The 5th Element (The Positive Review)

The Entertain Element

#Film

Mon, May 19th, 1997 02:00 by Sandra M. Pereira ARTICLE

I was quite apprehensive about watching The Fifth Element at first. Anything with Bruce Willis in it was bound to be a cynically foul action-packed movie as is evident in all his other movies and it was another space story. After you've seen one, you've pretty much seen it all. Boy was I wrong! After the first Bruce Willis scene, I was surprised to learn I was not turned off by the movie yet or by the first scene with the 'Protectors' of The Fifth Element. So I thought, "hey, this might not be so bad after all" so I sat back and watched the rest of the movie with fascination, awe, surprise, laughter, amazement and amusement. I was genuinely entertained.

Audio/Video: THX always makes a movie better and this was no exception. Sound quality was high and the music was great. It was original (if you remember what that is) space saga music that made the movie. It enhanced the quality of the movie by tenfold. The animation and special effects were good, better than I've seen in a long time. I was most impressed by the city and the entire scene where Bruce Willis drives his taxi through traffic unparalled by any traffic jam we've had here (and that's saying something). If I hadn't known any better, I'd swear I was there driving through the city with Bruce as my driver. Standard bomb explosions follow, tastefully done, the ever-popular gun fight ensues, ships blow up and so forth. Once you factor in the huge explosion of the 'evil' at the end and the 'vacation cruise' blowing up with Bruce trying to steer his ship through a massive flame ball, you'll have seen some pretty phenomenal explosions and animations.

Some may have been a tad overdone (what a surprise in a business where the biggest boom equals the biggest box office hit) but, overall, the well-crafted and directed effects are worth the effort to stand in line. Get passed the obligatory fight scenes and frequent tiny explosions, you'll see one scene where 'Gary Oldman' basically cooks, blows up, guns down and freezes a 'police' dummy doll with one super-hyped up gun. That alone is worth the hype.

Storyline/Plot: Don't go looking for more of a plot than there is. They're out to save the world. That's it, that's all. If you understand this, you'll be able to enjoy the movie more.

Acting

Bruce Willis: Love him or hate him, he's good at this action-packed blow-em-up good vs evil films. Let's face it. Nobody else can fly off a balcony shooting two rounds from his maching gun, hit the majority of the evil guys, land on his face and still come up grinning like he had the time of his life. It's an art. He's the master.

Mila Jovovich: She was great! She had me convinced she was the perfect person who spoke the perfect language. I know it was gibberish coming out of her mouth, but she had me and everyone else in the audience convinced it was a real language. Her tears were real, her happiness genuine, and her eagerness to learn refreshing. I especially enjoyed the scene where she had the chance to 'kick butt' .

That scene was one of the best directed scenes in the movie. It was so well done, there were cheers and claps when it was over. If nothing I've said has convinced you yet, then I'll say this scene is worth sitting through everything else for. It's dramatic and intense and a little self-indulgent, but I'm betting you'll be clapping by the end of the scene without hesitation.

Gary Oldman: Evil is as evil does. That texan drawl of his made his character ever the more evil. He was good, he was bad, he was evil. He gave a flawless preformance as the obsessively greedy Zorg whose unequivocal glee turns to downright anger in a twitch of an eye. You never know what's going to happen when Oldman in on the screen.

The president: I don't know his name and I don't care. He was bad, bad, bad , bad and bad. It was only until after the movie then I discover the actor was really a wrestler. Oh dear, what a shock!!! It shows, trust me it shows.

I don't know his name but The General added quite a nice touch of subtle comedy that seems to be lacking in a lot of movies of late. I especially enjoyed the many array of wild-eye expressions that crossed his face throught the movie.

I can't leave this category without mentioning two other people that stayed in my mind when the movie was over. The first one was Ruby Rhod, the dj/host of something or other. I didn't understand half of what this man said but I'm telling you he said it with flair. He was crass, rude, loud, obnoxious and what a voice! How high can your voice go? Rudy can show you. But, after all is said and done, he was funny. Every scene with Rudy was hilarious and I especially enjoyed the 'airplane takeoff' seduction' scene.

The other person I must mention is the Hungarian (I think) military woman who was picked to go with Dallas on his 'vacation' as his wife. The hair!! The hair!! The most hilarious scene in the whole movie was when she walked in with the ' Princess Leia (Star Wars)' hairdo. What a tribute that was!

Nice Touches: I particularly enjoyed the morphing aspects of the movie - when the Mangalores morphed into human beings. Nice touch at the airport when one of them couldn't hold his face together. Funny! Especially nice to see the prerequisite chinese food vendor in the movie. Some things never change it seems. There was no blood, the explosions were tastefully done (to the point where you didn't see disembodied limbs flying all over the place), the script was well-written, and the action and special effects were not done to the extreme. I took particular glee in noticing that McDonald's was still in the fast food industry at that time (I used to work for McDonald's). Nice to see some things never change. The new technologies were cool. Interesting to see what people think technology would be like in the year 2200.

Not-so-Nice Touches: The only bad thing I didn't like was the president!!! An actor would've been nice to see in this role. Okay, here it is 2214 and they still use matches!!!!! Give me a break. Beds make themselves, taxis drive automatically thru airborne traffic and they can't come up with an automatic fire starter !!!!! Would've been cool if you could light a fire using your finger. Heehee

Was I the only one that didn't feel threatened by the 'evil ball'? I didn't think so. Yes, they should have developed the threat some more, hell they should have had some threat. The evil should have been developed further - maybe have it blow up the military ships that were just hovering in space watching it. that would have been good! We want more threat and evil and bad and so on and so on and so on.

Overall: I was throughly entertained for two hours. How many movies can you say do that?

I'll definitely recommend it. :)

  1260

 

You may also be interested in:

Trailer for In Time
CoN at the movies
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Best DVD Commentary Ever
Go Rent Some Tsui Hark Films
The Marty McFly Paper Cut-Out