November 12, 2008

Action Movie Catch-Up: The Professional

This is where I reflect on classic action movies I have just recently seen, and revealing to you that I haven't seen them until now, I'm revealing that I'm a little bit of a rookie.

Starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, and a young Natalie Portman, the film is directed by french action director Luc Besson. The story is simple: Portman's family is killed by a bad guy (Oldman) and she goes to live with the hitman next door (Reno). Eventually the shit storm that accompanies having your family get iced and then moving in with the hitman next door catches up to them.

1. Legit Action- None of the bullet curving bullshit or fancy car-chases, just badass dudes blasting each other with huge guns in gritty yet still Hollywood battles. It's not overly violent, it's not too cartoony, it's just right. The scene where Reno takes out an entire SWAT team is action gold, and I know my action gold like I'm running Fort Knox.

2. Solid Acting- From Natalie Portman's simple performance, to Reno learning how to love, to Gary Oldman's creepy spine twist, this film shows that even action movies can break the stereotype and have great acting.

3. Direction- Besson has made some big studio pictures (The Fifth Element) but it is clear in his use of close-ups, music, symoblic motiffs that he is a European filmakeer with his own style in his composition of shots and his story structure (Besson wrote the film) that he is on some serious deeper level business.

Conclusion: Classic, the film delivers, has tight pacing, great performances, and lives up to the hype. Check it out.

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