The Fifth Element
It’s the year 2257 and a taxi driver has been unintentionally given the task of saving a young girl who is part of the key that will ensure the survival of humanity. The Fifth Element is filmed in a futuristic metropolitan city and in a French comic book asthetic by a controversial British, French and American lineup.
GeekMasher This movie is one of the best movies of all time! It has a great story lines and graphics of it's time and even to today's standards it is brilliant. The world is well though out and well demonstrated. Zorg is a great bad guy, played by Gary Oldman and Bruce Willis plays his role very well. All in all a excellent movie.
Matt Golden A simple enough concept: Guy must save a World (in the Future!) from Evil! by protecting a Magical Macguffin, only in this case it’s a Girl! instead of a Thing. There’s really not a lot of story here. Not a lot of character either. Why waste valuable screen time with such paltry concerns when you can instead have Chris Tucker prancing around as a flamboyant radio host in the most annoying cinematic sci-fi supporting character not created by George Lucas? Instead, the film casts actors who do a fair job of acting simply by being themselves: Bruce Wills is Korben Dallas, a brawny, shoot-first hero who, when the chips are down, is brawny and shoot-firsty. The Magical Girlfriend MacGuffin, Leeloo, is played by Mila Jovovich (in her breakout performance) and some strategically-placed wrappings (the wrappings have had a harder time breaking into more mainstream roles). Ian Holm turns up as the Old Mentor, and filling out the cast is Gary Oldman as the antagonist Zord (in his hammiest role ever). The film seriously rises to the level of made-for-SciFi Channel-original and no higher. The plot is nonsensical, the acting committed but laughable, and the dialogue so stiff you’d think the script pages had been starched. So where does the film go legitimately wrong? Two main places: first, Besson carries on the proud tradition of French filmmakers doing weird things solely for the sake of being weird. The entire film is filled to the brim with the kind of idiosyncratic touches that I’ve come to expect from that region. Most of the bits don’t work, but I’ll give them credit for keeping things interesting. The second, more serious issue is another that seems to plague genre French directors, and that’s the whole matter being played (largely) for farce. The most successful (creatively) American (sci-fi/)action films are defined in very large part by their villain. This film, like so many other sci-fi/action films I’ve seen from French directors, never establish or maintain an element of power for the villains over the heroes. The villains are painted as clueless, moronic, out of their depth, or outright incompetent. That tradition continues here. What would Star Wars be without Darth Vader? Die Hard without Hans Gruber? Aliens without…uh, aliens? Lacking a strong (or even memorable) central villain (we have two: a Gary Oldman so hammy I’m pretty sure Muslims couldn’t work on the film, and the other being a giant planet-size ball of…Pure!Evil! No joke.), the film sacrifices the one shot it had at having some kind of weight or dimension. There’s no sense of danger or peril, no chance that the Hero won’t triumph, and [spoilers!] the day is essentially saved by a Care Bear stare. So, does what I’ve just said make it bad? Well, yes. Let’s try again. Does that made it unenjoyable? No, and it’s an important distinction to make. The film is an interesting curiosity. After a half-hour of the bizarre, if you can let yourself be swept into its idiosyncratic world you’ll find a perfectly watchable B (or C)-movie. It rankles a bit to think about how much was wasted making dreck this dreck-y, but it’s entertaining dreck.
Todd McCarthy A hodgepodge of elements that don't comfortably coalesce.
Geoff Andrew Besson's futuristic fable is flawed by a messy narrative which strains to incorporate far too many grotesque and eccentric characters.
Kevin Thomas There's no doubt about it, when it comes to saving the world, Bruce Willis is your man. He does it with smarts and style, humor and courage.
Janet Maslin Mr. Besson directs with ceaseless flamboyance and with an obvious enthusiasm for his film's comic book conceits. But the tone of The Fifth Element is often terribly shrill, especially when attention shifts to grating minor characters.
Scott Rosenberg As you sit through the interminable two-hours-plus that constitute The Fifth Element -- a colossally stupid, overbearingly pompous new movie by Luc Besson -- you can expect to become acquainted with boredom on the most elemental level.