"The Professional" is a 1994 action thriller film directed by Luc Besson, starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, and Natalie Portman in her film debut. The film is known for its intense action sequences, emotional performances, and unique characters.
The story follows Leon (Jean Reno), a professional hitman, who takes in a young girl named Mathilda (Natalie Portman) after her family is murdered by corrupt DEA agents led by Stansfield (Gary Oldman). Leon trains Mathilda in the art of killing, and the two form a bond that becomes increasingly complicated as they are pursued by Stansfield and his team.
The film explores themes of loneliness, redemption, and the relationship between a mentor and a student. It also features some memorable action sequences, particularly the climactic shootout in a high-rise building.
"The Professional" was initially controversial due to its depiction of a child learning how to kill, and the film was heavily edited for its U.S. release. However, it has since gained a cult following and is widely regarded as one of the best action films of the 1990s. It is particularly notable for its strong performances, particularly from Jean Reno and Natalie Portman, who was just 12 years old at the time of filming.