Jean-François Richet | 2008 | 114 min | France/Canada
Vincent Cassel stars as notorious French gangster, Jacques Mesrine in this action-biopic that is competent and entertaining enough but in no way original. It feels like a dozen other rise and fall mob movies, only it's in French.
Cassel is good as Mesrine but he's a much better actor than the performance he gives here. The big surprise of the film is Gerard Depardieu as an overweight Italian mob boss who Mesrine works for. Maybe his believability as an Italian could be challenged but not his believability as a weathered heavy who commands respect and who won't hesitate for a moment to get his hands dirty if blood needs to be shed.
L'instinct de Mort is a solid film that entertains, but at just under two hours long, and being only the first half of the story, let's hope that the rest of Mesrine's life is what warrants being made into a film (or two in this case).