Léon: The Professional is a masterpiece of work from Luc Besson and is easily my favorite and most emotion-filled film to date. The performances by Jean Reno (who deserved an Oscar nomination), Natalie Portman and Gary Oldman were all fantastic in their own distinctive ways and it’s just an all around well made flick with good mixture of drama and suspense.
Leon: The Professional
Genre(s): Action, Drama, Crime
Sony Pictures | R – 109 min. / 133 min. – $19.99 | October 27, 2015
THE MOVIE – 4.5/5
Plot Synopsis: The mysterious Léon (JEAN RENO) is New York’s top hitman. When his next-door neighbors are murdered, Léon becomes the unwilling guardian of the family’s sole survivor – 12-year-old Mathilda (NATHALIE PORTMAN). But Mathilda doesn’t just want protection; she wants revenge. The two are up against a rogue DEA agent (GARY OLDMAN) intent on killing Mathilda out of his own, disturbed, style of vengeance.
Quick Hit Review: Léon: The Professional is easily my favorite Luc Besson film, a mixture of a superbly written screenplay, well-rounded characters who are naturally fleshed out and aren’t caracatures and three excellent performances from Reno, Portman and Oldman with the latter chewing up scenary like no other and I loved every bit of it; heck, back then I’d support a spin-off starring that character… Beyond that, it’s just a touching, heartfelt flick that delves beyond its action-centric genre.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
10 Year Retrospective: Cast and Crew Look Back (25:10) – Filmed in 2004, members of the cast (Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, et al) and crew (Producer Patrice Ledoux, DP Thierry Arbogast, et al) talk in individual interviews about the project and its characters.
Jean Reno: The Road to Léon (12:25) – This featurette examines the complexities of the main character and his relationship with Mathilda. It also gives a background on Reno.
Natalie Portman: Starting Young (13:49) – Here we look at Portman and her career starting at an early age.
Also included are a Fact Track that runs with the extended version and the Theatrical Trailer (2:25; HD).
VIDEO – 4.75/5
Sony releases The Professional remastered in “4K” (well, 1080p) making this transfer the best yet available showcasing excellent detail throughout and colors appear to be natural and not blown out. There were no instances of aliasing, artifacts, dust marks or scratches. I was pleasantly surprised with it and it makes 2/2 with these recent Besson releases (the other being The Fifth Element).
AUDIO – 4.75/5
The movie receives a Dolby Atmos track (decodes to TrueHD 7.1 for older receivers unable to output Atmos) providing for excellent dialogue levels but the most impressive is with the various action scenes from the various gunfire to the explosion in the climax. They reverberate through each channel with fluidity without being overpowering while the LFE channel kicks in to add that extra boost.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, Léon: The Professional is a masterpiece of work from Luc Besson and is easily my favorite and most emotion-filled film to date. The performances by Jean Reno (who deserved an Oscar nomination), Natalie Portman and Gary Oldman were all fantastic in their own distinctive ways and it’s just an all around well made flick with good mixture of drama and suspense. The Blu-ray released by Sony is their latest and best offering with amazing video and audio transfers.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.