Sunday, October 4, 2009
Movie: The Fifth Element (1997)
I know it hasn’t won any oscars, and it would have been a weird day if it had, but The Fifth Element has guilty pleasure written all over it. Fun is the magic word. It is not meant to be the best movie of all times, it is meant to give people a fun evening and I think it gloriously succeeds. At the other hand, it has the kind of style that easily divides people into groups of lovers and haters. It has the humor that you “get” or you don’t. The dividing line is often the scenes with Chris Tucker’s (detestable or funny) Ruby Rhod. A friend of mine once asked if he should take this film seriously after viewing these scenes. In that case, you didn’t get the humor of the whole hour previous.
The Fifth Element moves at a good pace and it consistently funny and inventive. It has a great cast of characters, Willis plays as he should play, the way we like him, Oldman clearly enjoys his amoral Jean-Babtiste Emmanuel Zorg and Jovovich’s Leeloo is an adorable creation with a few funny quotes. The aliens are awesome, from the big-bellied Mondoshawans to the stupidlooking Mangalores. And this must be the only movie that features an opera singing alien.
The plot is ridiculously simple and there is never any doubt that the heroes will save the day, it is all tongue-in-cheek, but the locations have been given great care, from Willis’ little room to the office of the president. The Fifth Element is a movie that is very conscious of its pulpy play but sneaks in a few scenes here and there that can easily stand repeated viewings and even get better with age. Such was always the style of director Luc Besson and it proved a happy marriage with science fiction. We need more like this!
IMDB: The Fifth Element