Film #9: Léon (1994)

aka: The Professional
dir: Luc Besson
lang: English
length: 133 mins
watched on: 12th of April

Creepiest fucking film ever, and in more ways than one. It’s basically a far too young Natalie Portman trying to seduce Leon, the hitman of uncertain nationality (referred to as Italian a few times, but I believe the actor’s French, and certainly has a certain, um, Gallic charm about him) for most of the film.

Of course, it wasn’t just that (and at least Leon wasn’t returning Portman’s advances, otherwise it would have made even more uncomfortable viewing), but there was an excellent musical score from Éric Serra, Besson’s frequent collaborator, which lent the movie a different kind of creepiness, but this time the sort related to the thriller genre and things like not knowing what’s around the next corner. And thus a good kind.

Besson, of course, is immaculate as a director, and Gary Oldman plays the villain, on top form as usual. But this is the bit that I must admit caused me the most trouble understanding story-wise, because Oldman’s character was a cop, and yet he comes in blazing weapons in the opening act of the film, killing all of Portman’s family. I thought they were organised criminals or something – the explanation seems to be that Portman’s father was involved in a drug deal of some description, but that still doesn’t explain why an undercover cop had to come in and kill everyone… or maybe it’s all a cover. I dunno.

The rest of the film seems to be people doing effortlessly cool things that one couldn’t possibly get away with in the real world (as most films are, of course). Or in the case of Leon, being effortlessly cool when on business, but turning into a bumbling idiot whenever he’s at home. And then getting into sticky situations that you wonder how they’ll get out of. Minus the creepy bits, very fun to watch.

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One Response to Film #9: Léon (1994)

  1. Pingback: Film #202: Nikita (1990) | reuoq

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