Le Professionnel ★★★½ The Professional 1981
French assassin Joss Beaumont (Belmondo) returns from the African republic of Malagasy, where he's been imprisoned for two years because his own superiors turned him in to the authorities when they decided to abort his mission. Instantly his old department is mobilized to eliminate him, but Beaumont is faster and smarter than all of them put together. Fast, clever, and beholden to nothing done before, the film is a slick package, a spy thriller that relies on brains instead of guns. There's a constant flow of fistfights and combat encounters in the picture, none of which are hyped with cutting or music. Belmondo makes them all credible. A surprise picture for people who like intelligent thrillers. 109m/C DVD . FR Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Desailly, Robert Hossein, Michel Beaune, Cyrielle Claire, Jean-Louis Richard, Sidiki Bakaba; D: Georges Lautner; W: Georges Lautner, Michel Audiard; C: Henri Decae; M: Ennio Morricone.