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Léon: The Professional (1994)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller


Léon: The Professional (1994) Poster

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

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8.6/10
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  • Gary Oldman and Danny Aiello in Léon: The Professional (1994)
  • Luc Besson and Natalie Portman in Léon: The Professional (1994)
  • Luc Besson in Léon: The Professional (1994)
  • Natalie Portman and Jean Reno in Léon: The Professional (1994)
  • Gary Oldman in Léon: The Professional (1994)
  • Luc Besson and Jean Reno in Léon: The Professional (1994)

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User Reviews


16 May 1999 | Methos-7
10
| Gripping story with well-crafted characters
Luc Besson's movie Léon (The Professional) gives us an intense story which is maximized in potential by the casting of the movie done by Todd Thaler. Every aspect of the movie delivers to the audience and makes an impressive overall package. Jean Reno plays a character named Léon who has learned to repress his emotions in order to perform his job as a "cleaner", or hit-man. His secluded world is shattered by the young girl named Mathilda who lives on the same floor as he does in an apartment building. When she turns to him for help, he learns about living a normal life, even if the circumstances which unite them are far from normal.

The performance delivered by then twelve-year old Natalie Portman as Mathilda is nothing short of brilliant. Her ability to relate to others with body movement and facial gestures is matched by few, she really brings raw emotion and believability to a difficult role. Mathilda and Léon are unexpectedly thrown together, but learn to value life from their chance encounter, and how valuable a friendship can be.

Jean Reno as Léon gives us a solemn and calculated character who sets all of his energy on his assignments until her is given something else to care about. Mathilda gives him the daughter that he never had, while Léon serves as a father and friend to her. Gary Oldman, as the corrupt DEA Agent Norman Stansfield, offers the viewers an amazingly wired and electrical performance which pushes the envelope. He moves the story along by his actions. Oldman offers us a memorable portrait of a sadistically obsessed man who stops short of nothing to get what he wants.

The Professional is what movie-making is all about. Without the overuse of special effects, a large shooting location, or a commercially star studded cast, we are given all that could possibly be asked for in a movie. Portman, Oldman, and Reno, along with Danny Aiello as the hit-contractor Tony remind us that there is no substitute for great acting. There are elements of comedy, drama, and action, and great original music by Eric Serra adds to the energy the film already encapsulates. The most impressive thing about the movie is its story which is basic but is maximized by all the other elements which go into the making of the movie. Simply put, an intense and impressive movie.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the confrontation scene at Tony's restaurant, it is revealed that rogue DEA agent Stansfield commissioned contract killings from Mafioso Tony. Léon was Tony's top hit man and his "clients" were primarily drug dealers. So it's probable that, through Tony, Léon unknowingly did a lot of "work" for Stansfield.


Quotes

Tony: Allora, come stai, Leone?
Léon: Bene.
Tony: OK. OK. Let's talk business.


Goofs

When Leon asks Mathilda why she hid the cigarette, the cigarette varies in length between shots.


Crazy Credits

Under the "SPECIAL THANKS" heading you will find: Chevalier KAMEN (Prince of the Mash Potatoes) Byblos Bill (King of Saint Tropez) Princess Trudy (Queen of Hearts)


Alternate Versions

An extended cut, retitled 'Leon: version integrale' was released in French cinemas on June 26, 1996. This version is 26 minutes longer than the previously released version and includes, amongst others, one sequence that was removed from the film after the disastrous tests with L.A. preview audiences. This version of the film is available on various DVDs, and is usually called the 'International Cut'. New scenes found in the International Cut include:

  • Mathilda asking Leon to have sex with her and Leon refusing;
  • Leon explaining why he had to leave Italy and go to New York when he was 19 years old;
  • Mathilda and Leon sleeping together in a bed;
  • Mathilda threatening to shoot herself playing Russian roulette.
  • Leon and Mathilda hitting the home of a tattooed drug dealer, and setting fire to his supply of drugs;
  • New training missions where Mathilda learns the ropes of becoming an assassin.
  • Leon and Matilda going to a restaurant to celebrate her first hit


Soundtracks

Like a Virgin
Written by
Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly
Performed by Natalie Portman (uncredited)

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama | Thriller

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