This Luc Besson sci-fi/action effort has become a cult favourite, in spite of a fairly poor showing at the US Box Office. Starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Mila Jovovich, Ian Holm and Chris Tucker, it’s a big budget, ‘Die Hard in Space’ extravaganza.
With costumes designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, Gary Oldman chewing scenery, Bruce doing his John McClane thing, a giant blue alien lady singing space opera and Chris Tucker at his absolute scene stealing best, this film is anything but dull. There are flaws aplenty but if you can turn off your brain, sit back and enjoy the ride, you’re in for a real treat.
The story essentially tells the tale of a cab driver (Willis) who becomes caught up in an ancient prophecy relating to aliens, a cosmic weapon and a whole lot of bad guys. No problem for Bruce, he’s made a career of making smart comments while he shoots people. If the ‘people’ turn out to be green and rubber-looking, so much the better!
The Fifth Element is all spectacle. The effects mostly hold up well and the comedic aspects of the film are as relevant as when it was released. Worth watching for Gary Oldman’s hair alone, this film is a hugely entertaining guilty pleasure.
If you’ve not seen it, you’re in for a treat. If you have, watch it again. You know you want to!
Reviewer: Dave Coughlan