Top 10 Antiheroes

By August 13, 2012Top 10 Lists

8. Léon in Léon: The Professional (1994)

Léon is an assassin, pure and simple. He makes a living by killing people. However, he is not portrayed by Jean Reno with the charisma or confident swagger of most movie assassins. He is quiet, withdrawn, even endearing when we see him watching a Gene Kelly film with “the rapt expression of a boy watching his first Disney” (, Rob Gonsalves.) When 13-year-old Mathilda (Natalie Portman) comes to his door after her family are murdered, he reluctantly takes her in and, eventually, teaches her how to be a killer. This may sound almost cutesy as this child finds a new father figure, but it is far from it. Léon is never warm towards her, and in addition it is even suggested that Mathilda is sexually attracted to Léon. He manages to escape being viewed as the villain because he has a value system (“No women, no kids) and because that role of baddie belongs solely to Gary Oldman as drug-addicted corrupt cop Norman Stansfield. He is a fantastic take on the idea of an anti-hero and voted number 2 in Total Film’s feature, “50 Greatest Movie Antiheroes.”

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