Sci-Fi December: The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element illustration by Jeff Schwartzbauer

The Fifth Element – 1997
Dir: Luc Besson | Starring: Bruce Willis, Mila Jovovich, Chris Tucker, Gary Oldman
Year: Mid 23rd Century
Review: I haven’t seen this movie from start to finish since I saw it in the theaters and it doesn’t hold up very well. Luc Besson’s direction and writing provides his usual brand of wacky french ideas and comedic touches that either land as interesting or stupid – no inbetween. So while you do get some cool sets and special effects that still look pretty good today, there is usually something to wince at around every corner or a cartoon sound effect added to make your shoulders drop. Perhaps I am being too grumpy in regards to this, but it just really put me off when watching with an attentive eye rather than in 10 minute cable tv chunks. There isn’t any stand out performances beyond Mila Jovovich who was essentially an unknown when it comes to acting and took the chance with a unique role, and while you can’t forget Chris Tucker as Radio DJ Ruby Rhod you should want his character to exit as quickly as he enters the movie. Both characters are kooky and colorful – but Jovovich is endearing while Tucker is beyond irritating and charmless. The plot is a mess and is far more confusing than it needs to be after you stop and boil it down. This just isn’t as fun as it was when I was 14 and a lot of the nostalgia has worn away.

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