HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
Lean on Pete
Carnival in Flanders
   
 
Newest Articles
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
   
 
  Fifth Element, The God Is In The DetailsBuy this film here.
Year: 1997
Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Milla Jovovich, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, Brion James, Charlie Creed-Miles, Luke Perry, Lee Evans, Tricky, John Neville, John Bluthal, Julie T. Wallace, Mathieu Kassovitz, Maïwenn Le Besco
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating:  7 (from 9 votes)
Review: In Egypt, 1914, an archaeological expedition was investigating an ancient temple when a spaceship unexpectedly landed, aliens walked out and gave the priest protecting the site a key to pass down to his descendants for when the aliens would return in 300 years. Three hundred years later and planet Earth is under threat from a huge, dark, fiery globe that is heading its way, and the aliens are on course to return the fifth element which they took all those years before that will save mankind. Alas, there is a conspiracy afoot, and their spaceship is destroyed by agents of Zorg (Gary Oldman), a powerful businessman who is in league with the dark planet - the essence of evil itself. Who can save Earth now?

Exquisitely designed, The Fifth Element was written by the director Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, based on an earlier script by the 16-year-old Besson which had been heavily influenced by French comic books. So meticulously fashioned is the world that Besson offers that the plot takes some following on first viewing, but basically a small piece of the essential element is salvaged from the crashed space ship and from this is built a young woman, Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) who represents our only hope. Well, her and a collection of four stones from the temple, which have been mislaid, and are being hunted down by Zorg.

Into all this arrives Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), a taxi driver and ex-military man who has Leeloo land in the back of his cab. He is compelled to help her by his better nature, and he grows increasingly attached to her, even after he has delivered the nonsense-speaking woman to the latest in the line of priests, Cornelius (Ian Holm). To match the outlandish look and extensive special effects, the cast are well-chosen, and skillfully fit into the fantastical landscape of Besson's vision: Willis provides a steadfast centre for the plot to revolve around, Holm is nervous yet dedicated, and Jovovich manages to be authentically otherworldly.

You can tell the film was based on an adolescent story, not only because of the spacecraft, chases and mass destruction, but because it fills all the requirements of uncritical sci-fi. The hero is square jawed and a man of action, and he gets an innocent girlfriend from outer space. Then there's the simple philosophy, where everyone is divided into baddies and goodies, with a "love conquers all" message to save the day. Zorg deals in arms and thinks nothing of sacking a million employees at once, but the good guys have the vaguely spelt out religious backing of Cornelius and whatever God he represents.

God doesn't seem to be actively involved until the cherry scene where Zorg makes his outlook clear to Cornelius - chaos, destruction and evil are necessary to keep the world ticking away, to give everyone their place. But then the overconfident Zorg chokes on a cherry, and is only prevented from choking to death by the interventions of Cornelius - simple kindness is what makes the priest's world go round, even if it means saving the life of his enemy, and it seems there is a need for both sides of the coin. The tiny coincidences and apparently unrelated events that bring our heroes together look like the machinations of fate, or the supreme being that Leeloo represents.

However, the pure Leeloo can't help but notice that mankind leans more towards the destructive side, especially after witnessing the bullets flying and explosions happening around her, and she loses hope. Some viewers may have lost hope before then, because of the performance of an extrovert Chris Tucker playing DJ Ruby Rhod, a megastar who is aboard the cruise liner that the characters end up on in their search for the stones. I think he suits the over the top style, and in a film that sees New York City with miles-high buildings and flying cars, or a blue opera-singing alien, there is plenty of room for all the overacting by certain members of the cast. The Fifth Element may win your heart with its good humour and naively optimistic perspective, but if not, just enjoy those wonderful visuals. Music by Eric Serra.

[Extras on the Special Edition DVD include a new documentary, featurettes on the special effects, artist Jean-Claude Mezieres, the creation of the Diva and Jean-Paul Gaultier's costumes, trailers, footage of the Cannes party and a short essay on a possible sequel.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6309 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: