The Fifth Element

07  NOV
There is no future without it.

Directed by  Luc Besson
Written by  Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Starring:  Bruce Willis (Korben Dallas)
Milla Jovovich (Leeloo)
Gary Oldman (Mr. Zorg)
Ian Holm (Victor Cornelius)
Brion James (General Munro)
Luke Perry (Billy)
Runtime: 126 minutes
Two hundred and fifty years in the future, life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of Evil. Only the fifth element can stop the Evil from extinguishing life, as it tries to do every five thousand years. She is helped by ex-soldier, current-cab-driver, Korben Dallas, who is, in turn, helped by Prince/Arsenio clone, Ruby Rohd. Unfortunately, Evil is being assisted by Mr. Zorg, who seeks to profit from the chaos that Evil will bring, and his alien mercenaries. - David J. Gannon

A science fiction movie or a comical action movie? Director Luc Besson, after the wonderful and serious Nikita and Leon, manages to mix these two genres, pushing more on the latter, and the result is quite disappointing.

In fact, the underlying story is quite banal, this is yet another battle between Good and Evil whose beginning can be found 5000 years ago in the egyptian society. The Evil, represented by a sort of magma planet, can only be destroyed by a special weapon that can be activated by putting together five 'elements'. The peculiarity is that four elements are pieces of stone while the fifth element is the supreme being that somehow takes the form of a beautiful red-haired girl. The plot reverts around a number of more or less strange characters who try to put these elements together or to keep them apart.

Given such a poor script, the only way to get a good movie out of it was to fill it with silly situations, funny jokes, cartoon-like characters and special effect. Unfortunately, only the special effects are a winning point, they are very well made, the details of the city, the flying cars, the monsters, everything looks good although maybe a bit kitsch, the dominant colours being red, yellow and orange (including the inevitable vest worn by Bruce Willis!).

I don't want to criticize the plot, the movie was based upon the entertaining scenes and there is no point in trying to understand or question what's behind that... also because there isn't much sense nor intelligence anywhere...

The moralism shown near the end doesn't help making the level of the movie higher and even the few dramatic moments are simply lost and wasted in a plethora of stupid situations, most of which seems to be taken directly from some B-movies. Although some of these funny moments are admittedly amusing, I was looking for something completely different and even trying to see it as a comical movie, The Fifth Element can hardly be considered a worthwhile view.

Rating: 6.0  **

Links:  Official Site




© Copyright Sergio Monesi, 1997-1999.
Last updated: 25 Jun 1999