Killer Instinct is the story of notorious criminal Jacques Mesrine who progressed from petty crime on the streets of Paris to become Canada’s public enemy number one.
Kind of like a Gallic Goodfellas, Mesrine is also based on a real-life gangster and similarly spans decades of his life. Vincent Cassel puts in a quality performance as the charismatic psychopath who became a media sensation in the early 1970’s and although he is hardly the most likeable protagonist, his outlandish acts are consistently both entertaining to watch and quite incredible to believe. There are some quality set pieces, the scene in which he and his partner single-handedly attack a maximum security prison in which they were both tortured is a particular highlight.
It is a little episodic and it lacks the depth of characterisation that draws you fully into this kind of life story, but it is always exciting to watch and it whets the appetite perfectly for the second half of the story.