RARA-AVIS: Re: Leon . . .

From: Steve Novak ( Cinefrog@comcast.net)
Date: 07 May 2007

L鯮/The Professional: not in a lifetime would I ever call this rather plodding and over-the-top neo/post/pseudo/modern flick a ³noir² film...It is a bastardized version of a genre started with Luc Besson¹s own Subway, then his Le Grand Bleu (which made Jean Reno¹s one dimensional character famous), then La Femme Nikita...None of those are film noirs either by any means...they are what they are, and very good at that...The Professional is an artsy and overly stylized action film in that Besson¹s genre, with solid acting performances...but it has nothing noir in it!..it circulates with other films like Killing Zo頨also a 1994 film) as modern day parodies of crime films....In the genre I very strongly recommend Tykwer¹s Run, Lola Run, a far superior film...check out this Urbancinefile (Australia) review that will leave L鯮 (The Professional) in the dust in comparison:

"The perfect modern throwaway movie. The characters are like instant pulped versions of several decades of poses and quotes: the cute lowlife chick with punk red hair could have come out of an early Luc Besson film (e.g. Subway). The hyped-up style is closer to British cinema post­Trainspotting: all fast action, kooky angles and throbbing beats, wrapped up in a playfully fractured narrative. Clearly there¹s a common source of inspiration in TV commercials, with their shorthand use of predigested, immediately legible images. More figuratively, the film resembles a computer game, locked into a matrix of possible options within a limited chunk of space and time (an approach shared by recent formal spectaculars as diverse as Jafar Panahi¹s The White Balloon and Brian de Palma¹s Snake Eyes). Director Tom Tykwer gets points for sustaining the energy level almost throughout, tossing in everything from animation to shot-on-video psychodrama. But if the film is more than a slick stunt it¹s less via the shreds of Œrealism¹ in the mix than the way the whole thing suggests itself as a romantic metaphor for modern life ­ contingent, superficial yet weighty, based in the banal everyday while driven by kinetic pop emotion. Many films have done great things with similar themes, which is perhaps why this one doesn¹t finally have a lot of resonance: storyboarded and streamlined to the ultimate degree, it flashes past you in a moment and disappears without a trace. Even so, it¹s too much fun to miss." Jake Wilson

...this review will probably redirect your thinking about those types of ad-like-films which had a short but successful run in mid-90¹s...as borrowers of styles...

Le Montois de D鴲oit

On 5/7/07 4:54 PM, "jasonpaulmiller33" < jpaulmiller@gmail.com> wrote: Gary Oldman's performance makes it almost easy for Reno's character
> to become a noir hero. Such a commanding performance, bar setting
> for other corrupt police villan-kings....
> --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com <mailto:rara-avis-l%40yahoogroups.com> ,
> William Ahearn
> <williamahearn@...> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > Hey,
>> >
>> > Anybody see Luc Bresson's The Professional (sometimes
>> > titled Leon) with Jean Reno? Yes, it's a recent flick
>> > -- and very violent -- but it certainly fulfills the
>> > criteria for being noir in the classic sense.
>> >
>> > Anybody else see it?
>> >
>> > William
>> >
>> > Essays and Ramblings
>> > <http://www.williamahearn.com>

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