THE FIFTH ELEMENT
DIRECTOR:    LUC BESSON
FRANCE 1997
CINEMATOGRAPHY:    THIERRY ARBOGAST
MUSIC:    ERIC SERRA
CAST:    Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Milla Jovovich, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker, Luke Perry, Brion James
ONE WORD:    The only thing missing is visits by superstars ... and make more fun of Hollywood!


This film is difficult to rate.. as a science fiction film, we could all fall sleep... as a serious love story discovered in the end, it is slow and too many excuses before they get it on.... as a satire on films that try to look futuristic and weird, welll.... that might make it more fun to watch.... but don't expect many meaningful things to happen in between, because there are not many.

The film, is a French version of a Monty Python film gone crazy, or a Terry Gilliam without the pointedness and themes that can be depressing at times. There really is not much that can be taken seriously in it, and the whole thing could be considered a satire on many levels, of American TV, with lines from many other movies. But it has its very good moments, like the way that music is implemented through out the whole film, which is very good, or some visual gags that pass right by our eyes, and we are not ready to stay with them, or acknowledge them.

Aside from all that, it is the story of a cab driver that finds himself involved in a chase for an alien, that is involved in another affair to save something or other, that is involved in ... that is mixed into ... that makes this whole film.. well, you don't go to see this thing for the ideas or the themes. You go to see it, for the great, fun, piece of fluff that it is. Don't forget that, and this film will be a lot of fun.

But the real fun of this film is the total disrespect for any kind of liner, or logical idea, or human experience. Things just don't happen the way we are used to seeing them happen, and this makes the film rather unpredictable, and difficult to stay with. For loons, like this reviewer, this is a lot of fun. For others, who like action, this is all bass ackwards, and quite enjoyable.

One thing is clear in this film... someone knew what he wanted for any of the visual things and gags, and in this area the film stands out.. we never get the feeling that something is put somewhere just for fun, and that it does not fit in the area, and with the characters and people that we meet along the way. Credit for this should go to Luc Besson, who also wrote the story in the first place and spent a long time trying to make it to film.

I consider this on par with many of the works like "Brazil", or "City of Lost Children", or "Delicatessen"... I suppose that the major difference is that this one IS futuristic, where the others did not have to be. But it is not better than the insanity in those films, where the vision is very well defined and extremely well presented.

4 GIBLOONS

 

   

      

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