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Wasabi [DVD] [2003]
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on 19 July 2015
I think that there is a serious contradiction between Reno's almost dead pan performance and his role as action hero. He is also very limitted in term s of action performance compared to someone like Jackie Chan, who can breathe life into the most unlikely of scripts with his acrobatics. The extras are also a big problem. They all just drop to the ground as Reno takes them out, which becomes uninteresting pretty quickly.

Dubbing into English loses is a problem, but perhaps necessary in order to try and carry the "humour" of his daughter's language difference.

The plot is very thin, lacking in any real imagination. The characters are too ridiculous to sympathise with.

Even for Reno fans like myself I would not recommend this movie. I would suggest watching a Jackie Chan or an Arnie Comedy instead, even for the 100th time.
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on 16 November 2013
This is no more than a cliché film about a French Clint Eastwood going to Japan to bury his ex-wife and finding out he has unfinished business.
Jean Reno; who is a special branch type policeman carries the film through his excellent acting and wit. His `Kato' side kick; who at first I found infuriating, puts in a good performance as the movie progresses. The female lead is okay but I can never understand why film makers use a 27 year old to play a teenager, then have them run about as if their knees are tied together with feet flailing. It reminded me of the ridiculous teenage girl in the movie Taken.
This movie was a real surprise, I expected little as I found it through Amazon for a couple of quid. I would have given the movie 4 stars except that my copy would not permit me to play the `version originale'. I wanted the French version with English sub-titles. Instead I received poor dubbing and awful mid-Atlantic accents reminiscent of Euro-dubbed movies of the 1970's.
However, don't let that stop you buying this movie if you like Jean Reno. For the most part the movie is set in Tokyo and has some beautiful location shots. In short, I really enjoyed this movie and recommend it very much despite the 3 stars. I wanted a little escapism at the end of the week and this delivered.
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on 6 March 2015
What a cracking film. I agree with all the positive reviews about the acting, direction and plot, so I won't bother repeating the praise this movie richly deserves. But ... I found the English dubbing on the disc I received did it no service whatsoever. The dialogue from the Japanese characters was often unintelligible.The rest of the dialogue was clear but lost the essential character of French people speaking, well, French. It just screamed "dubbing". As a comparison, the subtitled cinema trailer included on the disc made the film come alive. Facial expressions matched the French dialogue perfectly and I would have been happy to have put up with subtitling (although I speak French to some extent) in exchange for an experience closer to the one Besson and Krawczyk intended. I've recommend this movie to my friends but, please, would it not be possible to supply a French-language version with subtitles.
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on 1 April 2014
There are certain films which are absolute bollocks in terms of reality, probability etc. boring stuff, but are thundering fun in terms of watchability and repeat-value. This film would have a high position in the pantheon (or whatever) of such films. You know how this film is going to end even before the first scene has got completed. You can predict each & every move made by the hero and the villains. And yet, I watched it with a grin plastered on my face, and then watched pieces of it AGAIN. Now that's what I call proper entertainment. Go for it, I mean NOW!
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on 20 September 2010
There is now a long-standing tradition of action films being played for laughs. Look what happened to James Bond under Roger Moore or think of Lethal Weapon, Rush Hour or Mr & Mrs. This is a French version with action man Jean Reno proving that he is equally adept at comedy. The plot may be silly but is always entertaining and maintains a superb balance between dramatic tension and comic relief. For me, any film in which Luc Besson has been involved is always worth watching: it's more or less a guarantee that I will like it. I wouldn't rate this as one of his best but, for me at least, his mediocrity is way ahead of most other producer's so-called brilliance.
One person found this helpful
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on 9 December 2011
Wasabi has some very good things going for it, Reno as the leading man is almost typecast as the brooding, grumpy, testosterone loaded, arrogant Frenchman with a chip the size of a small "arrondisement" on his shoulder for who the only way to get results is through using somewhat violent means. Reno himself has a history of good/great action movies to his credit(depending on your viewpoint), such as Leon, Ronin, and Mission Impossible as does his director Besson who has directed a series of great movies, Fifth Element (Bruce Willis), Kiss of the Dragon (Jet Li), Transporter (Jason Statham) and Leon with Reno. Both of these combine with an amusing script to give a superb action film set in France and Japan. The premise is that Hubert, Reno's character is an ex-DGSE agent, now a cop whose Dirty Harry style methods, whilst effective are a constant irritation to his employers is whisked off to Japan as the executor of the estate of the only woman who he ever loved. During the meeting with the lawyer he is introduced to his lover's only daughter, the next bit is a little predictable. He puts two and two together and correctly makes four. For his daughter the penny does not drop, he becomes technically her guardian until her birthday in a few days time. On a trip to the bank to draw some spending money for the girl he discovers she is due to inherit millions, I daren't say any more other than this is when the Japanese mafia become involved (the money used to belong to them) and the film takes off with even more action alongside the comedy than there was to this point.
Note, if you have ever actually eaten Wasabi (a super hot Japanese horseradish sauce) the scene from which the film takes it's name is even funnier!!!
A great comedy action movie to enjoy again and again
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on 15 August 2011
I bought this dvd because it was so well reviewed and I had seen "Taxi" and loved it. This was full of cultural stereotypes - the shibuya-ku trendy bratty kooky girl whom we are supposed to find interesting or cute or kooky but who is just annoying and Jean Reno as a long lost father fighting Yakuza - Yawn, are you still awake? I really did not like this at all - I think you would have to be drunk, stoned or desperately bored tired to find this funny
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on 22 November 2016
Okay, it is not "Leon", but it is very funny. Well worth a watch. I did laugh out loud.
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on 29 March 2017
very poor film from Reno not up to his usual standard
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on 13 October 2010
Yes, you are not dreaming, a french action comedy starring Jean Reno, the man that made Leon such a great film. Set in Japan and is as much a voyage of discovery with his up to now unknown half japanese daughter as it is an action flick, definitely worth a night in by the telly
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