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10 Ridiculous Performances That Totally Derailed A Movie

8. Gary Oldman (Leon)

I expect this one to be divisive, as there's a lot of love for Gary Oldman's mental performance as corrupt DEA Agent Stansfield in Luc Besson's Leon. Whether he's contorting his neck into awkward positions while hurling pills down his throat, riffing on Beethoven, or telling Benny to bring him "EVERYYYOOOOOOOONE!", it's widely considered to be one of the most amusingly hammy performances of all time, with Oldman's manic energy accentuating the flick's pulpy tone. That would be fine then, if Leon were simply a dumb action film. But given that it's actually a surprisingly sensitive depiction of a young girl's coming of age and the unexpectedly touching friendship she forms with the titular assassin, it feels a bit misplaced. I can't expect everyone to agree, but to me Oldman's performance shifts the tone of the film too far towards the cartoony and absurd, even if it was already doing pretty well in that regard without him. To some, it's a grating performance out of whack with the film's more tender moments, and to others, it outright makes the film. Which side do you fall on?
Contributor
Contributor

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.