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

1 comment:

  1. The Fifth Element was definitely a funny movie. It is subtle and obvious at the same time, but the editing is what made a good part of that movie. Jumping from scene to seen but keeping the story flowing through those different scenes to keep it all in line. Chris Tucker is detestable but funny in it? That is the one part of the movie I could have done without was Chris Tucker, I can see where he fits in and the movie would lose a lot if he wasn’t there but I just didn’t care for the character. It was one of those characters that you hope will meet a miserable end, and they never do. Still hasn’t stopped me from watching the movie several times, in fact it was the first movie I rented when I got set up for my Blockbuster @home service. I looked for it first on the 20 movie channels listing, and checked the on demand queue as well, but I must have had bad timing because it wasn’t playing anytime soon, so I put it in my queue. I didn’t want to get onto the plan at first, Netflix left a sour taste in my mouth after they raised prices, but a coworker at DISH said they had no problems with it and were more then happy, so I figured for $10 I could handle it, and plus I got to see Milla in an bright orange jump suit thing again. Amazing how much more orange it is in high definition.