In the distant past, alien protectors came to earth to defend it in times of emergency, but have remained hidden for millennia. Now, in the future, humans are in need as they face termination at the hands of Zorg (Gary Oldman), and the mysterious “Fifth Element” is sent to Earth in human form. An ex military taxi driver (Bruce Willis) inadvertently becomes her protector against the many threats she faces on Earth.
The exposition for this film is quite confusing as it throws you quickly into an elaborate future world where it’s hard to find your head. Luckily it makes up for it with rich visuals and by being a lot of fun throughout.
The most noticeable great thing about The Fifth Element is its terrific cast, most notably Milla Jovovich as, well, The Fifth Element, Ian Holm as Vito Cornelius, Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod and especially Gary Oldman as Zorg. Oldman is known for his ability to completely disappear into his roles and here is no different. Once again I can honestly say I wouldn’t have identified him had I not known he was in it, as he dons a bizarre costume like a heavily stylised Hitler, and adopts a Southern drawl which sounds eerily like Clarice Starling from The Silence of the Lambs.
The costumes are remarkable too, courtesy of none other than Jean Paul Gaultier, who creates an outlandish tapestry of futuristic colour. This film looks great all round in spite of CGI being in its infancy at the time, making it a visual treat from beginning to end. The action is well handled too, including a hover car chase that was completely plagiarised by Attack of the Clones.
Fantastically entertaining, most of this film’s best qualities are summed up in this superb operatic action sequence. Enjoy.
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