Something of a genre-standard, as it combines intense human intense/moving moments of romance and attraction with graphic bloodshed and tough realities. Jean Reno gives a performance heavily bent on physical prose - moreso than you might've initially noticed - and Natalie Portman foreshadows a long career of emotionally effective roles.
Personally, my only "viewing expectations" were of something with a reasonable amount of intelligence and I was completely let down. Everyone overacts, the script is sloppy to the point of idiocy and thematically the damn thing is all over the place. Never let it be said that Luc Besson can't shoot one hell of an action scene, though.
My favorite Besson film, the french cut of the film is the one to watch. You have to love it when auteurs styliaze violence this way. Plus it always help to have Gary Oldman as the psychopath. And goes to show how casting is essential to the style of the film xase in point Danny Aiello as Tony.
i have mixed feelings about this bc well it's a good movie BUT léon has the same facial expression as the only guy i ever cared about + MILK IS DISGUSTING. IT WAS HARD FOR ME TO WATCH ALL THAT MILK BEING CONSUMED