SciFi Romance — Movie Review
The Fifth Element
Action-Packed Romantic Sci-fi Classic
As one of the staple films of my adolescence and young adult life, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen this movie. Suffice to say, The Fifth Element is eminently re-watchable. Packed with action, romance, solid world building, and enough sci-fi blended with a special kind of magic to satisfy even the most discriminating of viewers, this is a film that will make you think, make you laugh, and might even make you cry.
After a brief introduction set during 1914 in the run-up to WWI, the film begins in earnest during the year 2263 C.E. at a time when humans have ventured into the stars and met numerous extraterrestrial races in the process. With Bruce Willis as Korben Dallas, an intrepid former Major in the special forces turned New York city flying taxi driver, you know you’re in for some action with this film. Willis does not disappoint, portraying a man who is equal parts battle-hardened cynic and sentimental romantic at heart.
In the titular role, Milla Jovovich is the Fifth Element—a supreme being (Leeloo) designed to save the universe from ultimate evil. As Leeloo, Ms. Jovovich delivers an outstanding performance that is more than just visually stunning. As the film progresses, Leeloo runs the gamut from a slightly bewildered being that has, in essence, just been resurrected from death, to an alien ass kicking, evil vanquishing heroine who is, nonetheless, still a woman with her own frailties and underlying need for love. She learns, laughs, bleeds, cries, and falls in love over the course of the film, and Jovovich’s flawless performance brings it all to life for us.
In supporting roles that further flesh out this masterpiece, Gary Oldman delivers the goods (in more ways than one) as antagonist Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg. A consummate industrialist with his own riches in mind, Zorg is the man who would sell his soul to the devil if he thought it would bring in a tidy profit, and Oldman is perfect in his role. Meanwhile, Ian Holm brings us the dedicated, soft-spoken priest Vito Cornelius, a gentle-mannered man who nonetheless is willing to resort to trickery and a bit of violence when he’s on a mission to save the universe.
Of course, you can’t forget Chris Tucker’s Ruby Rhod. Playing to his strengths, Tucker brings this film an uplifting side of comedy to lighten some otherwise quite serious scenes. A well-chosen group of supporting actors fills out the rest of the cast, making for a film that is simply unforgettable. To top it all off, the special effects are excellent, the sets are grungy and gorgeous in turn, and the musical score fits this film like a glove—no matter how you look at it, The Fifth Element is a solid 5-stars in action, sci-fi, and romance.