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Leon: The Professional (1994)

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I get this movie is loved by lots of people, but so are some of the other movies featured on HDTGM. This movie is ripe for ridicule.

First, we have the super uncomfortable sexualization of a 12 year old girl. The main character is tortured by the fact that it would be considered wrong to molest her.

The DEA is apparently run by a coked up group of thugs who make no attempt to hide that fact. It’s not like they’re a secret sect of outlaw agents, all of the normal looking officers are just cool with this gang walking through their offices running things.

When Natalie Portman decides she wants to learn to be a hitman, Leon bring her up to a rooftop to shoot a US representative with a paintball gun from several hundred yards away, which she is able to do in her first shot.

Then there is the oft memed, “EVERYONE!” scene which is also hilarious, because the officer clearly took it literally and packed a tiny stairwell with hundreds of officers.

Then Leon and Portman proceed to walk down the staircase, past those hundreds of officers, to safety.

There is plenty more hilarious stuff about this movie that I’m sure would make for a great episode.

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I agree that this movie is insanity start to finish. It's definitely a classic that hasn't stood the test of time well. I also think that unfortunately this movie suffers from the same problem as My Father, The Hero, in that the way these movies exploited both Natalie Portman and Katherine Heigl as child actresses is incredibly depressing and would make for a bummer of a podcast.

 

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Apparently the original script had a sex scene between the two of them, and Natalie's parents went "WTF!"

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2 hours ago, Baron said:

Apparently the original script had a sex scene between the two of them, and Natalie's parents went "WTF!"

What's worse is that Matilda is the one who initiates it, and Leon is crying during it as the rest of the script makes allusions to him being a virgin who's uncomfortable in situations with almost anyone, especially women. So his response is that of someone being taken advantage of by a person he has started to care about, once concerns were raised to Luc Besson, he realized that that subplot might not go well in a movie in the 90s.

As for the DEA taskforce Oldman leads, it definitely is an influence on a crapton of cop shows and movies that have come out since where central characters are part of either a street-level or undercover taskforce and don't play the traditional part of what we expect cops or federal agents to be. From The Shield to lesser known shows like Wanted and Graceland, you can see the ties to this group and the corrupt head of the squad.

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Oldman's performance is so wildly over the top I could easily be convinced that Nicolas Cage watched this movie before he did Bad Lieutenant for inspiration. 

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1 hour ago, Ofcoursemyhorse said:

Oldman's performance is so wildly over the top I could easily be convinced that Nicolas Cage watched this movie before he did Bad Lieutenant for inspiration. 

Tom Hardy has said this performance was the most picked by his classmates in acting school for monologue practice. Also I have to assume Gerard Butler also saw this and said to himself "every performance will be that minus 2, next stop Hollywood."

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I know people love to hate on Tarantino’s brand of auteurism, but I could never really get into Besson’s. Most of his films really feel like a mix of self-aware hipness, pretentiousness (if that’s a word), and bonkers, empty plotting. There are a few I find passably entertaining (The Fifth Element is a film solely created as a stoner spectacle, in my opinion, and I did genuinely like the District B13 films, but I don’t think he directed those), but by and large his movies feel like they’ve been made by an “edgy” poser. They look cool and that’s it. Give me some old-school Walter Hill movies or—if you’re going with arty pulp— some Jean-Pierre Melville films, please.

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4 hours ago, GrahamS. said:

I know people love to hate on Tarantino’s brand of auteurism, but I could never really get into Besson’s. Most of his films really feel like a mix of self-aware hipness, pretentiousness (if that’s a word), and bonkers, empty plotting. There are a few I find passably entertaining (The Fifth Element is a film solely created as a stoner spectacle, in my opinion, and I did genuinely like the District B13 films, but I don’t think he directed those), but by and large his movies feel like they’ve been made by an “edgy” poser. They look cool and that’s it. Give me some old-school Walter Hill movies or—if you’re going with arty pulp— some Jean-Pierre Melville films, please.

Besson is weird in that his movies are either over the top action/sci-fi or artsy/serious films that you know he thinks he'll win an Oscar for, with a perfect example of going from The Fifth Element to The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. I mean I'm going through his filmography right now and there are a slew of films that would be perfect for the show from From Paris With Love to Lucy to Taken 3. Hell another subgenre for him is how he redoes the same plot in different movies as Colombiana and to a greater extent Anna (another prime choice for the show) are copies of La Femme Nikita.

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1 hour ago, RyanSz said:

Besson is weird in that his movies are either over the top action/sci-fi or artsy/serious films that you know he thinks he'll win an Oscar for, with a perfect example of going from The Fifth Element to The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. I mean I'm going through his filmography right now and there are a slew of films that would be perfect for the show from From Paris With Love to Lucy to Taken 3. Hell another subgenre for him is how he redoes the same plot in different movies as Colombiana and to a greater extent Anna (another prime choice for the show) are copies of La Femme Nikita.

I can’t believe they haven’t done Lucy yet. That may perversely be one of my favorites of his because it’s so completely batshit. It’s gotta be near the top 10 on the the list of films that think they’re profound but are actually spouting gibberish. In fact, I may have to bump that one of it’s on here. I want them to do a bigger-scale WTF movie on the show.

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3 minutes ago, GrahamS. said:

I can’t believe they haven’t done Lucy yet. That may perversely be one of my favorites of his because it’s so completely batshit. It’s gotta be near the top 10 on the the list of films that think they’re profound but are actually spouting gibberish. In fact, I may have to bump that one of it’s on here. I want them to do a bigger-scale WTF movie on the show.

If I didn't create that one I know I wrote a lot on that entry, that movie can straight screw itself for how stupid it is when it thinks it's smart. It's like a D student writing 1 + 1 = 4 and sitting down like he just figured out the answer to world hunger.

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