By KIMBER KAY
Two hundred years from now the world will face destruction by an evil force, and only Bruce Willis and a supermodel can save the day. So goes the new summer blockbuster “The Fifth Element.”
The title of “The Fifth Element” comes from the four elements believed by the ancients to create life: earth, wind, fire and water. The fifth element is supposed to be able to conquer evil or something. That wasn’t explained well, but it doesn’t matter. We don’t know anything about the evil force, except it comes every 5,000 years.
There is so much plot in “The Fifth Element” that you stop caring and just focus on the witty one-liners, awesome explosions and whether the hero gets the girl in the end, which is exactly what happens if you simplify the plot of this sci-fi thriller which cost $90 million to create.
Directed by Luc Besson, the film is based on a story he wrote when he was 16. That’s painfully obvious.
Earth’s only hope of survival, against the vague evil presence, is in a strange woman called Leelo. She is constantly referred to as a “perfect” woman. Anorexic supermodel Milla Jovovich, with Raggedy Ann hair, is praised for her beauty and given great close ups. She looks more like the alien she plays. Her acting included looking helpless, looking innocent and looking confused.
The hero is Korben Dallas, played by Willis. He is a bad cab driver who runs into the elusive Leelo. After she runs in and out of his life, the government comes looking for Dallas. As the only survivor of a special military team, he is called upon to save the world.
Gary Oldman plays the big bad megalomaniac villain, Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg. His great ambition is to destroy lots of things and make a profit off of it.
Over 900 costumes were created by famous French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. The costumes have to be seen to be believed, especially the garb of obnoxious disc jockey Ruby Rhod, who might rival Dennis Rodman in weirdness.
An interesting character called “The Diva” was a statuesque nine-foot sky blue alien with an incredible voice. The scenes of her serene concert performance are contrasted nicely with scenes of Leelo kicking the stuffing out of some alien henchmen.
These aliens give Dallas something to shoot at, and they are also successful in blowing up a lot of stuff themselves.
While some of the best special effects are overplayed in the dozens of commercials promoting the film, there still are some great surprises left. While the plot holes are big enough for a semi, it doesn’t matter because “The Fifth Element” is one wild ride.
Bringing in $17.2 million for opening weekend, “The Fifth Element” is number one at the box office. The film runs a little over two hours, and is rated PG-13 for violence and brief non-sexual nudity. Leelo changes her clothes, and isn’t bashful about it at all.