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Sundance 2024 Review: Kidnapping Inc. – “embraces the satirical craziness of the concept”

A botched abduction for hire places hapless criminals and buddies Doc and Zoe in the middle of a conspiracy that threatens the presidential election in Haiti.

A bound and gagged body is placed in the trunk of a car that does not close properly which is not a good omen for kidnappers Doc (Jasmuel Andri) and Zoe (Rolapthon Mercure) as things go quickly sideways from there; this in turn puts pressure on their mysterious employers who hoped to exploit the situation for political gain.

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No doubt the works of Quentin Tarantino which gives a lot of quick-witted sass to the crime genre with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction were an influence with the opening scene being a direct homage to the former.  And then throw inspiration from dialogue and action virtuoso Shane Black who is responsible upped the ante for the buddy pictures with Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.  Full marks to director Bruno Mourral for swinging big and embracing the satirical craziness of the concept along with the cast. However, the ball does not quite get out of the infield despite a slick camera style and some fancy visual effects like slow-motion bullets.

A fun moment is when Doc and Zoe make a surprising discovery and find themselves running through some alleyways as bystanders casually watch and comment about what’s going on.  The beating heart of the film is the relationship between Doc and Zoe though at times even their scenes drag.  The really nutty thing about this is how kidnapping has become such a domestic industry within Haiti which gives a dark edge to the proceedings.  The plot itself is nothing new but having the story taking place in Haiti does allow for a vibrant colour palette which is a welcome relief from the usual onslaught of desaturated tones.

The 2023 Sundance Film Festival takes place January 19–29, 2023, in person and online, and for more information visit

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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