The Electric

What's On

Cinematic Time Machine: Leon

Wednesday 27th September

8.15pm

Screen 2

Director: Luc Besson

Starring: Jean Reno, Natalie Portman

Rating: 15

France / USA 1994, 106mins

Mathilda (Natalie Portman) is only 12 years old, but is already familiar with the dark side of life: her abusive father stores drugs for corrupt police officers, and her mother neglects her. Léon (Jean Reno), who lives down the hall, tends to his houseplants and works as a hired hitman. When her family is murdered by crooked DEA agent Stansfield (Gary Oldman), Mathilda joins forces with a reluctant Léon to learn his deadly trade and avenge her family's deaths.

Luc Besson made his American directorial debut with this stylised thriller, and there is something genuinely irresistible about the story line and the relationship between Reno and Portman. Rather than cave in to the cookie-cutter look and feel of American action pictures, Besson brings a bit of his glossy style from French hits La Femme Nikita and Subway to the production of The Professional, and the results are truly refreshing.