6 June 2013

Fifth Element

The Fifth Element 1997
  • Director: Luc Besson
  • Based on book: No
  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Milla Jovovich, Chris Tucker, Luke Perry
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Bruce Willis  Tears of the Sun, Friends, Sixth Sense, Breakfast of Champions, Twelve Monkeys, Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, In Country, Moonrise Kingdom
    • Gary Oldman - Harry Potter, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Sid and Nancy, Léon, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Bok of Eli, The Dark Knight, The Scarlet Letter, Immortal Beloved, Romeo Is Bleeding, True Romance, Dracula, Prick Up Your Ears, Nil by Mouth (director)
    • Ian Holm - lots of Shakespeare, Lord of the Rings, Day After Tomorrow, From Hell, The Fifth Element and more
    • Milla Jovovich – Jeanne d’Arc
    • Chris Tucker – Dead Presidents
  • Why bought: suggested by friend ÖB. Luc Besson. Gary Oldman
  • Seen: April 13, 2013

Luc Besson is usually not silly.  Weird, yes. Over the top, yes.  Often extremely exciting. Nikita is one of the most exciting movies I’ve ever seen and Léon is both exciting and rather touching.
But The Fifth Element is…silly. I was expecting a grim destroyed future sci-fi.  I got a comic book.
Now I don’t really have anything against comic books. As a kid, I loved them.  Evidently Besson did too. Maltin tells us Besson got this idea as a teenager. And that’s the whole thing.  This movie is juvenile.
And it’s kind of cute. There are some fantastic special effects, for example the flying cars zooming back and forth in countless levels among enormous skyscrapers. The apartment – well, box – that Bruce Willis lives in is tiny but very efficient with fold-ups and shove-ins and automatic thisses and thats. Home delivery takes on a new meaning when the whole Thai restaurant comes to an opening in the wall to prepare and serve your food.
Milla Jovavich is fun as the scrawny spritely orange-haired savior of the Universe who speaks her ancient language as fluently as we speak our own more Earthly tongues. Impressive.
Gary Oldman – well, he can do anything and he’s an appropriate bad guy here but not nearly as freaky as he was in Léon.
The story hardly needs to be told here. An ancient battle between us good guys and the ugly clumsy dumb aliens. The destruction of the Universe.  Guess who wins with one second to spare.
There are quite a few laughs, it’s very colorful and Besson and the cast seem to be having a lot of fun.  If you’re in the mood for goofy and not expecting grim it’s perfectly OK.

2 ½* of 5.

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