Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm and Chris Tucker now that is an unusual cast. Throw in direction from Luc Besson and you have a very interesting movie. The 5th Element is an ode to over the stop style, a poem dedicated to visual sensation. Every set piece is lavish. Every scene is beautiful.
The plot is more than a little daft. Every three hundred years a Great Evil will arise to destroy the world, unless a weapon can be used to stop it. This weapon involves the four accent Greek elements (fire, water, earth and wind) and a 5th element, the universe’s perfect being, played by Milla Jovovich. In the 23rd century the Great Evil (personified by a black fiery planet) is returning and the elements must be united in Egypt to stop it. Unfortunately a warlike alien race called the Mangalores destroys the 5th Element. Humans recover a small fraction of the creature and clone a woman called Leeloo, who promptly escapes and winds up with Korben Dallas (Burice Willis), a former police offices and cab driver. Together with Father Vito Cornelius (Ian Holm) and obnoxious oversexed radio DJ Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker) they try to recover the accent stones, which symbolize the other four elements, and stop the Great Evil who has hired industrialist Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) and the Mangalores to stop them.
Ridiculous plot aside, the main appeal of the 5th Element is Luc Besson’s visual style, given complete free reign in his colorful futuristic environment. Everything in this film is a treat for the eyes from 23rdcentury New York City with its flying taxis to alien opera singers. The costumes are especially good, special mention must go to Chris Tucker who wears this get up and raps. That clip pretty much sums up everything you need to know about the film.
The consideration to detail in The 5thElement is amazing. By the end of film Besson and Jovovich were able to converse in the supposedly accent language they invented for Leeloo. However, it is not just visual treaties, the performances are excellent, moving from heart breaking to hilarious. This film walks the difficult line dividing serious and silly. It is both funny and touching. Gary Oldman is brilliant as ever, play a villain he gets to revel in being evil. Willis and Tucker are the perfect double team, one subtle and nearly silent, the other flamboyant and larger than life. Jovovich is also excellent as Leeloo who is both fascinated and terrified of our world. Her relationship with Dallas forms an important emotional core around which the film is anchored.
The 5th Element is the perfect rainy day movie; it is fun, over the top and self-assured. The actors are director are all at the top of their craft and clearly enjoying themselves. This one film that is beautiful from start to finish.