The Professional Movie Review–Retro Action Fun
Ah yes…the great old action movies of the 1980s. Rambo, Rocky, the Terminator…so many of our greats emerged from the eighties, and you can add one more to the list which came our way from the French. Lions Gate sent me a copy of their recent DVD rerelease, The Professional, and just in case you’re wondering, sadly, no…Leon has nothing to do with this one.
The Professional follows French master spy Joss Beaumont (French action great Jean-Paul Belmondo), sent to assassinate an African dictator. When the assignment fails, Beaumont is imprisoned as a gesture of international good will. But Beaumont escapes and heads back for Paris, bound and determined to finish the job and kill the dictator. But the politics have changed, and the French government isn’t interested in killing the dictator any more, so now, Joss Beaumont is public enemy number one. Can the French find their top agent before he finishes a job the government would rather he didn’t finish?
The Professional is a strange sort of action film that doesn’t have a whole lot of action in it, but rather focuses more on foreboding. Sure, there will be some gunfire here, and more than a few narrow escapes, but most of the movie will be spent plotting, scheming, and reacting to other people’s plots and schemes.
In fact, as action movies go, it’s really rather slow. I’m not saying it’s bad, necessarily–there are some laughs in here, along with some pretty nice action scenes. But the overall pacing is a little on the slow side. In fact, the first half of the movie–I didn’t keep an exact count so it’s a bit of an estimate–there were less than thirty shots fired. Seriously, not a lot of caps got busted, and I personally consider that a substantial problem when it comes to action movies.
But still, there’s some enjoyment to be had here–in all honesty, it might even be a pretty good date movie. There’s a little romance in here, just a bit of action, and enough skullduggery for three movies.
The Screenhead Ten Scale, recovered from the laugh riot it took last night, is in a good enough position now to declare The Professional a six out of ten. It’s a little too slow to be an action movie, but it’ll still have plenty of good moments to it. There’s comedy and romance, but it’s a bit short on the action.