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Reviewed by Wilson Morales
When it comes to make cop movies, there are only a few Hollywood actors who can make their character become likable with the audience and at the box-office. In one might that Clint Eastwood paved the way with “Dirty Harry” films or Mel Gibson with his “Lethal Weapon” films or even Bruce Willis with his “Die Hard” franchise. On the other side of the border, Jean Reno is no stranger to the Hollywood community. He may not have his own franchise role as of yet, but he certain makes a case for one. His debut was “The Professional” in which he took care of a teenager which fending off crooked cops. Recently he played a detective trying to solve a murder case in “The Crimson Rivers”. If you had to combine “The Professional” with the latter and add some humor, you would get “Wasabi”, his latest feature. Wasabi is an action filled film that we have seen before but has some comedy and some heartfelt scenes to appreciate Reno as the cop of the new century.
Hubert (Reno) is a police inspector who manages to make a wreck of the cases he’s working. After some being told to take a vacation by his boss, Hubert stumbles onto a new case. This case is different from the others. It’s emotional. His long-lost love has died and made him the executor of her will. Not only did she leave some money but also the daughter he never knew he had. Yumi (Hirosue) is quite the daughter he never expected. Young, feisty and hyper makes Hubert reluctant to tell Yumi his connection to her. It seems that Miko, Yumi’s mother, left her 2 million dollars not yen, and Hubert definitely doesn’t want her to blow it so quickly. When he notices some thugs trying to get at Yumi, he and his former partner Momo (Muller) try to figure out why. It seems Miko had some unsettled affairs and up to Hubert to protect his daughter from any harm at any cost.
Reno is genuinely good as the cop who has no conscience shooting criminals but has a heart when it comes to newfound family. Wasabi, by the way, is a hot green horseradish. When Hubert eats them without a blink, it pretty much explains his character. In a screenplay by Luc Besson (The Professional, The 5th Element), bullets were meant to be flying. Besson always has a flair for the dramatic and having his star actor comes in hand. Hirosue plays the classic teenager. She’s full of energy and naïve and ready to pounce the father who was never there. The story is not a big stretch but when Reno acts with the same fire he brings to his other films, one can’t resist but him do his thing.
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