Leon: The Director's Cut
(Optimum DVD retail)
Luc Besson adds 24 minutes of material removed from the original release for this re-release of his commercially successful 1995 film about hired assassin Leon’s initially reluctant and finally euphoric relationship with 12-year-old orphan Mathilde starring Jean Reno and Natalie Portman. With or without the new footage (which mostly centres around Leon and Mathilde’s growing relationship), Leon remains a remarkably smug, sentimental and cynical actioner, albeit one buoyed up by technical expertise.
Still morally reprehensible and lacking in the kind of levelling meditative space needed when dealing with such ethical ambiguities, the elongated Leon is disappointing at best. Good extras, however, include Gary Oldman and Danny Aiello interviews and a ten-year retrospective ‘making of’ documentary.