but an international release has been planned for 2009.
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