Movie review: The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element

Luc Besson (2020)

Evil threatens life in the universe. In the 23rd century, it’s up to a cab driver and a perfect being to save the world.

The Bad: Some CG is dated, but only a few shots

The Good: Visually unique, great casting and performances, atmospheric music, very funny, an oddball in Sci-Fi movies

My opinion: The nostalgia is probably clouding my judgement on this one. It’s a a bit of a mystery, the tone is all over the place, the costumes (and general design) are over the top and kitsch. It’s like a comedy most of the time… but strangely it works. I get invested in the characters, I like them all, thanks to a lot of hilarious subtle looks and quips. Despite the comedic tone, there is an epic vibe to this story.

Visually it’s brash, colorful, extravagant (even ugly at times too?), but the filmmakers fully committed to it so this world is remarkably coherent.

CG is used well, because combined with lots of practical effects, so scenes in space or in future New-York (looking straight out of a Valerian album) are still eye-candy.

The cast is just marvelous, Bruce Willis’s cool demeanor works wonders next to the rest of hilariously campy performances from Gary Oldman, Ian Holm and Chris Tucker. And Milla Jovovich is both super cute and bad-ass.

The music by Eric Serra does a wonderful job, at times it has some Blade Runner vibes to it. I also could hear familiar sounds with the composer’s previous work on the GoldenEye soundtrack.

I’ve seen this movie countless times, but it still gets me every time, I just love it.

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