The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element is the story of a taxi driver who meets and falls for a perfect being, engineered to fight a pure evil existence that attacks once every 5000 years. If it sounds a little naff, well, it’s supposed to. Starring the beautiful Milla Jovovich as Leeloo, the perfect being, and Bruce Willis as Korben Dallas, a military commando turned taxi driver, The Fifth Element has a wonderfully crafted script containing the perfect blend of action, comedy and drama. Willis and Jovovich give great performances (and Jovovich looks simply stunning, so much so that the characters calls notice to this on a number of occasions – “They really did make her…” “Perfect. Yes.”).

The film also features great supporting performances from Ian Holm, Gary Oldman and Chris Tucker. (Any film that manages to make Chris Tucker playing an incredibly irritating character and make him both funny and entertaining is truly a work of genius.)

In addition to all of this, The Fifth Element looks simply breathtaking. In the same way that time has outright failed to rob Blade Runner of its stunning visuals, The Fifth Element (eleven years old at the time of writing) has a visual flair and polish that even the most CGI-ed movie of today will struggle to match, masterfully blending CGI and prosthetics, with scenes that still manage to elicit a low utterance of “Wow” today, even on the umpteenth repeat viewing.

Perfectly balancing this visual prowess is the sublime score of Eric Serra, which crescendos about two thirds through the film, in what is arguably the films most memorable scene. Dedicating an entire scene to the performance of an aria from Lucia di Lammermoor that segues into a spellbinding virtuoso vocal solo by a tall, beautiful, blue alien known as the Diva (vocals by Inva Mula-Tchako, but performed on screen by Maïwenn Le Besco) is a bold move, but one which pays off wonderfully.

I’d be betraying myself to give this film anything less than A+. So I won’t. A simply must-see.

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