“Leeloo: ‘Everything you create, you use to destroy.’
Korben Dallas: ‘Yeah, we call it human nature.’”
For this edition of I’d Love To Turn You On At the Movies we will be turning our attention onto Luc Besson’s futuristic masterwork The Fifth Element. To put my reasoning in a succinct way, this film is AWESOME. When re-watching it in preparation for this piece I was reminded just how much this film truly embodies all that is great about successful blockbuster films, of which this is a perfect example. It has everything: action, drama, comedy, intrigue and a love story to tie it all together. While many blockbuster films fall short in some aspect and fail to have a higher purpose this film not only kills it on all counts it all centers around a universal theme, the importance of love in the battle against the darkness beneath human nature.
The setting is the twenty third century; Earth is being threatened by an amorphous and seemingly omniscient evil and the only way to save it is by bringing together the ‘five elements’ or representations of them that had been left on Earth by a benevolent alien species for this particular purpose. Korben Dallas, played by Bruce Willis, is unwittingly brought into the action when Leeloo, or ‘the fifth element,’ (played by Milla Jovovich) falls into his cab. From this point on the action of the film rarely lets up. Dallas is recruited by a variety of people to aid in Leeloo’s mission to save the world. Boiling the plot of the film down to these bullet points simply doesn’t do the piece justice. The awesomeness of this movie lies in the immense nature of the story and the winding way in which all of the pieces are connected. Simply put this is a great science fiction treat.
All of the different aspects of this movie are treated perfectly. The small details about the future society really bring the world to life and the visual effects breathe further life into this society. The characters and the actors who play them are wonderfully developed and portrayed. Bruce Willis is the ideal reluctant hero; Milla Jovovich is amazing as the naïve but flawless personification of the fifth element; Gary Oldman is astounding as Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg the merciless bad guy; Ian Holm is swell as Father Vito Cornelius the leader of the order that has passed down all of the answers to solving the puzzle and saving the world; and last but certainly not least Chris Tucker is PERFECT as Ruby Rhod the comedic DJ that loudly sews it all together (BZZZZZ). In addition to a well put together future society and a stellar cast the film has an interesting story that only gets better with multiple viewings.
In the end, Leeloo has learned all about the negative aspects of human nature and the need to be shown love. It sounds cheesy to a certain extent but the way director Luc Besson went about building up the side love story is just sublime. All of it culminates in a nail biting final sequence, giving it a truly brilliant payoff and resolution of all of the plot lines.
If you have been living under some sort of rock and haven’t seen this film it is a must that you purchase this and spend some time in this world, you will certainly not regret it. And if you have seen it, don’t you think it’s time you saw it again? You know you want to! This is one of those great movies that gives me the action I crave, the stylization I fiend for, the edge-of-your-seat intensity I need to keep my attention, and the love story to play to my sensitive side. It’s a fun and intriguing film, so please enjoy!
- Edward Hill