Writer/Director Luc Besson's 1994 classic, Leon, gets yet another outing on DVD, this time in Deluxe Superbit form. With the previous single disc Superbit edition being renowned for being slightly lacklustre in the image and bass departments, I was interested to see how this “Mastered In High Definition” release would hold up. The story, here in longer form only, remains the same...
Leon is a loner. Calm. Simple. And a dedicated cleaner/hitman. By coincidence, Leon (Jean Reno) occupies an apartment next to a rather unfortunate drug dealer whose time is up when corrupt cop, Stansfield (Gary Oldman) decides that the punishment for heroin theft should be death - of the drug dealer and his wife, daughters and four year old son. Just as well for Mathilda (Natalie Portman) that she was on a grocery errand for Leon, then! The movie focuses on the relationship between these two characters - the Hitman and his fourteen year old charge.
Natalie Portman puts in a creditable performance as the worldly-wise innocent, and Gary Oldman somehow manages to pull off the completely OTT characterisation of the frenzied, drug-induced psychotic rogue cop. However, it's Jean Reno that steals the show here, and I simply find it impossible to imagine anyone other than Reno playing the charming, deadly, emotionally spent yet desperate for love - Leon. Top stuff!