Leon: The Professional (1994)
Leon: The Professional Plot Summary:
He moved without sound, killed without emotion and disappeared without trace. He was one of the most professional assassins, hunted by many but caught by no one. Elusive. Invulnerable. His name was Leon and the main reason of his invulnerability was that he had no one to lose. His only friend and the dearest thing to him was his plant to which he used to talk drinking his morning milk. He could just not afford himself the luxury of loving someone. It was so until a 12-year-old girl called Matilda knocked at his door. The moment Leon made up his mind and let her in after a long internal strife, was a turning point of all his life. No, he didn’t give up his dangerous occupation, but he would never be the same. Since that moment he had a weak point, an Achilles’ heel leading him to the only failure in his career. However this failure turned out a fatal one. Leon let Matilda into his flat, his life and then into his heart.
Matilda (Natalie Portman) whose family was cruelly murdered by a group of corrupted cops headed by Norman "Stan" Stansfield (Gary Oldman) is in great danger and Leon (Jean Reno) is the only person who can protect her. The girl says that if Leon doesn’t help her she’ll be dead by the evening. In the beginning she is a burden for Leon who has always been a lone wolf, but little by little he gets deeply attached to this artless, sincere and tender creature. The cold-blooded killer suddenly begins to feel the purest platonic love for Matilda. This is the most paradox, striking and beautiful thing about this drama movie created by Luc Besson. Aesthetics of murder, shocking and enchanting at once, is another peculiar feature of Leon: The Professional. Murders performed by Leon appear as a kind of art.
The image created by Gary Oldman, a crooked cop badly taking to the needle, is one of the most frightening and loathsome villain images in the world’s cinema. Oldman is equally great at playing villains and good guys, especially those of a hard fate. The image of a slandered wizard who has to spend a half of his life disguising in a dog’s clothing in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is very strong, with sharp tragic notes. After long years of struggle and hardship Sirius Black is killed in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which surely adds a kind of martyr halo to Oldman΄s personage. The image of Stan in Leon has not a single feature in common with positive images created by this brilliant actor. Gary Oldman has recently shone in such movies as The Book of Eli and The Dark Knight. He also took part in Kung Fu Panda 2 by lending his voice to Lord Shen.
Natalie Portman’s debut role opened for the then frail skinny girl with non-childish eyes and a charming cheek mole the doors to the world of good cinema. She has grown up into one of the most intellectual and gifted actresses of our time, but she is still often associated with the striking image of the 12-year-old girl eager to revenge for the death of her brother and desperately in love with Leon. As far as her recent movies are concerned, there are two deserving special attention – a fantasy saga Thor and a psycho thriller Black Swan. The last one brought Natalie Portman the Academy Award for Best Actress.
As for Jean Reno, Leon also made him famous and loved by the filmgoers all over the world. His strong and charismatic hero is charming in his cold-bloodedness combined with touching tenderness to Matilda. Since this significant role Reno has starred a lot in crime movies, for instance, Ronin, The Crimson Rivers and 22 Bullets.
|Genres:||Thriller | Drama | Crime/Gangster|
|Starring:||Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Peter Appel, Don Creech, Michael Badalucco|
|Directed by:||Luc Besson|
|Produced by:||Patrice Ledoux|
8.6 out of 10 (285,803 votes)
|Running Time:||1 hr. 50 min.|
New York City, New York, USA