“Mesrine,” “Scott Pilgrim,” and “The Expendables” : The New Yorker


Anthony Lane’s movie reviews are few and far between, compared to newspaper scribes like AO Scott and Roger Ebert, but I’m convinced this is because he requires time to build up for the explosion of wit that infuses his reviews.

That simplicity carries over into Richet’s film, which performs the unlikely trick of being both taut and plotless. We kick off with Mesrine’s death, in a clatter of police gunfire, in 1979; flip back to his earliest misdemeanors, opening with domestic burglary; then hop from one outrage to the next until we land, at the close of the second movie, back where we began. In the meantime, various lovers and sidekicks come and go, affording tasty opportunities to a batch of French performers. C

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