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[personal profile] innocent_man
The Fifth Element is a sodding weird sci-fi action movie starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Chris Tucker, Gary Oldman and Ian Holm.

So: Every 5000, a giant evil planetoid comes to destroy all life, and it's up to an advanced race to assemble the four elements (air, earth, water, fire) around a fifth element, which creates a weapon to stop the evil. We learn about this in 1914, and then 300 years later, it's about to happen. A priest (Holm) with the passed-down knowledge of how all this works tells the President of the Federation (Tiny Lister) about all this...and then the craft carrying the "supreme being" gets shot down.

But then resurrected by an awesome 3D-life-printer as Leeloo (Jovovich). Watching the movie again, they do talk about how the supreme being has the same kind of DNA as a human, just a lot more genetic knowledge (if that's a thing) packed in. So I guess it makes sense that she's human-looking. What doesn't make a lot of sense is how she phonetically decodes English when she doesn't speak it, but whatever, she's super-smart.

Anyway, she escapes, crashes into a Special Forces op-turned-cabby named Korbin Dalls (Willis), and they eventually wind up saving the world from the evil.

The scripting and editing in this movie is amazing. They created this freakish, vibrant, at times dirty and oppressive and at times beautiful and awesome world. We have our second-tier villain in the form of weapons dealer and all around rich fucker Zorg (Oldman), who's trying to get to the Elemental Stones to sell them. For money. We learn pretty early on that for as scary as he can be, he's terrified of the evil (which he refers to as "Mr. Shadow" and is under the mistaken impression he'll be alive to spend the money). We also get Ruby Rhod (Tucker), the celebrity DJ who acts as sidekick to Dallas for the second act.

I personally think Tucker is annoying as hell, but that's what he's here for and he's not in the whole movie, or even the majority. Yes, he steals scenes, but he's good at backing off and requiring exposition, so he's got a reason to be there (also, he macks on girls with freckles, and I can get behind that).

If I have a complaint, it's that Korbin saying the magic words ("I love you") to get Leeloo to fight the evil was maybe a little hokey. But then, much is made of how innocent and vulnerable she is, so maybe it's appropriate. It's kind of a Raimi moment, almost - by the time the movie reaches that point, it's already been so over the top (OMG THE COSTUMES) that you don't care.

The production design is fantastic, the soundtrack is awesome, and the costumes are amazing. The movie is delightfully weird, and paced so well that it feels much shorter than it is.

My grade: A
Rewatch value: High

Next up: Fight Club

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January 2013

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