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By Felix Vasquez Jr. | January 24, 2006

“Hiro” is essentially a film that reveals layers underneath its premise as the film develops. What starts out as a simple life study turns in to an all out action comedy about incident and fate. Hiro is a reclusive man who is obsessed with insects, and while in Canada to collect a priceless rare bug, a woman enters the bar he’s in and the two find themselves in a fight for life and death against a yakuza. Hiro is a man who prefers to think of himself as an insect, a person who should be left alone, and doesn’t want trouble, but finds he has to come to the rescue of this girl or else. Hiro must become a hero. Swanson’s action comedy is very entertaining and studies how every insect has his day and how precious life is. Hiro at first wants his bug, which the girl steals before being carried off, but then realizes that two lives are in the balance if he doesn’t step up and build his courage. Swanson’s film is light and fun with our main character becoming an avenger (even with a costume) only through circumstance and then inadvertent courageousness. Hiro Kanagawa and Vicky Huang give very good performances, and Kanagawa is the quintessential hero who stumbles in to a situation beyond his control. “Hiro” is a smart sweet comedy that’s really a statement of how heroes aren’t always a pre-conceived idea, just accidental.

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