The Fifth Element (1996) / Sci Fi-Action

MPAA Rated: PG-13 for violence, some sexuality, and brief nudity
Running Time: 126 min.

Cast: Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Milla Jovovich, Chris Tucker, Luke Perry, Brion James, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, Lee Evans
Director: Luc Besson

Screenplay: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Review published October 9, 1997

A 23rd Century New York cabbie (Willis, Beavis and Butthead Do America) has an unexpected passenger in the form of Leeloo (Jovovich, Dazed and Confused), a woman who is the "supreme being" sent to save the universe from death first needing the four elements in the form of blocks to do so.

It is a wild film, and quite beautiful in both set and costume design, a treat for the eyes, but not for the brain. I was befuddled by the logic of all of it. For instance, why would a big ball of flame approach Earth if it were going to destroy the entire universe anyway? Why would people and aliens be trying to help in the destruction of all life in the universe when they themselves would be killed in the process?

It's all a bunch of nonsense, yet still serves up enough panache and thrills to make it a watchable and somewhat entertaining film. I understand Luc Besson (Leon, The Family) conceived this film when he was a teen, which excuses the simple-minded nature of it all, but it's unfortunate so much money was invested in special effects when a million for an excellent screenplay would have made the film much better. It's still worth a look, however.

Qwipster's rating

1997 Vince Leo