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The Fifth Element

A movie directed by Luc Besson

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Insert tongue firmly in cheek

  • Apr 23, 2000
Pros: Pulp style action adventure

Cons: Not for the humor challenged

There are movies that I adore because they represent the art of filmmaking at its best and most beautiful. There are movies that I hate for excessive gratuitous violence and the "f" word uttered so many times that I want to count the number of occurrences.

THEN, there are movies that I love because they poke fun at so many of our conventions. The Fifth Element is one of those for me.

I'm not much of a Bruce Willis fan, but I love him as Corbin Dallas. The way that he responds to his futuristic environment--from smoking his heavily filtered cigarette to petting the cat to taking the gun away from the erstwhile robber shows such an incredible degree of matter-of-factness. In some ways he is everyman. He dodges his mother's phone calls, wants a better job and hopes to fall in love with the perfect woman.

Little does he know that the adventure is about to begin.

The premise of The Fifth Element reminds me very much of some of the 1950's pulp Science Fiction -- not unlike Starship Troopers and other earlier works by Heinlein. The earth is threatened by a malevolent extraterrestrial force, and it becomes the responsibility of a few individuals to save the world. Corbin Dallas really has no plans to get up one morning and save the world, but he really has no choice after The Fifth Element--the perfect being AND perfect woman comes crashing through the roof of his cab. This starts Corbin and Leeloo on the course to reunite all five elements and dispel the forces of darkness.

Of course there is conflict along the way. The villain wishes to prevent the combining of the elements and throws in what obstacles he may. The villain, played by Gary Oldman made me howl with laughter. I could not get over this fine British actor with the Memphis southern accent (which was VERY well done). I think it is a total misuse of his considerable talent, but I enjoyed him nonetheless.

Add into the mix Chris Tucker and more howls ensue. I was previously unaware of this young man, but I loved him with his "Prince" like (or rather the artist formerly known as) antics. His character is SUCH a trooper though because he keeps on broadcasting from earth departure to arrival on a space cruiser through invasions by hostile aliens and while ducking for cover.

Bruce Willis plays his typical tough guy who saves the day. Milla Jovovich is really quite a delight and shows some talent as she experiences new concepts and stimulation.

In the end, love makes it possible to save the world. This is pulp sci-fi at its finest. If you're looking for art, this probably isn't the film for you. If you're looking for a good time from start to finish and can stop being so serious for a couple of hours you just might get a kick out of The Fifth Element. My kids love it, but I bought it for myself.


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More The Fifth Element reviews
review by . December 01, 2009
The Fifth Element
250 years into the future life will be threatened by a "Great Evil" that will destroy all life in the universe unless the power of the Fifth Element can be unleashed. Taxi Cab driver Korban Dallas (Bruce Willis) ends up helping "Leeloo" (Milla Jovovich) when she drops in on him.      The Fifth Element combines fast paced action with funny dialogue, and unforgettable characters.       Directed by Luc Besson, The Fifth Element was nominated …
Quick Tip by . September 14, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I long for the day cars could fly! This movie is more than a decade old; cars are still not flying! Great movie regardless!
review by . September 13, 2009
The Fifth Element
   An ancient secret is needed to save the world, hidden deep in the deserts of Egypt. The movie starts with a prelude from 1914 when the Monascheiwans come to Earth to remove the four Element stones and the Fifth Element because war is coming. The priest in charge of the secret begs the Monascheiwans not to take them, for Evil is coming soon to Earth (every five thousand years) and the weapon of the five elements is needed to destroy the coming evil. The Monascheiwans assure the priest …
review by . December 31, 2008
Some Blu Ray remasterings or reissues of prior DVDs can leave one a litte "so?", but with some movies -- "The Fall", "Baraka", and the "Fifth Element", you will remember why you bought that HD TV in the first place.    Those of us who liked or loved this movie really enjoyed the plot, the vivid colors, and the special effects for reasons other reviewers have touched on.    However, the colors are even more vivid, the soundtrack more lush, and the special effects …
review by . December 17, 2008
I just bought a blu-ray player, and thought this would make for a good inaugural disk. I've enjoyed watching this in SD, and hoped the high def version would be even better.    Happy to say I was not at all disappointed. The video and sound are both excellent -- it's a great way to see what your blu-ray play can deliver.    There are, however, no extras on the disk - just the movie. But the movie alone is well worth the price of admission. If you're a science …
review by . February 26, 2002
The fifth element is an action film, hosted by the great Bruce Willis. There are visuals in the Fifth Element that even to this day look terrific. Compare the Flying cars to the traffic in the backgrounds of Episode I. Lets first understand that The Fifth Element is a visual eye candy extravaganza. Not necessarily the best, but very imaginative. The story is also an invention that couldn't have easily been dreamed up. It's pretty original. Its almost hard to take a movie like The Fifth Element and …
review by . November 24, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
This movie was a bit of a surprise to me. When I saw it for the first time in the theater I wasn't expecting all that much, but man was I wrong! The movie is based on the idea that every few thousand years or so the ultimate evil awakens and tries to wipe out all life in the universe. The only defense against it is a weapon built by an ancient race and (coincidentally) stored on earth. The weapon is the Fifth Element. The other four basic elements are fire, water, earth and air. The Fifth Element …
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About this movie


A visual feast combining ancient mysticism, cyberpunk sensibilities, flamboyant entertainment personalities, and gun-toting alien mercenaries. In the 23rd century, Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), an ex-special forces agent who now practices as a down-and-out cabbie, finds himself caught in a struggle to defy a prophesied Evil from destroying the Earth when a mysterious woman (Milla Jovovich) falls into the back seat of his cab. Pursued by both the government and a powerful magnate enlisted by the forces of Evil (Gary Oldman), the woman is the key to Earth's salvation, known only as the Fifth Element. This was French auteur Besson's first offering with Hollywood backing. Academy Award Nomination: Best Sound Effects Editing.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holms, Chris Tucker, Lee Evans, Charlie Creed-Miles, Brion James, Luke Perry
Director:  Luc Besson
Writer:  Luc Besson
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Director: Luc Besson
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: May 9, 1997
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Luc Besson
Runtime: 2hr 6min
Studio: Columbia Pictures, Gaumont
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