(R) 110 mins
Movie Description: In the first American movie from maverick French filmmaker Luc Besson (Director & Writer), Gary Oldman plays a corrupt Drug Enforcement Administration boss whose thugs murder the family of a young girl (12-year-old Natalie Portman in her film debut) in a drug deal gone awry. The massacre forces the girl to take shelter in the apartment of a loner neighbor (Jean Reno) she knows only slightly, a first-generation immigrant who turns out to be a hitman. She has nobody else to turn to, and though he’s never had a reason to care about anyone, they quickly form a makeshift bond that changes both of their lives. It’s an action-packed thriller about a most unusual pair: a hitman and his protégé, the ballistic world they live in, and the heartwarming relationship they forge.
Serious Jest: (Worth Watching) This is one of those movies that isn’t as good as you remember it being 15+ years ago. Many of the action scenes are hokey, and some of acting was cheesy. Portman was amazing, though. Even at 12 years old, you could see the immense talent, beauty, and passion that were waiting to be unleashed upon the world. However, it was a bit disturbing how Besson tried to sex her up in some of the scenes…
Portman in The Professional
Ultimately, this film is about redemption, and how true family can sometimes be forged through fire, instead of genes. While it was awesome for its time period, the bar has been raised for movies a great deal in the last 18 years. Therefore, I’d say that this flick is still worth the time to watch it if it’s on, but it’s no longer a must-see, now that we have True Grit.