The recipe for a successful movie? A mission. Some rules. An ongoing or developing problem. Add in some dark comedy and a spattering of gore effects, cook for forty five minutes and serve. Sounds pretty damn good to me, and I'm guessing, that it will also sound good to most anyone who happens across "Kafou" directed by Bruno Mourral. I'm not a big fan of sub-titles myself, as I find they distract from the onscreen action, but I had no problem completely enjoying this film - even with them. As the saying goes... when it's good it's good. Period. "Kafou" definitely delivers the goods, unlike the anti-heroes of the film itself, when given a simple task.
That task you ask? Doc and Zoe accept a job from Captain Bama, resident police chief and crime boss. They are to deliver some cargo and follow three simple rules. Don't open the windows. Don't open the trunk, and don't stop the car. Pretty easy right? The delivery is to be made by five in the morning, giving them three hours to complete the task. Of course, as I'm sure you've guessed, "Kafou" is the story of Murphy's law. Anything that can go wrong - will go wrong. Simply out? Well before the middle of this film, all three rules get broken... and then things get really... really... hectic. The final outcome of this movie reminds us that even in comedy, things don't always turn out well. Our leading men themselves? Let me just say that in order to find out what happens to them, you'll have to watch the film when you get the chance. It's a creative romp I would gladly take again. I suspect you would as well.
What gets to me is the polish and expertise "Kafou" radiates. Both in terms of the production itself, and the writing, pre-production steps. This is a crime film. No question about that. Yet the dialog, action and comedic elements, are all in perfect proportion to one and other. It's not overly funny. It's not overly gory, and it's not immensely action packed. Yet it does do all three in the right amounts. Back to the recipe metaphor, all the genre elements are in presented in near perfect portions. This great mix accounts for so much of the movies excellent presentation. Jasmuel Andri, Rolaphton Mercure and Manfred Marcelin all fit the bill perfectly as this films leading men. Now, aside from a curse word here and there, I couldn't actually understand any of them, hence the sub-titles, but their onscreen actions more than made up for any language barriers. It all felt perfect... even some of the over the top actions of our baddies. It all felt right. Even in the most ridiculous of situations, you can actually believe this is all possible.
The cinematography, audio and editing were also spot on. Slick and professional. Add to the fact this film takes place at night, and every shot had to be lit properly... and this impressive film becomes even more engaging. The bottom line is that I really had a blast watching this. My only complaint? The creative team should have shot for a feature length film. Even adding another twenty or twenty five minutes would have been perfect. Two or three extra scenes would have been awesome - and let me tell you something reader... I would have gladly ate it all up. "Kafou" is one of those rare films that deserved to be a feature. The talent, story, and pace were all perfect to build upon. It's a shame they were not.
In the end not only was I surprised by the quality of this film, but I was entertained. From start to finish. The concept may not be the most original on the planet, but it worked. Wonderfully. "Kafou" easily earns a four and a half in my books. Job well done.