L'instinct de mort (2008)



Genre: Action,Biography,Crime,Drama,Thriller

L'instinct de mort (2008)
Release Date: 22 October 2008 (Belgium)
Country: France , Canada , Italy
Director: Jean-François Richet
  • Vincent Cassel
  • Cécile De France
  • Gérard Depardieu
  • Gilles Lellouche
  • Roy Dupuis
  • Elena Anaya
  • Michel Duchaussoy
  • Myriam Boyer
  • Florence Thomassin
  • Abdelhafid Metalsi
  • Gilbert Sicotte
  • Deano Clavet
  • Mustapha Abourachid
  • Ludivine Sagnier
  • Sofiane Benrazzak

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33 Responses to L'instinct de mort (2008)

  1. clive-ihd
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    The way to see the two Mesrine films is as a double bill.

  2. mfits
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    That’s how this should be called. I mean this movie feels like a comedy at parts. The stupidity of the character doesn’t have any limits.

    He robs / threatens mobsters with a bear face, although he knows everybody is going after him, he is kicked out of a country, then from another.. And what was that outrageous escape plan?? Two people dashing with a crappie car in a max-security prison in broad daylight with security of 20 armed shooters, how more stupid can one be?

    He robs banks with absolutely no plan, he is always on the run or in jail, the police is always one step ahead, he is always caught, he comes up with absolutely stupid ideas to get away (like changing his voice behind the door).. Is that a gangster / organized crime movie? Or is it just a stupid no-plan criminal movie? This character is obviously not worth of a four hour biopic, he is just too stupid for a movie..

    Compare this to "American Gangster" with Denzel Washington by Ridley Scott, and then you’ll realize what a modern gangster movie ought to be.

  3. phlupple
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    I’m far from a gun nut but I do resent it when firearms are incorrectly represented in cinema.

    In the scene where Mesrine is walking down a street with his daughter and the drive-by attempt takes place, he retaliates by firing twelve rounds from a Colt 1911.

    The standard 1911 magazine capacity is 7 rounds, and the largest I know of holds 8. Where did these 4 extra bullets come from and why do so few film makers care about this?

    I realise it’s an issue of no significance to the majority but I think decent producers/directors should honour these things. Does anyone else find these ubiquitous oversights irritating?

  4. jlnewton147
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    After watching this film and also bad education,city of god and obviously some top quallity brit flicks, it is ever becoming more apparent how lame hollywood is and how they manage to screw up even the best source material.

    Not just as a gangster movie this film imo is just an all round original and technically superior piece of work than anything i have seen come out of koo koo land.

    Prime excample at the moment is Public ennemies with johnny depp, pure style over substance and in half an hour of watching i was bored out my skull whereas in mesrine i was gutted when it ended after 4 hours, (i class 1 and 2 as same film)

    I am interested in other peoples opinion about it on here but i think the number 1 problem in hollywood without a shadow of a doubt is the script! there is not enough great diolog in movies and the only ones where there is, any tarrantino,scorcese are classed as pioneers and loved by the public and not so much at the awards season so what does that say! it says they are more interessted in making watered down cliche ridden crap that just to make a quick buck rather than tell real interesting stories,they need to spend less time forking out on cgi and 20 million star salaries and invest in some decent writers.

    And they are always ripping off films like this and the vanishing.vanilla sky and so on because they have no original ideas of there own.

    I mean the premise of this film is very basic, man robs banks,goes to prison,breaks out of prison, robs more banks, and does the whole thing over again, but the writing and nateral acting by the lead are so strong there is never a dull moment and ironically even though the film didnt try to glomorise or make him a cool George clooney type thief, he was way more engaging and that rawness had far more appeal

    anyone agree or am i just stating the obvious

  5. judd_clarke
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    Master criminal? French twat. What a ridiculous snoozefest this farce is. Basically, if Clouseau had been a bad guy he’d have been this arse. Wandering around looking ridiculously French, talking rubbish, getting his friends beat up and killed without any recognition of his own stupidity. Breaking out of prison before trying to break back into it again in a beat up old van. That’s classic Peter Sellers. The only part missing was Bert Kwok jumping out of a dumb waiter and attacking him at the millionare’s mansion.Actually that would have been worth watching, with the aged Kwok hanging on for dear life as Mesrine crashes through the French (no pun intended) Windows and staggers blindly into the washing line…zut allors!


  6. neil57
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    I saw in IMBD Pro that Senator Distribution which apparently has the US rights to the Mesrine films is in financial trouble. Does this mean that the US release of the films is in jeopardy?

  7. dms21ep
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    Music Box films has acquired the US rights to the complete two part film.

    February 26, 2010

    For immediate release


    Chicago, IL….Music Box Films is pleased to announce the acquisition of all US rights to Jean-François Richet’s two part gangster epic MESRINE: KILLER INSTINCT and MESRINE: PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1, starring Vincent Cassel. This 4 hour, $50 million production, based on the autobiography of the notorious French bank robber, kidnapper and prison escape artist Jacques Mesrine, provides Cassel a career defining performance that earned him a Cesar for Best Actor in 2009.

    Mesrine (1936 -1979) had the distinction of being Public Enemy No. 1 in two countries on two continents (Canada and France) and became such a political embarrassment that he was essentially assassinated by French police on the streets of Paris. Cassel so thoroughly inhabits the character – he gained and lost over 40 pounds to play the part – he manages to make a homicidal sociopath into an always charismatic and at times almost noble figure while never soft pedaling the pathology. A crack supporting cast includes the likes of Gerald Depardieu as young Mesrine’s mentor in the rackets, accomplices Mathieu Almaric and Roy Dupuis and molls Cecile de France and Ludivine Sagnier while Olivier Gourmet is his relentless police adversary.

    Director and co-writer Jean-François Richet returned to France after making “Assault on Precinct 13” in the US, and took the Best Director Cesar 2009 for his efforts.

    Music Box partners Edward Arentz and William Schopf negotiated the deal with Gregoire Melin, managing director of Kinology, the film’s international sales agent. The film has now sold throughout the world.

    Music Box’s Schopf calls it a “French ‘Scarface’” and says that “while it evokes the great tradition of French policiers and underworld crime dramas, it is also a muscular world class action film anchored by Cassel’s towering lead performance. We know American audiences will love it.”

    Grégoire Melin: “After our fantastic experience on TELL NO ONE, Music Box was the ideal partner for promoting and distributing the excellent MESRINE, where Cassel’s talent explodes”.

    The films begin their US theatrical release in summer 2010.

  8. Almudena_Fernandez
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    When Jacques left his children behind with his parents, his first wife (and the mother of those children) Sofia was never to be seen or mentioned again throughout the rest of the movie. Did I miss something? What happened to her?

  9. Xcalate_1776
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    was brilliant in this film

    When there’s no more room in hell, The dead will walk the earth…

  10. wanted7590
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    NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN got 4 ….4!! and this incredible movie not even a nomination?? is there anything wrong ?? i dont trust the academy any more….i i believe they ara fake not just for this movie but for many others.

    If cinema was a religion, Pacino would be God!;)

  11. douglasfairbanks
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    This movie is an adaptation of a fiction book.

    For the biopic / true story of Jacques Mesrine, you must see Public enemy N°1!

    The Death Instinct is NOT a true story.

  12. kentuckyfriedpanda42
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    This looks friggin sensational!

    "Aloha, my name is Mr Hand".

  13. ThatMovieBuff
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    Jacques Mesrine (Cassel)one of France most notorious criminals, Wanted for murder and robbery. Easily escaping from every maximum prison thrown at him. He was certainly a colourful character. This amazing two part film literally blew me away. The action, characters and plot are all well thought out and directed by Jean-François Richet (Assault on precinct 13). In many ways his life mirrors that of john Dillinger’s (Public Enemy) who was also a publicly acclaimed Anti-hero. As you follow the troubled front man, you start to understand that he had more in his sights then smash and grab hold ups.

    Vincent Cassel is brilliant as the “honest bandit”. I decided to watch part one (Killer Instinct) after that, I couldn’t get enough of this rather vivid bio. Both parts of the story are equally as strong; the first being may be more accessible then the latter. But for the full effect I recommend you watch it back-to-back. The film is a rollercoaster ride, but as the dust settles and Mesrine accepts his inevitable decline “If you are listening to this, then I have been sent to a cell, for which there is no escape” simply amazing cinema!

    The Saturday Film Reviews!http://bit.ly/9Iu4nH Sherlock Holmes, The Decent and Mesrine.

  14. jess-154
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    The Fan Carpet are pleased to give you the chance to win the epic Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 on special edition DVD http://thefancarpet.com/EnterCompetition.aspx?co_id=56

  15. dms21ep
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    if you have a region free DVD player the 2pk of both parts with subtitles is releasing in January. Pre-orders being taken now.

  16. badgerking10
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    … considering the subject matter. But, I really enjoyed this… A mesmerising performance by Monsieur Cassel and a highly watchable film.

  17. Framescourer
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    At various points in either film, Mesrine tries to correct someone pronouncing his name with the ‘s’, wanting them to annunciate ‘May-reen’.

    Is there some significance to this which perhaps only a French person recognises? For example, is ‘MeZrine’ a working class pronunciation and ‘May-reen’ a bourgeois affectation? It’s not something I’m familiar with.

  18. torontodog
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    I saw the rough cut at Toronto International Film Festival. It seemed that this was filmed as one long movie, but then split into two parts at the last second. A few scenes didn’t make sense (although they probably would with the second half of the movie I reckon). So this brings me to my question, perhaps for someone who speaks french and understood it better. What happened to Guido (Gérard Depardieu)? Did he get assassinated by the cops? Or was it another syndicate?

  19. artblose-1
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    At about 1:35, Mesrine is in a high-rise office in Montreal, and there is a woman behind the desk (lawyer?). He is calling his girlfriend, still in prison.

    Anyone know her name? She looks a bit like Joan Allen.



  20. wpbooks-1
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    For some reason the subtitles of the version I watched stopped towards the end during the scene with the Park Rangers. Can someone translate the titles that appear on screen at the end that describes the fate of Mercier and his girlfriend (I think that is who the title refrences). I got the title about Mesrine and the end of the first part. Thanks in advance!

  21. daisyap
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    Where does the opening scene with the disguises fit in to the story?

  22. chris-rogers2
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    This review covers both parts of Mesrine for convenience (yours and mine) and because they tell a single story, albeit one broken in a way that will be considered later.

    Overall, I found this a thrilling, absorbing and at times dazzling work, mixing 60s and 70s history – that recent (for many of us) yet often still hidden period – with classic genre storytelling and grounded by a superb performance by Vincent Cassel as the titular character.

    Driving the entire piece and in virtually every scene, Cassel captures the snarling, arrogant, charming insouciance of a man apparently as equally capable of schmoozing you as smacking you. In truth Cassel has little opportunity to show much beyond these two extremes, especially in the dynamic first part where his rapid, Tony Montana-like rise from disillusioned soldier of war to vicious soldier of the street is told with economy and style by director Richet, yet he is always a compelling presence.

    Cassel is aided immensely by the snappy script by Richet and Abdel Raouf Dafri. Conveniently based on Mesrine’s own memoir, it allows for witty put downs for every occasion whilst always building the man-myth necessary for self-delusion and success on the wrong side of the law. Indeed, much of the wisecracking and the knowing manipulation of media adulation shown in part two echoes that of Kit Carruthers in Badlands, and the precise boundary of truth and fiction is as elastic in this epic journey through the streets of Europe as it is in Terrence Malick’s elegiac post-modernist desert-set fable. It’s as nihilistic, too, on the part of each film’s protagonist, both Kit and Jacques sharing as clear a distaste for conventional life endings which don’t involve death or glory as they do for the feelings of those who cross their paths. The only exceptions are their belles, here played brilliantly by Cecile De France and, especially, Ludivine Sagnier in parts one and two respectively.

    Admittedly, part two does allows the rather kinetic philosophy of Mesrine outlined at the start to be dissected, by bouncing idea(l)s off of revolutionary partners and similarly criminal millionaires. The conclusion which emerges – that for him, ‘the juice’ is the thing – is not revelatory but does satisfy. Perhaps more of the police effort to catch this multiple murderer, robber, kidnaper and escapee might have added balance, but given the primary source this was clearly unlikely to emerge.

    Cinematically Richet scores highly. A densely-textured period background is formed by excellent cinematography with period-accurate split screen, and good art, costume and make-up design. It’s aided by neatly-included references to contemporary urban political violence by the Baader-Meinhof gang and the Red Brigades, layered into the film by radio and television broadcasts.

    It is though the stunningly realised action set pieces that truly impress. Recalling the best of work by Yates, Frankenheimer and Friedkin executed during the period in question, the many shoot-outs are fast, scary and brutal, with a lack of body count that reflects reality rather than the fanboy fantasy that seems to inform much of today’s lesser action films. Indeed, the climactic prison assault of part one is a sequence worthy of Michael Mann in its bravura intensity and one wonders why he wasn’t attracted to this extraordinary story. Comparisons with Public Enemies are inevitable and unflattering for the Chicago-born director, all the more so given how Richet sustains his effort across almost five hours of narrative.

    Of course in such a wide-ranging field of view, some motes appear. One or two sub-plots could have been closed off more visibly, the gap between parts is a little clunky, signposting a change of pace for the second that sometimes tells, and the decision to open the latter with a scene which removes all doubt as to Mesrine’s end is surprising, but these are quibbles.

    Mesrine is a superb achievement. Stylish, gripping and fascinating, it illuminates a subject which to many in the UK and US will be unknown, and does so brilliantly.

  23. c_voehr
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    Hello from Vienna/Austria.

    I know it can be a problem with dubbed movies, that nuances of the character are lost in the translation.

    But why does Mesrine save the prostitute Sara from the arab pimp and threatens his own wife only a few minutes afterwards?

    As far as I noticed in the movie, Mesrine never hurt a woman or put one in danger (he didn’t shoot the girl in algeria, he loved his daugther, his mother, etc.) so why should he let his wife go away just because of one single moment of anger?

    Can anyone explain?



  24. tlwilliams
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    I’m not familiar with the true story… but in one scene mesrine meets this random chick at a bar… next scene they are already robbing sh!t together and are lovers… am I missing something here? Seems a bit too jumpy, something must have been cut.

    This signature represents a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

  25. sharp-phil
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    The whole tone of this film seems to be lifted from other films.

    I really feel that pretty much every scene in the first half of "Killer Instinct" owes something to an American gangster film. A terrible advert for modern French cinema. Not a moment of this film feels realistic or original

    Even the most horribly wrenching moment (the slowing stabbing and burying alive of the Arab pimp) seemed like a direct lift from Scorsese’s Casino.

    A glorification of a horrible man. At least I learnt in the first scene of the film that Mesrine gets his comeuppance, that saves me having to sit through part 2.

  26. cestparti
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    Does anyone know where there is an English-translated version of Jacques Mesrine’s autobiography ‘L’Instinct De Mort’ available to purchase?


  27. cia162000
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    im in the Philippines, Thankyou!

  28. singlecb-1
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    Would anyone know?


  29. commonparlance
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    Anyone know the song during the scene when Jacques and Cecile first meet? They’re in a bar/lounge, they exchange a few lines, and then the next scene is them robbing a casino or whatever it is. It’s a sort of early-’60s soul thing, sung in French if I recall correctly. Anyway, if anyone has the soundtrack or knows what the song is, please let me know! Thanks!

  30. cia162000
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  31. TheUltimateMovieFreak
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    I wonder why there aren’t any pictures of the movie on IMDb yet. It is just awesome and deserves at least the cover on IMDb…

  32. beckybird
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    UK website’s getting rolled out.

    Tres cool


  33. hgotti
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    great *beep* movie about a legend.

    When I watched it, I basically totally forgot the beginning untill the end and for a moment I caught myself finding it sad for this psychopath/criminal.

    Vincent Cassel did a great job by making believe Jacques Mesrine is untouchable and it scares how unpredictable he is and keeps suprising with his every next move, balancing the character as a psychopath and a criminal mastermind. Forget Dillinger for a moment, forget Bonnie & Clyde for a moment and just take a look at this awesome French movie.

    The movie contains a lot of the happenings in the real life of Jacques Mesrine (the escapes, the robberies, and yeah the first scene too).

    I am glad they divided Mesrines’ life over two movies, because there is so much this man did that one movie could never bring justice to the real Mesrine.

    Go check it.

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