Wasabi (2001, Light Crime Action) – 7/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Producer (Presents credit): Luc Besson
Jean Reno: Hubert Fiorentini
Michel Muller: Maurice
Ryoko Hirosue: Yumi Yoshimodo
Director: Gérard Krawczyk
Carole Bouquet: Sofia
Writer: Luc Besson

Wasabi (2001)

Parisian cop Hubert Fiorentini wouldn’t hurt a fly. Fortunately, none of the local bad guys are flies. After punching his way through another successful case, a weary Chief of Police insists he take two months off to attend to, well, anything other than police work, please. He then receives a phone call from Japan informing him that a former love has died and he is the executor of the estate and can he come over immediately.

7/10

Ticking off just about every mismatched buddy-buddy cop movie cliché you want this is an energetic, fun, straight-forward crime / family drama; an unusual mish-mash of settings with a number of good gags and a policeman with the hardest punch in the world. Ever. Reno rules with a great performance balancing convincing toughness with humanity and deft comic timing (witness the ‘can I have some water’ gag in the hospital, nice gag, sold brilliantly by Reno), director Gérard Krawcyzk keeps things moving (and he also sells the ‘chief’s son’ gag brilliantly via editing), the setting (Japan) was highly unusual for a French film and this fits comfortably into the higher end of Luc Besson’s fun B-movie productions.

This movie contains mild swear words and comic violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

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