First released in 1994, Léon:The Professional a French thriller staring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and the young Natalie Portman was a cult hit in Europe. Léon, or The Professional, as it is now being called, is now being re-marketed, to give it a new lease of life for the video rental market.
Léon: The Professional is written and directed by Luc Besson and produced by Patrice Ledoux. The films Lolita theme, along with its hardcore violence and a truly psychotic performance by Gary Oldman was never going to give the movie widespread popularity, but it is essential none the less. Crimeziners will love it, guaranteed.
Firstly, the novel and human portrayal of a contract killer remains fresh after all these years. Léon is a simple guy who wastes bad men without compunction. He is also bizarrely child like, nurturing his houseplant, and living a reclusive existence of calisthenics and old movies, until he saves the young Mathilda, (Portman) from the clutches of the psychotic Oldman and his crew of corrupt DEA agents.
The film was intended as a prequel to Besson’s sensational 1990 film, La Femme Nikita, which was brutally reshot and Hollywoodized in the John Badham remake, known as Point of no Return (the Assassin). Léon: The Professional also offers a plausible alternative genesis to the kafkaesque 2010 Nikita series, starring the gorgeous Maggie Q.Which is useful.
For this reason alone, Crimeziners should check out Léon:The Professional. But wait a second what about a much needed sequel to Léon: The Professional? Besson started his own studio EuropaCorp which caused a rift with the Gaumont Film Company who hold the rights to Léon: The Professional, The ensuing stand off makes the chance of a sequel unlikely. Curses.