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July 31, 2017

The Fifth Element (1997) --- “Local Man Searches The Galaxy For The Elements. You Won't Believe How Number 5 Saved Him!”

Plot Summary
In the 23rd century, a New York City cabbie, Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), finds the fate of the world in his hands when Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) falls into his cab. As the embodiment of the fifth element, Leeloo needs to combine with the other four to keep the approaching Great Evil from destroying the world. Together with Father Vito Cornelius (Ian Holm) and zany broadcaster Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker), Dallas must race against time and the wicked industrialist Zorg (Gary Oldman) to save humanity. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     The Fifth Element (1997) is a comic, pulp, sci-fi film that is pretty different from director Luc Besson’s heavier and high-octane films like the Taken trilogy, the Transporter films, and even Lucy (2014). However, this film does not seem out of place in his repertoire and despite most of his films being majorly serious with little to no humor (with the exception to 2014’s The Family), The Fifth Element is by no means a serious film with a fairly decent size fan base. As a Sci-fi film, The Fifth Element is a worthy addition to the genre by bringing mythology, other world creatures; Star-trek worthy action, and futuristic special effects, this film covers all its basis. The humor only adds to the film’s range/reach and without it then the film probably would not have been as successful as it was, bringing in a Worldwide Gross of $263.9 million USD. It is obvious that in 1997, The Fifth Element was ahead of its time.

     The art direction is spectacular for being over 2 decades old with some nice special effects that still stand the tests of time. This is a 90’s film so in terms of special effects, you would not expect very much in that department, with the exception of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). But again, this movie was ahead of its time and Besson delivered on a massive scale. However, no matter what spectacle is on display, whether it be CGI or effects makeup, the script is what is really important. The script is made up of a pretty solid plot line in regards to the end of the world destruction. Every idea and point is explained and has a place in the story through the use of small tidbits that have been culled from the numerous characters running throughout an especially unique landscape. Like most world destruction films, the story revolves around an evil force set on world destruction and domination. As always, every attempt to kill this evil is useless as there is only a small group of people who can actually destroy this evil for good. Through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events (depending upon who you are), we have the most unlikely and likely characters joining forces and traveling through space in order to save the universe from total annihilation. There is a lot of entertainment here and it is clear early on that the film is dependent upon its fast paced music to keep us enthralled to the end. The most memorable scene involves opera, punkish pop, and someone by the name of the Diva… but that is all I will say about that.
     The chemistry between all the characters is memorable as they lead to much of the success that is The Fifth Element. Bruce Willis plays Korban Dallas, a futuristic taxi driver, who is similar to his Die Hard character John McClane. He’s sarcastic, rugged, alone, and former special agent now turned rule breaking taxi driver. Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) plays Leeloo whose origins are largely unknown but is somehow the key to the Fifth Element. Jovovich is great and beautiful in her role and I cannot think of another time where she portrayed someone as special as this character. British actor, Sir Ian Holm (Lord of the Rings, as Bilbo Baggins) does a phenomenal job as the priest, Father Vito Cornelius. There are two characters that stand out among the rest, Gary Oldman (Dark Knight) and Chris Tucker (Rush Hour). Oldman is almost unrecognizable as the villain Zorg, who is like a parody of many different components with his futuristic hair, plastic half shield, his somewhat out of place southern accent, the buck teeth, and the disposition of greed and hesitancy creates the perfect modge podge of a bad guy. This is a kind of villain that does not need to be overly evil for you to know that he is a villain. On the other hand, Chris Tucker plays the squeaky voiced, over-dramatic confusing Radio DJ whose hair is really eccentric and unpredictable, Ruby Rhod. This was one of Tuckers earlier roles and it is also one of his most unforgettable roles as well. He takes the term “loud and obnoxious” to a whole new level and yet it works flawlessly here. Ruby follows Korban around like a bad smell commentating on everything to his live audience, and while he has no shame in working the crowd or chasing the ladies when it comes to his utter fear of danger he is hilarious. He is a great character to the film that offers some comic relief in the back ground.

     Overall, The Fifth Element (1997) is a masterpiece of a film. Its original and creative with an outstanding cast and beautiful visuals. This is a must see classic film that will stand the test of time. I’m serious, it was ahead of its time in the 90’s and is one of Luc Besson’s best films of all time.

"I don't know love. I was built to protect not to love, so there is no use for me other than this."
- Leeloo

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4.2 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  4.2 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch The Fifth Element (1997).

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Riddick 1: Pitch Black (2000)
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Cast & Crew
Directed by Luc Besson  
Writing Credits: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Produced by 
     John A. Amicarella        ---  associate producer
     Patrice Ledoux                ---  producer
     Iain Smith                        ---  co-producer
Music by Éric Serra
Cinematography by Thierry Arbogast           
Film Editing by Sylvie Landra
Casting By Lucinda Syson          
Production Design by Dan Weil         
Set Decoration by Maggie Gray and Anna Pinnock
Costume Design by Jean-Paul Gaultier         

Bruce Willis                              ---      Korben Dallas
Gary Oldman                            ---      Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg
Ian Holm                                    ---      Father Vito Cornelius
Milla Jovovich                         ---      Leeloo
Chris Tucker                             ---      Ruby Rhod
Luke Perry                                 ---      Billy
Brion James                             ---      General Munro
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister               ---      President Lindberg (as Tiny Lister Jr.)
Lee Evans                                   ---      Fog
Charlie Creed-Miles              ---      David (as Charlie Creed Miles)
Tricky                                          ---      Right Arm
John Neville                             ---      General Staedert
John Bluthal                            ---      Professor Pacoli
Mathieu Kassovitz                  ---      Mugger
Christopher Fairbank           ---      Mactilburgh
Kim Chan                                   ---      Mr. Kim
Julie T. Wallace                      ---      Major Iceborg
Al Matthews                              ---      General Tudor
Maïwenn                                    ---      Diva Plavalaguna
John Bennett                            ---      Priest
Pete Dunwell                            ---      Diva's Manager
Stewart Harvey-Wilson       ---      Ruby Rhod Assistant
David Fishley                           ---      Ruby Rhod Assistant
Carlton Chance                        ---      Ruby Rhod Assistant

Gin Clarke                                 ---      Diva's Assistant

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