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Leon - The Professional (Deluxe Edition) (1994)

A movie directed by Luc Besson

< read all 8 reviews

Unique and Rewarding Movie

  • Mar 7, 2009
Rating:
+5
The Professional (U.S. Title) is about a lonely mob assassin, Leon, befriending a 12 year-old girl, Mathilda, whose entire family is murdered because her father ripped off drug dealers. The murders take place just outside Leon's apartment door. As Mathilda comes back from grocery shopping she sees the carnage and knocks on Leon's door, who reluctantly let's her in and saves her life.

The movie portrays a very unique and sweet relationship between Mathilda and Leon. Mathilda falls in the love (or is it a crush) with the middle-aged loner assassin which has overt sexual overtones. Leon loves Mathilda too, but more in a big brother or fatherly fashion. The interplay between the two as Leon reluctantly takes Mathilda under his wing and teaches her to be an assassin is what makes the movie riveting.

Unfortunately, Mathilda's insistence on going after the man who killed her four year-old brother (she didn't have much use for the rest of her family) puts them both in danger. The ringleader of this crew is an agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency played brilliantly by Gary Oldham.

The screenplay is quite intricate and the acting superb, making it difficult to justice to the movie in a short review.

The uncut version of Leon is far superior to the original movie, although the original is extremely good too. The extra footage makes the movie a little slower from an action standpoint but is much richer and more rewarding. The uncut version expands on the unique relationship between Leon and Mathilda and gives the viewer a greater understanding and empathy for the characters.

The acting is just simply outstanding, but especially by Natalie Portman playing Mathilda, in what had to be a very demanding role.

The special features on this DVD are nothing. It's only trailers and actor profiles. I never buy a DVD for the special features anyway, but it would have been nice to see some interviews of the actors and directors or a "The Making Of" feature.

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More The Professional reviews
review by . March 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Professional, older film but worth looking for.
   Directed by Luc Besson. Starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman. Professional assassin Leon reluctantly takes care of 12-year-old Mathilda, a neighbor whose parents are killed, and teaches her his trade.      Well, that's their analysis.      A great film with a quiet and unassuming Frenchman who prefers milk to booze and whose prize possession is a plant. Natalie Portman in, what I feel is, her best work to date. Gary Oldman delivers …
Quick Tip by . January 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
An amazing movie for any number of reasons but for Natalie Portman ... She stood toe to toe with seasoned actors and director like she had been doing it in the womb.
Quick Tip by . May 04, 2011
Personally, I thought the US theatrical release of THE PROFESSIONAL was stellar entertainment ... but then I happened across LEON THE PROFESSIONAL, the original uncut international version ... and I was blown away, much like Leon's victims.  Luc Besson's original version is much deeper in characterization and motivation of his anti-hero, Leon (played superbly by Jean Reno). While the added footage gives the audience a bit more information about Leon's past, it also builds tremendously …
review by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Luc Besson's "Leon The Professional" is one of those rare and   wonderful films that both thoroughly conforms to cultural stereotypes   and time-tested plot structures and at the same time gives the viewer   such luscious details that it really makes you realize that so many of   our formulas have stood the test of time for a reason: humanity   paraphrases itself.      There, now that I've laid down all the …
review by . June 08, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Luc Besson's "The Professional" raises the stakes of Besson's playful women-with-guns theme by making the heroine a 12-year-old, played by a then unknown Natalie Portman.    In "The making of The Professional" Besson says "If I imagine somebody in the street try to knock on my daughter, I kill the guy, in five seconds. I kill him, and I think "It's in me, I'm a beast!" On this part we can't forget that a part of us, the genetic things inside are much, much older than The Ten …
review by . August 01, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
The Professional (U.S. Title) is about a lonely mob assassin, Leon, befriending a 12 year-old girl, Mathilda, whose entire family is murdered because her father ripped off drug dealers. The murders take place just outside Leon's apartment door. As Mathilda comes back from grocery shopping she sees the carnage and knocks on Leon's door, who reluctantly let's her in and saves her life. The movie portrays a very unique and sweet relationship between Mathilda and Leon. Mathilda falls in the love (or …
review by . July 10, 2003
By accident, I stumbled upon this film while channel surfing one evening and watched it on television. Only later did I learn that its producer, director, and screenwriter (Luc Bresson) was also the driving force behind La Femme Nikita (1990) which I had already seen. There are several reasons why I find this film so fascinating. First, Jean Reno's Leon is thoroughly professional when completing his paid assignments as an assassin but proves emotionally vulnerable to his 12-year old neighbor Mathilda …
About this movie

Wiki

Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) made his American directorial debut with this stylized thriller about an Italian hit man (Jean Reno) who takes in an American girl (Natalie Portman) being pursued by a corrupt killer cop (Gary Oldman). Oldman is a little more unhinged than he should be, but there is something genuinely irresistible about the story line and the relationship between Reno and Portman. Rather than cave in to the cookie-cutter look and feel of American action pictures, Besson brings a bit of his glossy style from French hitsLa Femme NikitaandSubwayto the production, and the results are refreshing even if the bullets and explosions are awfully familiar.--Tom Keogh
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Details

Director: Luc Besson
Genre: Foreign
Screen Writer: Luc Besson
DVD Release Date: October 3, 2000
Runtime: 110 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
First to Review
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