I'm gonna lay out a movie plotline for you. A young girl tragically loses her family. With nowhere else to go she turns to her neighbor who lives alone next door for a place to stay. He takes the child into his home and raises her like his own. She cooks, cleans and teaches her illiterate caretaker how to read in return. They develop a relationship akin to any single father and daughter. At this point you're like ok...stop right here. This sounds like the lamest movie ever and probably stars Miley Cyrus or Amanda Bynes as an abandoned teen girl beaing raised by Greg Kinnear. BOOOWRING. Why on earth are you recommending this shitty family drama? Well if you'd let me finish I was just about to mention that this movie involves badass mob hitmen, corrupt drug addled DEA agents, and some of the Raddest shootout scenes ever recorded on film. Sound a little more intriguing than you first thought huh? I give you this week's Sunday Evening Rad Flick: Leon The Professional.
Leon The Professional is a fucking Rad action flick. It's actually a French film (directed by Nikita's Luc Besson) that happens to feature English dialogue and an entire cast of badass (but relatively B-list) Hollywood actors. I think you can safely say this is the most badass movie with the words "French Film" attached to its description. The movie's main character is Frenchman Leon', a "Cleaner" (assassin) for the Italian mob in New York City. We find out pretty early that he is the best at what he does and there is no cleaning job too complex for him to handle. Unfortunately, Leon doesn't have much of a life outside of whacking guys named Vinny who owe his boss money, unless you consider tending to your houseplants and watching Gene Kelly flicks on TCM an active social lifestyle (i.e. you're a cat owner). That is until he meets his neighbor Matilda, a rebellious 5th grader that smokes cigs in the hallway, swears, skips school and generally hates her life. Matilda is played by a smoking hot 12 year old Natalie Portman (NBC's "To Catch a Predator"...I'm fucking joking), before her days of listening to The Shins and making shitty hipster romance flicks with Zach Braff. Leon and his young neighbor immediately hit it off as fellow loners.
Since Matilda's daddy is a deadbeat shithead, he is deeply in debt to people that are not to be fucked with. When he runs out of time on one debt in particular, a dirty DEA agents on the take show up to his front door to collect. By "collect" I mean they kick in the door and brutally murdering Matilda's entire fam in broad daylight as punishment for failing to make the payment. Luckily for Matilda she's out at the store during this ordeal and upon seeing police tape around her apartment seeks refuge at Leon the hitman's apartment across the hall. She tells him the story and he lets her temporarily (so he thinks) stay at his crib. After a few days they come to a compromise. She agrees to help around the house, do the grocery shopping etc. In exchange Leon' will let Matilda stay in the apt. and will train her to be a "cleaner" so that she can eventually avenge her family's murders. He starts to take her along on his jobs and teaches her to use each item in his arsenal of rad firearms, starting with small pistols and sniper rifles. Unfotunately this backfires when Matilda takes matters into her own hands a little early, complicating matters for her and Leon.' I won't give away any more.
Anyways, the key to any Rad action flick about the battle between good and evil is often a totally psychotic Rad villain. While people these days know Gary Oldman for his role as good guy Commissioner Gordon in the Batman flicks, generally you'd be hard pressed to find an actor that portrays a totally Rad bad guy as well as Gary Oldman. Think Dracula, True Romance, and most recently The Book of Eli to name a few. Oldman's evil tour de force however, is The Professional. In this flick he plays crackhead nutball Stansfield a dirty DEA agent that's gone way over the edge and is a total lunatic. Stansfield absolutely gives less than a fuck. He's in it for number 1 and will off anybody that crosses him or puts him in a bind, be they man, woman, child or grandma. Stansfield gets hyped for fucking people up by listening to...Beethoven. Yeah I know, most people got fired up for high school basketball by listening to DMX, so this seems like a curious choice. Somehow when you're bat-shit insane though, Ol' Ludwig Van B. does the trick in inspiring you to start spraying bullets every which way. Below is a clip that shows Stansfield at his diabolical best, jamming out to symphonies, firing shotguns, and then sitting down to a nice chat about how he picks his work jams. It's totally Rad.
If you're looking for your standard cookie cutter generic action flick go check out the newest 90 minutes of cinematic excrement from Nicolas Cage or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. If you want to watch a totally Rad and unique action drama however, check out Leon' The Professional. It fucking rocks. Trust me Stansfield in all his psychotic glory, and his Beethoven tapes makes it worth it alone.