Sunday, August 2, 2009
PLANET GRIFFIN'S Next Top Ten Movies That Move On Paper: Comics Undreamed Of! Pt.14
PLANET GRIFFIN, the alternative pop culture, continues its steady mobbin' towards the end of the Top Ten with a quick trip to 1994 where a hardened Italian hitman is introduced to the one thing that threatened to break him... A genuine friend.
LEON THE PROFESSIONAL
Writer/Director LUC BESSON introduced the world to an action film that's not really an action film... It is, in all actuality, a character study. Recently re-released in it's original uncut goodness on DVD, LEON:THE PROFESSIONAL approached the hitman angle in a completely different direction in the form of Mathilda (introducing NATALIE PORTMAN in her first screen role), a disillusioned 13 year old girl whose family is murdered in a drug deal gone bad by DEA Agent Stansfield (played with loving malevolence by acting chameleon GARY OLDMAN). In her attempt to escape, she runs to the onlt person she can call an actual friend--- the Italian neighbor-next-door, LEON (the role that transformed then unknown french actor JEAN RENO into an international star overnight)... It's only a bizarre twist of fate that Mathilda learns what Leon's day job really is...
The controversy that surrounded this film is also the most heartwarming--- the relationship that forms between the two protagonists. (I mean, the emerging mix of emotions and hormones in the mind of a seriously troubled 13 yr. old clinging to notions of payback, as well as a hitman who's going through his own troubles of loneliness and lovesickness, did stick out first in the minds of many an audience member upon it's initial release...) After rewatching this great movie again, I'll admit the hook caught me again... And for the record, fellow NEXT 100 man JAY POTTS gets the big credit for pushing me to take a 2nd look at this movie for review, which I will say- 'I stand corrected in this listing'... But this story doesn't end there...
I LOVE revenge movies! Love'em! I hope one day they put'em in six pack cans! The only problem in translating revenge films to comics is that once the revenge is carried out, where else can you go?! Since we already know how Leon ends, it's hard to apply that translation without changing the outcome... Or coming up with a new angle. That angle is still being fought on as of this writing.
PLANET GRIFFIN now knows that Luc Besson has finished a FINAL draft of what many have argued as a long awaited sequel long overdue. (The debate has raged on since 1999) Natalie Portman herself has already recently raved about the idea of reprising her role and coming full circle, especially after seeing the possibilities ( see the above Mathilda pic)... Until then, the argument will have to go on a little bit longer.