I know I only reviewed the first part of Mesrine, but rest assured that I did watch the second, and I liked it... mostly. It wasn't as intense, or as fun, but I certainly liked it. Overall, I think the movie is balls to the wall fun, and has more action and intensity than five Michael Bay movies put together. But apparently, the double-feature is being released in North America, finally, and the reviews are pouring in.
Roger Ebert, one of my favourite critics, of any medium, has weighed in on both parts, and has some great things to say about the films. Here's what he had to say about the action:
They have an impact recalling the days when gangster movies and action films in general had a meaty realism and weren’t weakened by absurd CGI. No cars, guns or people do anything here that cars, guns and people can’t do in real life. If there’s ever a film titled "Bourne vs. Mesrine," the bout will end in the first round and the crown will return to Paris.I love Bourne, but I'm going with Ebert on this.
Stephen Holden of the NY Times, had this to say about the complexity:
...it makes for continuously riveting, visceral entertainment that evokes a Gallic “Scarface” without the drugs. The story is deepened with a distinctively European political subtext as the increasingly grandiose Mesrine engages in a running dialogue with various characters about the differences between gangsters and revolutionaries
And Mick La Salle of the San Franisco Chronicle said of the character:
The films never lose sight of Mesrine the man, a fascinating character in that he's brutal yet extremely intelligent, has a skewed but discernible conscience, and, under the right circumstances, can be warm and generous. He is also brilliant at public relations.These are some big critics, and so far, most people are enjoying it. I would say the preference for one part over the over is split right down the middle. I enjoyed the first more, and so did Holden, but others prefer the second, for its being more in depth, psychologically speaking.
I strongly urge anybody who likes action movies to see this fucking movie. It is so good! If I get a chance to see this in the theatre, all four hours, I'm going.