Tuesday, January 19, 2010

#28 Léon: There is rules

1994. dir. Luc Besson, starring Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Danny Aiello. Also released as The Professional.

Seen it before? No.
Your Uncle Arthur used to have a saying: "Shoot 'em all and let God sort them out." Unfortunately, one day he put his theory into practice. It took seventy-five Federal Marshals to bring him down. Now let's never speak of this again.
- Marge Simpson
This was quite a bizarre movie. Jean Reno plays Léon, a hitman living in New York. He's an odd sort of guy; I think he has Apserger's syndrome or something. He seems to not have much in the way of interests or hobbies, except going to see old movies. Drinks milk a lot. He's a really good hitman, though: the first thing we see him do is take down five heavily armed guards.

So anyway, his neighbor is some sort of drug courier, with three kids. He steals some cocaine from his boss Gary Oldman, who proceeds to shoot the place up. Only the daughter Mathilda (Natalie Portman) survives. She's 12 or so, but she smokes, swears, dresses like a hooker, etc. Also she's sort of a psychopath. Gary Oldman is too, come to think of it; he plays that same crazy drugged out guy he usually plays. So Mathilda hides out with Léon, and he teaches her how to "clean" people... you know, kill them.

Natalie Portman does a good job of skating the line between little girl and adult, and Jean Reno is pretty interesting as a guy who clearly isn't all with it, but overall I wasn't a huge fan.

Position on the list: 34 Really? 34th? that can't be right.
Amusing thing Natalie Portman said in the Blu-Ray bonus interview: "The Professional was sort of like my acting school." Looks like you forgot your lessons there, Padme.

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