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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

Reader Review

The Fifth Element

Posted by: Creon1690
Date Submitted: Sunday, April 18, 1999 at 17:57:32
Date Posted: Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 15:37:47

(1997) The package for this movie lists it as "Star Wars for the 90's." Man, if this is the best thing this decade has to compare to STAR WARS, then I'm looking forward to Y2K. It also says "This is the RIDE!" What ride? The teacups, maybe?

Your (type)cast is Bruce Willis as GoodGuy, Gary Oldman as BadGuy, Milla Jovovich as LoveInterest, and Chris Tucker as ComicReliefSidekick.

I chose to post this movie because all of these actors (except Milla, see below) have given stellar performances in these typecast roles before. However, they all are forced to wander through this bad script with characters too quirky for them to play.

Except for Willis, who's good in anything. Doesn't necessarily make what he's IN good. Just like in Moonlighting, you've got Bruce Willis standing around giving the performance of a career, and nobody else seems to care. He plays the role of a cab driver who grudgingly becomes the hero of the story when Milla Jovovich lands in the back of his cab after escaping from a lab. His bed goes in the wall in the morning just like George Jetson's.

Milla Jovovich is saved a lot of responsibility in this movie as her character doesn't speak English. She is playing the title character, as in Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, and Milla Jovovich. She is the perfect being, who has inexplicably orange hair. She is grown in a lab from DNA found in an extraterrestrial hand found in a pyramid. (?)

The plot is basically that BadGuy has figured out that catching Milla will somehow give him access to the ultimate weapon. It's unclear what he plans to do with it...kind of reminds you of the martian on Bugs Bunny...once he blows up Earth, what comes next? Gary Oldman is another disappointing performance. I've seen him play a bad guy and do it very well. I need only mention his junkie DEA head in "The Professional," opposite Natalie Portman and Jean Reno. I hated that guy. But this villain, I just wanted to laugh at. He's wearing a dress, has some futuristic haircut (this takes place sometime in the 2000's) and has this keystone cop army composed of aliens that, okay, I grant you, COULD have been used in Star Wars, as long as they were only in the background. This femme villain is just not up to Oldman's potential.

So, our cabbie and our carrot-topped element are supposed to find 'the four keys' and take them back to said pyramid to get the weapon before BadGuy does. They go to an opera show to find more information. Here they meet with Chris Tucker...ugh. This was an early role for him. His character is a loudmouth transvestite. He's forced to wear a prom dress, makeup, and squeal dialogue that tries to pass as funny. I'm not a huge Chris Tucker fan, but there are some roles that he can carry out quite well. This one is too over-the-top for him, though. Unfortunately, he joins them and doesn't shut up for the rest of the movie.

This blue Twi'Lek looking chick is belting out a weird song that everyone in the movie thinks is the best thing they've ever heard...and again, Willis makes you believe this. I tell you, he is out of place in this movie. Anyways, Mrs. Bib Fortuna gets assassinated, the theater clears out, quick, Willis runs to her/his/its side, and she tells him "the keys are inside me." He cuts her open and finds these four bricks with symbols for the four elements on them. Talk about your kidney stones. They all narrowly escape the keystone cops and take off for the pyramid.

BadGuy does something to try and stop them. I forget what. It's worth noting that I watched this movie right after "I Know What You Did Last Summer," so things were a blur by then. They all get to the pyramid, some Dark Crystal looking aliens, Milla's ancestors, show up, they figure out how the keys work, and prevent badguy from getting the weapon.

Unfortunately Bruce has been forced to fall in love with Milla during the movie. He sells this as best he can, but the movie doesn't reciprocate him. Anyway he rides off into the sunset with her.

The problem I had with this movie was that it was supposed to be a 1997 summer blockbuster, and it just refuses to admit that it wasn't. A lot of decent actors and expensive special effects wasted on a corny story.

Rating: Two turkeys, as it's too slow to keep laughing at.

Scene to watch for: Chris Tucker getting some on an airplane. Truly horrible feigned comedy.

Best line: "Anyone else wanna negotiate?" Said by Willis after mowing down theater aliens. Just like "Die Hard."

Things that make you go "Huh?" Perfect being started as Dark Crystal-esque alien, gets hand cut off, and when re-grown in lab centuries later, becomes Milla Jovovich!

Response From RinkWorks:

I think you missed the point of "The Fifth Element." It's supposed to be campy. Its purpose is to present a vividly realized, original science fiction world in the context of a deliberately outrageous, dark comic story. It succeeded with flying colors in that effort. That doesn't make it a great film -- it isn't, though I enjoyed aspects of it very much -- but I think you're criticizing it for the wrong reasons. -- Sam.

I couldn't watch all of this movie. It just didn't make any sense to me at all. One of the few movies I've been forced to just turn off after about twenty minutes. -- Dave

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