Synopsis by Mark Deming
The true story of one of Europe's most infamous and charismatic criminals comes to a close in this drama based on the life and crimes of Jacques Mesrine. Picking up where L'Instinct de Mort left off, L'Ennemi Public No. 1 begins as Mesrine (Vincent Cassel) returns to France after an exile in Canada. Teaming up with gunman Michel Ardouin (Samuel Le Bihan), Mesrine masterminds a series of armed robberies, and while he's able to stay one step ahead of the law most of the time, eventually he finds himself back in prison, where he makes friends with the clever François (Mathieu Amalric). With François' help, Mesrine breaks out of prison and becomes something of a celebrity, penning an autobiography, hob-nobbing with the wealthy and trying to paint himself as a political radical with the help of leftist spokesman Charlie (Gérard Lanvin). Mesrine also renews his relationship with his girlfriend, Sylvia (Ludivine Sagnier), but he also turns his back on some of his old friends and underestimates the determination of the French police to stop him once and for all. L'Ennemi Public No. 1 (aka Public Enemy No. 1, Part 2) went into release in late 2008, while the wildly successful L'Instinct de Mort was still playing in French theaters.