Luc Besson shows again why he was one of the most stylish and innovative directors of the nineties with this effort. Bringing together a wildly varied cast, from action stars to stage actors to supermodels to cult heroes, and putting them in a genre defying film about the salvation of earth in the future, he gives one of the most visually impressive films of the era, as well as one of the most entertaining.
The story begins in the early 20th century with an archaeologist and friend uncovering proof of aliens, and of a mysterious fifth element, the only thing capable of saving the world from destruction. Aliens arrive and take the apparent device, leaving Luke Perry to pass on the secret through the generations. Flash forward a few centuries and we meet a group of scientists who have found the Fifth Element. It is a beautiful young woman, and half the galaxy is after her, including evil aliens, and the tyrannical Gary Oldman. The young woman escapes, only to literally crash into washed up taxi driver and ex soldier Bruce Willis. She speaks in an alien language, but together they find Ian Holm, a descendant of the original archaeologist. Thus begins a frantic race to save the world from an approaching black ball of shadow, while protecting the fifth element from capture.
The film has much to give- the sets, effects, and costumes are all wonderful, giving one of the best visions of the future since Blade Runner, and borrowing many ideas from such sci-fi classics. There are brilliant performances from all, though Oldman, Johovich, and Tucker stand out. The film is bursting with ideas and imagination, there are many funny moments, and the message that love can conquer all, though slightly glossy, is still relevant. At times bizarre, but always highly watchable, the Fifth Element is a film which everyone with a heart and soul should enjoy, or at least find something worthwhile in it.
This DVD has plenty of extras- intersting features on the production of the film, lots of trailers, interviews, and a commentary. A must have for sci-fi fans, and if you have a few pounds going spare this is one everyone should try.
As always, feel free to leave any comments on the movie. What do you make of the movie’s cast, effects, and vision of the future?