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The Fifth Element

There is no future without it. 

Year: 1997 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Luc Besson 
Starring: Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Milla Jovovich  
An image from The Fifth Element

Both a sci-fi movie and a brilliant pastiche of sci-fi movies, The Fifth Element is an oddball comedy thriller set in the 23rd century, where Korben Dallas (Willis) pilots a flying taxi cab amongst the soaring skyscrapers of a gloriously technicolour metropolis. With an un-named evil threatening the universe, the mysterious ‘fifth element’ – a genetically reconstructed alien woman called Leeloo (Jovovich) – literally falls into Korben’s lap, and he is embroiled in a fantastically convoluted plot that entails an intergalactic cruise, an archeological dig, a hyperreal DJ and a supremely sarcastic and evil villain (Oldman).

Luc Besson injects what could have been a formulaic sci-fi comedy with his own brand of surreal oddities – Chris Tucker’s unreal performance as a manic DJ, the supremely otherwordly colours and textures of the film world – and the result is a triumph of show and style. Willis is in Die Hard mode, Jovovich is perfectly suited to the ethereal and wide-eyed Leeloo, and the film as a whole is perfectly crafted craziness and a joy to watch.

Marcus Kelly

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