Will Mesrine be the French Scarface? Watch these clips and decide for yourself

Vincent Cassel as Jacques Mesrine in Mesrine: Part 1 - Death Instinct
Vincent Cassel as Jacques Mesrine in Mesrine: Part 1 - Death Instinct

Jacques Mesrine, last of the great French gangsters, was declared France’s Public Enemy Number One during his lifetime. He regularly finished on top among the list of newsmakers in opinion polls. His spectacular death, shot full of holes by police at close range at the center of Paris in 1979, put the crowning touch on his legend.

I knew very little about Mesrine before reading a story and viewing an exclusive clip over at Empire. That lead me to the UK website for the coming duet releases, which will chronicle the life and times of a man considered so dangerous, there was an entire police unit dedicated to bringing him down, called “the anti-Mesrine”.

Vincent Cassel plays the titular character in an old school action-filled gangster epic that has been broken up into two parts – Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct, out on August 7th in the U.K., with Mesrine Part 2: Public Enemy Number One, which follows soon after, on August 28th.

The movies feature a who’s who of French stars, including Gérard Depardieu, Gilles Lellouche, Roy Dupuis, Elena Anaya, Michel Duchaussoy, Myriam Boyer, Florence Thomassin, Ludivine Sagnier, Samuel Le Bihan, Mathieu Amalric (baddie from Quantum of Solace) and Cecile de France (from the cult French horror High Tension).

CLICK HERE to watch the exclusive Empire clip. Then visit the U.K. release website HERE for additional film clips, along with photos and the full trailer for the gangster movie duet, which are expected to get a limited US. release in August of this year (one or both have already screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival in April and the Seattle International Film Fest in June).