Wow! I must say I’m really impressed, and if you know me, you know that really is rare with movies. I went out to watch Public Enemy No. 1 – Murder Instinct (Mesrine: L’instinct de mort), the first of a two French movie set portraying the life of French high-profile criminal Jaques Mesrine. While I knew it had good critiques, I didn’t expect it to be that bloody brilliant. Though it is based on real events, it is not a bio-pic in the classical sense. It’s really more an accumulation of episodes that explain the motivations of the main “hero” and it more than successfully manages that. Mesrine is driven by a deep sense of honor and loyalty towards a set of people, but on the other hand does not care for the rest of the world, because that rest is somehow always taking someone or something away from him. Now that sounds like your stereotypical Mafia type, but it isn’t. His motivations are all his own, and he’s always aware of where that will lead him. That’s probably the main difference to most other movies of that kind and brings it in line with masterpieces such as Heat or Eastern Promises. It’s honestly brutal and brutally honest in every way and that unpretentiousness makes it far superior to failures like the Dark Knight or Departed. Watch it, if it runs anywhere near you! I can’t wait already for the 2nd part.
On a side note – before the movie the had of course the usual trailers and promos for upcoming stuff and it really scares me, what shit comes out of Hollywood these days. Wolverine looked completely ridiculous as did Transformers 2. Okay, I really liked Star Trek, but then again I have been a fan for years. Not sure about Terminator – Salvation. I’m having that odd feeling that we’ve seen the best parts of it in the trailer and the actual movie is nowhere near as dark and grim as it makes you believe, which could potentially turn it into just another effects orgy with big explosions and CG robots.
From an artistic point of view another thing is very disappointing. Almost all of the movies use variations of Copperplate or Bank Gothic looking typefaces for they title designs. WTF? Don’t you spend any money on decent custom crafted title fonts anymore? Personally I’m simply tired of having to yet again see the same letters over and over again that have been used in every action or disaster movie in the last 20 years. *ouch*
On a similar note: Pixar‘s Up</strong> will have the wonderful German title Oben (which really means above, on top). Another of those scary incidents where a multi-billion movie company has no handle whatsoever on international branding and marketing. *yikes* They just should have left the original English title and modified the poster design instead.