Leon The Professional Standard Release
The Professional, also know as Leon, is the type of movie that is disturbing yet extremely compelling. A tale of loneliness, despair and violence and yet one filled with hope and compassion
The Professional, also know as Leon, is the type of movie that is disturbing yet extremely compelling. A tale of loneliness, despair and violence and yet one filled with hope and compassion. The story opens up with Leon accepting a hit on a rival to the mob he works for. He kills all the hired guns of the rival with a cold dispassion and professionalism that is truly frightening. He leave the rival with a simple message, get out of town and stay out. Leon lives in a broken down tenement, the neighbor of a family whose father is a low level drug dealer. The daughter of the family, Matilda, is a battered child that sneaks a cigarette on the landing of the stairs. From the start there is a strange attraction to Leon seemingly because he appears to be kind hearted. A DEA agent kills Matilda’s family leaving her all alone in the world. She seeks help from Leon and a bizarre friendship develops Leon, a professional killer loves a little plant he keeps in his apartment, watches old Gene Kelly movies and drinks only milk. He sleeps sitting up with a gun by his side. His life is changed when Matilda comes to live with him. She wants to learn to be ‘cleaner’ like Leon and reluctantly he trains her. She then seeks revenge upon the killers of her family. Even though they were brutal to her they killed the little brother she loved and she was going to get them back.
The cast of this film is extraordinary. Jean Reno as Leon brings a depth and range to the part that few actors can pull off. He shows a side different from the one-dimensional killers most movies use but rather depicts Leon as a full human being. A killer, sure, but also a human being trapped in his profession. Natalie Portman, now best know as the Queen of Phantom Menace, was only 12 when she filmed this movie. Her range is incredible. She can fluctuate between the naïve little girl and the hardened killer at a moment. Few adult actresses can exhibit such a range of skill. Gary Oldman portrays the DEA bad guy. He is one of the best actors ever for the over the top performance demanded by this role.
The director, Luc Besson, is not one to follow but rather is very comfortable in setting his own direction in films. With such films as La Femme Nikita and the Fifth Element to his credit he is one of the 6strangest and most talented directors of this day. His use of camera angles, extreme close-ups and sweeping visuals moves this film from excellent to extraordinary.
The disc does not sport many extras but the film carries it. The sound is of the highest quality. The sub woofer goes from a soft hum to a pounding, roaring bass as the action waxes and wanes. The video is without flaw. The 1:2.35 aspect ration provides the full view of each masterfully crafted scene. For Besson fans and those that enjoy an adult, moving drama this one is for you.Review by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com
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