The Fifth Element

Bravo, bravo. Let the cheering and hollering commence. Luc Besson produces yet another classic sci-fi film. Other than having aliens that look to be created by a four year old, the film was adequate, if a little predictable. Right from the beginning, the watcher can guess what will happen next. As soon as the four stones that can save Earth from an unspeakable evil are taken by a shrewdness of bulky, awkward aliens for safe keeping, you get the sense that the it will be easy to foretell what happens in the movie. Flash forward three hundred years in the future and… you guessed it! The stones are stolen by an even uglier race of aliens and cab driver Korben Dallas must race time and undertake in a perilous journey through the galaxy to obtain the stones. If he does not obtain the stones in time, all of life will be destroyed!

How exciting. The plot is unsophisticated, but does a good job remaining tasteful. There are some moments that make you roll your eyes, but Luc Besson does a good job of keeping the movie running smoothly. Moments like the police chase and the destruction of the spaceship keep everyone on the edge of their seat. When the President loses contact with the Captain of the shuttle? Poetic genius. The story is generally well done, but other than several original touches, the movie does not stray too far from the road that most sci-fi movies. In spite of this, the actors deliver believable performances. Not jaw-dropping, but believable.

Bruce Willis plays the role of an ex-military man turned cab driver very well. Tough and abrupt, he does a good job of portraying a coarse man who falls in love with a super being.

Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), the super being in question, is almost as good. The ancient dialect was performed with startling accuracy and it must have taken a long time to learn. As the movie progresses she seems to become more comfortable in her role and her acting skills seem to improve.

The main characters were good, but I think that some of the minor characters roles may have outshone them. For example, the President (Tommy Lister) and General Munro (Brion James) were two smaller roles that were very well developed. They both made the watcher feel sympathy for them with almost everything they did. When the President was about to be eliminated by Evil, everyone was sweating, hoping that Evil could be stopped. Luckily it was, and my favourite character was spared.

The soundtrack was short, but extraordinary. With only six songs, this is one of the shortest soundtracks in sci-fi history. However, the songs they do choose fit perfectly. At the beginning of the film, when Bruce Willis is getting out of bed, “Alech Taadi” by Cheb Khaled is played. This futuristic song is perfect and it gets everyone stomping their feet. The soundtrack is short and sweet.

Altogether, I give this movie an eight out of 10. With special effects that make me cringe, this movie could have been improved upon. But with a decent plot, good acting and a wonderful soundtrack Luc Besson successfully oversaw the creation of a decent flick. There is no other way to describe the film, other than saying it is a sci-fi movie that catches people’s attention, and keeps it.

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