Leon: The Professional
‘Is life always this hard, Or is it just when you’re a kid?’
Luc Besson directs this thriller about a milk drinking hitman called Leon (Jean Reno) who takes in Mathilda (Natalie Portman), a rebellious twelve year old girl whose family were killed by a drug addict/ DIA agent Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman). Mathilda is then hellbent in getting the killers who killed her brother as Leon begins to teach her the craft.
Natalie Portman is one of my favorite actresses and it is safe to say that she has been kicking ass since she was twelve (the age she was when doing this movie). I liked how she brought out the charecter of a young girl who seems to be secretly in love with an older man at such a young age. Portman, who is now in her early thirties, has carried on doing successful movies and we feel like she has been around forever. Despite this, she is not in rehab as a result of being successful and considering that this was her first film role, it is a good one to start on because it is serious and can be approached from so many angles and it foresees her thriving film career.
As for Jean Reno’s character, I thought that he seemed so innocent, casually drinking milk in nearly every scene that he is in, but he still have the ability to blow up a whole building or kill everyone using a disguise (his dark glasses) and a gun. His softer side makes him considerably likable. His relationship with Mathilda does not cross any odd boundaries as far as I know, although she does challenge his affections and sometimes I found it all a bit weird, something that can never be produced nowadays.
Apart from that, the soundtrack was good, but in all fairness, I don’t really understand the storyline. On various occasions, I forgot previous bits and the director does know how to build suspense and make Natalie Portman seem alot older than she really is, but I just didn’t really understand it and various sites ruined it for me.
Promising start for Portman, I haven’t seen any other Luc Besson films so I cannot compare this to any others and Gary Oldman actually plays a very good creepy villain.