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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

The Fifth Element (1997)


If the future is this crazy, they better start to get a bigger police force.

Cabbie Bruce Willis is a regular guy … and the universe’s last hope for survival as he helps the embodiment of love and life (Milla Jovovich) fight the darkness unleashed by the crazed Zorg (Gary Oldman).

This is your average sci-fi premise where one guy must save the universe from an evil dude who’s trying to take it over, but this is one of the more original sci-fi films out there.

What I liked most about this film was the look of it all, mainly thanks to French director Luc Besson. There’s a lot of great colors here, that add great detail to all the crazy looking set pieces and will probably take you into the 23rd century Earth. I loved how I didn’t feel all depressed looking at this future, and I more looked at it and went: “This is some crazy shit”. But it was all in the best way possible.

I also found myself having a ball here with the electricity that was in the air with this film and it’s script. There are a lot of awesome action sequences that keep this film moving at a fun-filled pace, but also there is plenty of humor that really contributes to the film’s overall tone since it doesn’t really take itself all way too seriously. Many times, I actually found myself laughing when I least expected it, but sadly the film seems a bit of let-down when it comes to its plot.

At a run-time of over 127 minutes you start to feel a bit of a drag within this film. There seems to almost be too much going on, with too many characters, going on at the same time and overall just has this a little bit too messy. It all leads up to one story-line but there was many things going on here, that I think could have been taking out for the sake of a better ending, because the ending they have here kind of stinks. I think the main problem with this film is that the whole film is pretty goofy, and over-the-top, that when they tried to get serious and make a big emotional ending it didn’t quite work because you couldn’t really believe it all that well mainly because it doesn’t fit. The ending just sort of happens, and kind of seemed cheesy to me, which was a huge bummer since all up to that I was having a pretty damn good time.

Bruce Willis is at it again playing one of his regular guy embroiled in extraordinary circumstances roles as Korben Dallas, and it really never seems to get old. He’s great at being subtle, but then totally kicking ass when he has to. This is the role that put Milla Jovovich on the map with that crazy-looking red hair, and I’m not going to lie it’s a great role as Leeloo. I liked how they made her actually kind of cute in this film, and had us really route for her the whole time as this film was going on. Gary Oldman is doing his usual crazy antics as our bad-guy, Zorg, and with hair like that you can see why he’s so pissed. Ian Holm is good as Father Cornelius, and let us not forget the always funny Chris Tucker playing a flamboyant impersonation of Prince as Ruby Rhod. Spot that double entendre.

Consensus: The overall look, pacing, and feel of this movie has you laughing and having a good time, but The Fifth Element fails to go that full mile when it’s script starts to fall apart by the last act.

7/10=Rental!!

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13 responses to “The Fifth Element (1997)

  1. Steven Flores April 29, 2011 at 4:16 am

    OH!!!!! I love this film. Man, I enjoyed the hell out of it. It’s my 2nd favorite Luc Besson film after Leon.

    The parts I loved were Chris Tucker screaming like a girl. It had me laughing my ass off. At times, he sounded like Daffy Duck. It’s such an entertaining film that has a lot of great technical elements in the art direction, cinematography, and in visual effects. It’s one of those films I just can’t help but watch whenever it’s on.

    • CMrok93 April 29, 2011 at 5:26 am

      Damn Steve! You really did love this! I liked it, and it looks amazing and kept my interest just about the whole time. The ending was disappointing though. Glad you liked it though brah!

  2. Rodney April 29, 2011 at 7:58 am

    I don’t normally swear, but man, this film is THE SHIT. It’s one of the best sci-fi films of the last twenty odd years or so, and is Bruce’s best role since his early Die Hard days. As Dantheman mentioned above, the ending did blow somewhat. Perhaps a proper ending might have made this classic even better!!

    Love the creature design and the wonderful Gary Oldman in this too, hamming it up for all he’s worth!

  3. Hunter F April 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Fifth Element is one of those really strange films that I feel like I was preconditioned into loving. Growing up, TBS probably played it at least three times a week, so I would see bits and pieces of it over and over again at night while waiting for dinner to be ready. Strangely enough, it wasn’t until last year that I saw the first fifteen minutes or so. Doesn’t it seem like you always flip over to movies playing on TV at the same scene each time?

    It really is a fun, entertaining film that takes itself seriously enough to not be mocking the viewer but not so serious you wonder what the filmmakers were thinking. Basically, if I’m flipping the channels to this day and find Fifth Element, I’m at least staying through a few commercial breaks.

  4. pgcooper1939 April 29, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I guess I’m alone, but I hate this film with a passion. It just comes off as way to silly.

  5. Lesya May 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

    It was my favorite film of the childhood! Very good review, it made me want re-watch it.

  6. Katie May 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Weird movie, but a good one. The phrases “autowash” and “multipass” are staples of my conversation. I also love the way his car keeps telling him off for bad driving.

  7. Mister Mxyzptlk July 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    There’s a shot where Zorg is climbing the stairway back to his ship. IIIRC, he was muttering “If you want something done right…” For some reason, this really reminds me of Daffy Duck in those cartoons with Marvin the Martian.

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