The Fifth Element, 1997, France
This film wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I’d been trying to record it on my PVR for months, and when I was finally able to record it last week, I found myself unable to watch it. I had been expecting a bleak science fiction drama and I’ve been avoiding heavy movies for the past few months. However, my dad told me that it was a fun, bright, over the top movie, so I decided to watch it last night.
It was certainly over the top and very fun. Bruce Willis plays Korben Dallas, a New York cab driver and former member of the Special Forces. As he is working, a strange woman (Milla Jovovich) drops into his cab. She speaks in a strange ancient language and keeps requesting a priest (Ian Holm). Together, they must search for the four elements needed to save the world before the evil Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) gets his hands on them.
I loved the look of the film. As it takes place in the 23rd century, director Luc Besson designed a very bright world featuring extravagant costumes. The alien costumes are fantastic and realistic, as well. Besson’s vision of the 23rd century is beautiful and delightfully eccentric. The film is based on a story Besson wrote, and he also worked on the screenplay, so it truly is his own vision.
Gary Oldman rocks one of the weirdest head pieces ever.
The highlights of the film were Oldman and Chris Tucker. Both were over the top and very fun. Tucker usually annoys me, and he certainly played an annoying character in this film, but it works in this film. My only explanation is that this film is genuinely good – as opposed to the Rush Hour series. Tucker’s character is integrated well, and he never becomes overbearing. Willis plays the same sort of character he normally plays: a bad ass with a past. He may not be a particularly deep actor, but he sure is good at shootin’ people.
The Fifth Element was such a fun movie. It was a great way to escape reality for two hours and the perfect movie to watch on a Saturday night. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favour and watch it as soon as possible.