Are terrorists replacing gangsters in the movies? These days, instead of TheGodfather and Scarface, we have Che, The Baader Meinhof Complex, and this relentless account of the dismal career of Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, a/k/a Carlos the Jackal (Édgar Ramírez).
Directed by the eclectic Olivier Assayas, it's a three-part made-for-TV movie that offers compelling watching but not much insight. Maybe that's the point: the film demystifies a thug who for two decades was a media celebrity because of his audacious atrocities. Intercut with recurrent scenes of weapons caches tossed into the trunks of cars and people getting shot in the back of the head is the interchangeable series of Carlos's women.
They parrot Marxist cant, get turned on by the guns, sleep with the creep, and get dumped when they become too bourgeois. And after all this pain and vanity, he ends up a "historical curiosity," busted while leaving a liposuction clinic. Would that Osama someday might become as inconsequential.