Review Detail

9.7 25 10
FanFix April 29, 2023 1722
(Updated: May 08, 2023)
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Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
Like most people interested in this edit, there are a lot of issues I have with the "romance" part of the film. And while I personally do think the extended cut is the better of the two official releases (at least from a plot and character development standpoint), that doesn't mean I can watch the extended edition without feeling icky. I feared there was no way to fix the romance angle without making the film less interesting, but I'm all for the improvement. So when I heard my good friend, ArtisDead, and futon88 were making an edit of this film to address this issue, I knew I couldn't resist. So, what are my thoughts on this edit?

In a word, wow.

Right from the start, it becomes clear that the choice to frame the entire film around Mathilda was a brilliant decision. Opening the film with Mathilda's introduction instead of Leon's was a surprising but welcome improvement. This also means that Leon's job as a hitman is hidden from us at first, making him more mysterious in the beginning. I like this idea, and I think it sets the film up on a stellar note.

I admit that I was worried about the changes in music, as I thought the original soundtrack (mainly the theatrical version) was just fine and never needed to be messed with. But I gotta say that the new music gave the film some added atmosphere that I appreciated. I was also surprised by the added comic relief in this edit, and in a good way, too. And there's something about Gary Oldman's performance that's disturbing as well. He feels way more paranoid, delusional, and unhinged in this edit, and it works. Also, before I forget, I really liked the montage showing Mathilda and Leon's training, and I thought it was edited very well.

If I have any nitpicks (and this is just me being ridiculously critical here), I can only think of one. There is a jump cut that occurs after Leon and Mathilda's first post-family massacre conversation which felt... Off. While I suppose it might work in a Quentin Tarantino film, the effect felt at odds with the style of this particular film. Of course, there's no way I'm going to give a negative review over a small decision like this one, but I think the sudden cut from having music to no music at all doesn't really mesh well for a film like this, at least on a stylistic level. I believe there is another jump cut that occurs later in the film, and my nitpick also applies to it as well.

That exception aside, this is without question my favorite version of Leon (or The Professional. Whichever title works for you). This edit gets a very high recommendation out of me. Thanks again, Futon and Art, for giving this film the cut it deserves.

UPDATE (5-8-23): Well, as it turns out, I owe Futon and Art an apology for the jump cut criticism I made above, because that jump cut was also in the original film. I admit that it's been years since I pulled out my blu-ray, and I assumed wrongly that Futon and Art made that choice. Because my memory is hazy, and I forgot that the film had it. So, I'm bumping my rating up to a perfect 10, as my biggest criticism against the edit is gone now. And it's also my way of saying, "I'm sorry, guys. I screwed up." Have a cookie, and congrats on becoming the first edit I've ever given a perfect 10 to.

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