The Fifth Element Review

The Fifth Element is a 1997 science fiction action film directed by Luc Besson, starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Milla Jovovich, Ian Holm, and Chris Tucker.  The film follows taxicab driver and former special forces major, Korben Dallas (Willis), who joins forces with a young woman who falls into his cab, to recover four mystical stones essential for the survival of Earth against an impending attack.


Positives:

  • Good performances
  • Great humor
  • Good action
  • Great cast
  • Great characters
  • Witty dialogue
  • Good editing

Negatives:

  • Dated visuals
  • Some overacting

Plot: This story is actually pretty cool it does lack originality. Corbin Dallas’s storyline is pretty interesting considering the character. Storyline following the darkness that’s threatening to destroy Earth is actually pretty cool although it could have went into a bit more backstory about it.  The ending is pretty climatic leaving off on a humorous note. (3 out of 5)

Characters: the film does have a lot of great characters. Korben Dallas (Willis) is the first main protagonist and a pretty likable guy who’s down on his luck. Despite not really wanting to be a part of things he does step up to the plate to accept this mission to save the world. Leeloo (Jovovich) is the secondary main protagonist and she is a pretty cool character. And it’s not because she’s sexy or because she’s all mystical it’s because her character shows the capacity to learn and compassion. Not to mention she has some pretty badass moments. Ruby Rhod (Tucker) was completely hilarious he is no doubt the comic relief of the film and he does a great job. Victor Cornileus (Holm) is just an awesome character.  He takes on the responsibility of gathering the mythical stones to save the world.  He often gets frustrated due to the other characters’ decisions or actions which also makes for some amusing moments. Zorg (Oldman) is a complete douchebag and one of the main antagonist of the film. Despite not showing much to his character, the character does have a lot of personality. (4 out of 5)

Cast: The casting for the movie is just phenomenal and the performances are solid. There’s Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, and Chris Tucker. Great chemistry between Willis and Jovovich.  Also, great chemistry between Willis and Tucker providing great humor. Supporting cast includes Charlie Creed-Miles, Brion James, Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr., and Luke Perry. (4 out of 5)

Visuals: Visually the movie is actually still pretty good especially considering today’s standards. The alien designs are pretty cool although some are comical. There is a good use of makeup and costume designs. The clothing designs are for lack of a better word eccentric. There are some scenes where the practical effects look obvious. Some of the set pieces are uneventful but others look exceptionally well designed.  (3 out of 5)

Score: Now the soundtrack is actually pretty good. It can be upbeat in certain moments as well as dark and serious and others. Thumbs up to Eric Serra with the musical composition. Maïwenn Le Besco does an awesome solo during the second act of the film and she is just fantastic. (4 out of 5)

Writing: Luc Besson does a good job with the execution of the script providing good direction. But one of the most standout aspects is the dialogue.  Not only is it really witty and humorous but there are moments where the editing shows two different conversations overlapping one another but actually fitting together. Even when it comes to the drama, humor, and action there is a pretty good balance. There is one aspect that kind of sucks and it’s the fact that despite Korben being the main protagonist and Zorg being the main antagonist they never share a scene together. (4 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, The Fifth Element is actually a really good film. Despite some in discrepancies with the script as well as some spotty CGI here and there as well as practical effects, the film excels with great characters, awesome performances, great action, a great soundtrack, good visuals that hold up to today’s standards as well as really good direction. The Fifth Element gets 4 out of 5.

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