The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Pivoting on the unusual relationship between seasoned hitman and his 12-year-old apprentice -- a breakout turn by young Natalie Portman -- Luc Besson's Léon is a stylish and oddly affecting thriller.
All Critics (61)
| Top Critics (17)
| Fresh (44)
| Rotten (17)
| DVD (16)
Leave it to french writer-director Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita) to put a kinky twist on Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks.
Ultimately, like La Femme Nikita, there may be less here than meets the eye. But what does meet the eye is pretty darn thrilling.
The sheer craziness and excessiveness of the movie -- no crazier, perhaps, than many of the American action movies it copies -- never finds a center of gravity.
The Professional is strictly amateur-hour.
Like Quentin Tarantino, Besson has a singular style and directorial sensibility that keeps you watching.
The most objectionable thing is Gary Oldman's performance, baroque in its awfulness. Almost as bad is the director's attempt to construct a visual style -- and, for that matter, characters -- by piling one mannerism on top of another.
The tricky character dynamics, remarkable performances, and thrilling action of Leon has never been topped in Besson's 30+ year career.
Holds up as an exciting and dangerous ride through a city that still exists in the mind.
Leon: The Professional is a wonderful character study, enriched by outstanding performances, thrilling action, and a well-rounded script that gives the film an intriguing amount of depth.
A favorite of IMDb fanboys and reportedly of pedophiles as well, Leon: The Professional is noteworthy as marking French helmer Luc Besson's first American production as well as showcasing the film debut of a then-13-year-old Natalie Portman.
Luc Besson's original cut feels more like a journey than just a joy-buzzer jolt of action, and the deeper, braver, darker story he set out to tell - a fractured and fractious fairy tale. When people rave about "The Professional," they mean "Léon."
No matter what uncomfortable undercurrents the film gives rise to, Besson's skill with action is inventive and creative (and of course over the top).
Typical actioner in that one guy takes out a whole bunch of other guys, that has at its core the relationship between a man/boy assassin and a child wise beyond her years ... it was a touch difficult to watch. Besson hides his knocking-on-the-door-of-depravity Lolita tale behind the old conceit "she wanted it." Handle this one with care.
With a very interesting, yet simple premise, "Leon: The Professional" is a very smart, stylistic thriller about a young girl whose family has been murdered. Trying to cope with that while being on the run by a hitman who is saving her life, the bonding between the two is unlike anything you will get in most films out there, from any generation. I loved this picture from start to finish. From it's extremely drab look, to the creepy vibe Leon gives, even though you know his intentions are great, this is one film you surely shouldn't miss. In the end, this is one of the best films in this genre that I have ever seen. Jean Reno and Natalie Portman are phenomenal, the script is undeniably brilliant, and the score will have your heart racing, even in moments you would least expect. The final act of this film had me on the edge of my seat, and I believe it will do that for everyone. I highly recommend this film to fans and non-fans of this genre. "Leon: The Professional" is a brilliant picture.
Cute - a 12 year old hitman. Natalie Portman plays Mathilda - a kid who is orphaned by a crooked cop. Leon is the loner "cleaner" and Leon and Mathilda become a family with Mathilda learning the trade.
Professional killer Jean Reno reluctantly takes in a 12 year old girl after her family is murdered by corrupt police detectives. Luc Besson's mix of offbeat characters, humour and high octane action tends to be a little hit and miss, but in Leon he found the perfect balance between sensitive character study, emotion and tense action sequences. Pot plant loving, milk drinking loner Reno is the antithesis of the usual testosterone-soaked, gung-ho action hero and with no glib one liners or macho posturing, he takes no pleasure in the mayhem he induces; he's just very, very good at it. His relationship with a young Natalie Portman is sincere, funny and touching, and although emotionally ambiguous (at least from her adolescent point of view), it never crosses the line into sexual creepiness. Complimented by an excellent supporting cast, especially pill popping psychopath Gary Oldman who is the perfect foil for Reno's solitary hitman, and wonderfully scored Leon is easily Besson's best work and one of the best action thrillers around.
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