“Leon” (1994) and “Most Wanted” (1997) – Plagiarism!

Summary: Most Wanted (1997) copied many, many parts out of Leon (1994) — action sequence for action sequence, camera angle to camera angle.

I watched a 5-minute clip of Most Wanted on TV a couple weeks ago, and it bothered me so much that I have to let it out here in this post.

The scene I watched had the main character escape from some cops in an upstairs apartment room. This action sequence copied so many things from Leon, that I was left with disgust. So here are all the things that were copied from the Leon‘s last action sequence:

  • when the main character gets almost shot by sniper fire from a nearby building, through the windows (and just before this happens, the main character sees the sunlight reflect off of the lens of a sniper rifle’s scope — which is exactly what the main character Leon describes to Matilda in Leon when he is teaching her about sniping); in Leon, the main character gets almost shot by sniper fire when he tries to save his potted plant
  • after some policemen raid the apartment room, the main character shoots all of them, and in response, an outside policeman says something like “man down!”; in Leon, after Leon takes out all of the first wave of policemen, a policeman outside the room says to his radio transmitter, “man down, man down,” and Stansfield (the villain) responds “I told ya”
  • the main character dresses up into a dead (or unconscious?) policeman’s uniform (SWAT uniform), and escapes; in Leon, Leon switches clothes to escape the hundreds of SWAT policemen lined up outside his apartment room

Seriously, the director of Most Wanted, David Hogan, copied all of this out of Luc Besson’s Leon. Shame on him. Yes Mr. Hogan, you have an artistic license as a director, or réalisateur as they say in French, to draw inspiration from primary source material. But to copy everything down to a line in a 5 minute sequence is just too much. It’s unacceptable. That’s why I flipped channels instead of deciding to sit down and finish the movie, which seemed interesting at first.

(By the way, Leon is probably my all-time favorite movie for its blend of comedy, tragedy, action, suspense, and even a touch of romance. There’s no movie quite like it.)