|
Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » The Professional » User review

Leon - The Professional (Deluxe Edition) (1994)

A movie directed by Luc Besson

< read all 8 reviews

Leon The Professional Strikes a Perfect Balance

  • Jul 19, 2010
Rating:
+2
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 heavy stuff first, let's get to
the meat of the story. Leon, played by Jean Reno, is a hit man whose
life is equally defined by his methodical approach to killing people
and his child-like fascination with plants and movie musicals. And as
only our lovable and slightly pathetic hit man could, he saves the
life of the twelve year-old girl next door whose family is slaughtered
by crooked DEA officers. Mathidla, played by Natalie Portman, is a
little girl whose experience is far beyond her years, and who is, of
course, going to make our unexpected hero's life both more complicated
and brighter. Their misadventures lead them around New York,
Mathilda's thirst for revenge either bubbling to the surface or
simmering in the background, but always there.

I won't describe anymore of the plot; even after reading the back of
the DVD case it becomes apparent that there will either be a happy
ending or somebody will die.

But where the film seems to be just another cliche is just the point
when things begin to get...interesting. Leon's awe-struck expression
in the movie theater watching Gene Kelley singing on roller skates
seems so real that I thought to myself, "hmm, well I'm sure hit-men do
have some soft spots...they have to, right?" And then there is the
vision of a happy ending for adolescent Mathilda: an imagined conjugal
bliss with the forty-something Leon, to which end she does her
absolute best to both seduce him and take care of his daily needs. See
what I mean?

Some of them are disconcerting, but these bizarre details, along with
Besson's quirky and perceptive use of cinematography, are what combine
with well-worn story-telling tradition to make a film that, well,
makes Shakespeare seem just that much more right. It may seem like I'm
making a very tall comparison, but really, I'm not: Besson is simply
fitting into the tradition, like most great artists.

What did you think of this review?

Helpful
6
Thought-Provoking
6
Fun to Read
6
Well-Organized
6
Post a Comment
September 29, 2010
Great review! You really capture the elements that got me about this movie. I agree with woopak that the International version really brings it home, but it's a great movie in either cut.
 
July 19, 2010
I own the uncut international version and I thought it was pretty good and had a lot more characterization. Great write up!
 
1
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 . March 07, 2009
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 …
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 the reviewer
Matthew Fullen ()
Ranked #732
I'm a writer, composer, and cat-owner. It should be noted that in my house, my cat is boss...so I guess what I should say is that I am a cat ownee, writer, and composer. I've just graduated from … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

You
mattyjf1
Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
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
view wiki

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
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
()
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since
reviews
comments
ratings
questions
compliments
lists