With all due respect to director Jean-Francois Richet, 'Mesrine' is one movie and probably a whole hour longer than it needs to be. Split into two two-plus hour installments, 'Killer Instinct' and 'Public Enemy #1,' there doesn't seem to be a detail about French criminal Jacques Mesrine's life that isn't explored in considerable detail, and yet by the end of the latter, not only have we gotten the point, we no longer have much interest in watching this sociopath destroy not only his own life but that of the people who (temporarily, at least) surround him.

A crime saga that probably would have been better-suited to a television miniseries than two generally effective but overstuffed feature-length movies, 'Mesrine' is a fascinating true-life story that suffers only from trying too hard to be completely true to life.