Saturday, April 9, 2011

REVIEW: The Fifth Element (1997)

The Fifth Element (France, 2003) - Color, Director(s): Luc Besson
MPAA Rating: PG-13
[UK: PG]
Approx. 126 min.

Z-rating: 5 out of 5 stars for its imaginative Sci-Fi/Fantasy storyline

B-factor: 2.5 out of 5 stars for its cheesy gags

Now, this is how I like my Sci-Fi movies. Weird, ugly, mean-looking aliens with a bunch of strange weapons and flying cars. This movie has all of that and more... with a touching storyline to boot!!! The characters all had interesting personalities, effects were fantastic, and there were some good laughs along the way. What more can you possibly ask for?! (Maybe a little more nudity, but who's complaining?)

So every five thousand years or so, some Great Evil appears and we need the Fifth Element to stop it. There are four sacred stones representing the four classic elements (Earth, Fire, Wind, Water... GO PLANET!!!) which are the keys to either saving the universe or its destruction. An alien race wearing mechanical suits come to take the stones from us, citing the outbreak of war as a threat to their safety, promising to return with them when we needed them most. Fast forward a couple hundred years and the time has come for us to face the Great Evil. The mechanical aliens return to deliver the stones but are shot down by a bunch of ugly looking aliens that look like villainous lackeys. These other ugly mofos were hired to steal the stones and deliver them to an evil corporate sleazeball named Zorg. (Played by the always enjoyable, Gary Oldman) As it turns out, the stones were not aboard the ship. They were being kept safe by someone else. They checked the crash site and found the remains of one of the mechanical aliens (a severed hand gripping a lever) which is used to clone a new one. Instead of some ugly mess that's covered by a bulky mechanical suit, she comes out looking like a super hot and naked Milla Jovovich!!! (OF COURSE the perfect being is a girl, what else could it have been?!)

So, much like these artificially created beings often do, she breaks out of her holding chamber and makes a daring escape. (à la Wolverine) Jumping off the ledge of a building, she crashes right through the roof of a flying cab piloted by Bruce Willis. (who also happens to be ex-special forces)  The police try to pull him over but sweet little Leeloo (Jovovich) begs for his help with her sad puppy dog eyes. Willis gives them the slip, much to Leeloo's delight, and delivers her to a priest by the name of Vito Cornelius. The truth is then revealed that the stones were entrusted to someone they called "The Diva", a blue alien opera singer. (who is AWESOME by the way)  A radio contest is rigged so that Korben Dallas (Willis) has tickets to go see The Diva and hopefully recover the stones. The announcement of the contest winner draws the attention of Zorg (Oldman) and those ugly alien grunts as well. With everyone looking for the stones, they all converge at the opera house where The Diva is giving a concert. After a totally awesome concert, a shootout occurs where The Diva takes a bullet to the gut and falls dramatically to the floor. Leeloo, remembering the grunts that shot down her ship, toss them a beating the likes they've never seen before. Things don't end well for Leeloo when she has a run in with Zorg, armed with his fancy pants machine gun, who takes the box (thought to be containing the sacred stones) found in The Diva's belongings. With her dying breath, she tells Korben Dallas the real location of the stones. With the "help" of an effeminate radio jockey (played by Chris Tucker), Dallas must find Leeloo and save universe for eternal darkness...

Nudity: When the perfect being is revealed to be a girl (Jovovich) you get a shallow view of her boobs momentarily. She also takes off her shirt without regard for present company. (All the guys are gentleman and look away but we get a blurry view of boobies in the distance)

Gore: Not much, unless you count alien gore. Not a violent movie, but it really didn't need to be.

Awesome: to the MAX!!!!! Great actors/actresses, amazing make-up and special effects, and a fantastic storyline ties together perfectly with a healthy dose of oddball humor to make for a wildly entertaining Sci-Fi romp. Everybody's character had such animated personalities, even the Chinese guy that brings Dallas lunch was hilarious. The storyline was kinda touching but also involved enough space fighting and ugly aliens to be totally cool. Also, you gotta love a movie that basically says the perfect being's a woman and makes PUSSY the fifth element. (the only thing capable of saving the universe apparently, imagine that) One of my favorite Sci-Fi flicks of all time, I would watch this baby ANY time I see it playing.