Leon (The Professional)

"The rifle is the first weapon you learn how to use, because it lets you keep your distance from the client. The closer you get to being a pro, the closer you can get to the client. The knife, for example, is the last thing you learn."   - Leon

release year: 1995
genre: action/drama
viewing setting: home Bluray 1/8/14 and home laserdisc 11/7/97 and theater sometime in 1995

synopsis: Leon is a foreign hitman living in New York, whose life takes an unusual turn when he adopts an orphan named Matilda.

impressions: This movie is the director's cut of the theatrical release, and the added scenes are significant in size as well as meaning. They explore, a bit more deeply, the relationship between the two main characters; they show a bit more of the training that Leon puts Matilda through; we also find out a good bit of Leon's past and motivations for being a hitman. That said, let me comment on the core features common to both versions of this movie: there are some bad-ass assassination and gunfight scenes! Leon is one of the best of the best, and it shows in the way he deals with targets and foes.

acting: Jean Reno is the quiet, super-efficient assassin who has a soft side. Natalie Portman is the young kid who ends up hanging around with him. Gary Oldman is great as a corrupt cop who's often over the edge.

final word: Good hitman movie with a lot of drama thrown in, this version is more complete than the theatrical version.

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