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The year before "les Kidnappeurs" (1998) opened in France, Graham Guit had signed a tight and dry B whodunit with a dash of humor: "le Ciel est à Nous" (1997). Its model in the form and the content was the violent and bloody universe of Quentin Tarantino. One year later, hiring the same crew, he did it again with "les Kidnappeurs", obviously an endeavor to produce a new little worked up whodunit in the same vein as its predecessor. Alas, it's a let-down which isn't up to scratch with "le Ciel est à Nous" and has virtually nothing commendable.
There have been harsh words about Guit's effort and rightly so. It fails to be exciting albeit the onset starts under auspicious skies. As a matter of fact, the whole interest of the film remains confined in the outset with this astute idea: how Ulysse reveals to his accomplices how it is possible to simply succeed the burglary without danger and to pocket the loot. But as the average viewer can guess, it's too good to be true since in reality, the operation will go awry and the loot will be rubbish. It's the only watchable part of the flick and the job must be done under Freddy's orders.
Alas, after the first meeting of the gang with him, it's downhill and it seems that Guit has left the building. The rest of the film consists of complex filler and its desultory character is revealed in all its splendor. Various inexplicable twists, complications and muddle clutter a screenplay written besides in a snap manner without altering and more serious without any attempt to clarify it. The director doesn't bother for his job and shelved a crucial premise of the cinema: a film is a sort of communicative link between its author and the viewer. But here, by delivering a story which is hard to decipher, Guit shows no respect for the audience.
As he botches his job with his couldn't-care-less directing, it doesn't help his actors who do what they can to save the film from wreckage although it is doomed to failure. Too bad for young interprets like Elodie Bouchez or Melvil Poupaud who made the mistake to get themselves embroiled in this dud. Isaac Sharry makes his part count early in the story but then it becomes uninteresting. Romain Duris stands out as the lousy baddie with an IQ close to zero but one prefers him when he teams up with Cedric Klapisch. It even seems that the cast, by moments prefers to enjoy sunny landscapes.
Loose: it's the most suitable adjective to qualify Guit's piece of work who neglected to include stringent in his mind when he wrote the film. A hash of money as well as a waste of film both for the actors and the audience. Take "le Ciel est à Nous" instead.
NB: Elie Kakou dies at the end of the film, a sinister omen when one knows that he died of a cancer the following year in 1999...
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