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George At 

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Featured Movie Reviews

The Professional

Grim, relentless and action packed, THE PROFESSIONAL opens with our hitman of few words, Leon (Jean Reno, terrific) meeting with his mentor Tony. It's a quiet meeting in the corner of an Italian restaurant. If this your set up, your go to actor for Tony is Danny Aiello, who seems like he's played this part in a thousand films.

We learn that Leon is an effective, reliable killer. Focused on his life of solitude, his daily routine in a low rent apartment seems to focus on buying two quarts of milk and watering his lonely houseplant daily.

On the way home from his latest kill, Leon passes a 12 year old neighbor girl, Mathilda, bearing the scars of her latest beating from her lowlife father, who has just crossed the wrong drug dealer.

When that dealer Stansfield (an over the top, fantastic Gary Oldman) comes to collect and slaughters Mathilda's entire family, Leon is suddenly faced with protecting a young girl he barely knows, while breaking every self imposed rule of his solitude.

Mathilda is played by a very young Natalie Portman and she's great.

Oldman is full tilt here as our bad guy and he's surrounded himself with a group of ruthless killers who see no boundaries in who they'll kill for their boss. With plenty of physical tics, a nasty drug habit and no moral compass, Oldman's Stansfield is a powder keg.

Reno is the perfect balance as Leon, all cool efficiency in both movement and words as he dispatches more bad guys than Rambo.

Writer/Director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Le Femme Nikita) crafts an action masterpiece with a heart at its center.

That center is riddled with a thousand bullets and packed with a ton of explosives, but it's still a solid heart.

The Professional gets an A.

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