Monday, July 5, 2010
#13 - The 5th Element - 1997
The 5th Element was the 6th movie I chose this week and easily one of my favorites. I chose this one because after buying it on bluray I hadn't yet had a chance to see it on that format so I thought Sci Fi week would be the perfect opportunity to do so. Below is my detailed review.
The 5th Elements stars Bruce Willis as Korben Dallas as rebel taxi cab driver in the year 2214 who helps save the world by protecting the Perfect Being, Milla Jovovich who stars as Leeloo. Also staring in this film is Gary Oldman (Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg), Ian Holm (Father Vito Cornelius), Tommy "Tiny" Lister (President Lindberg), and Christ Tucker (Ruby Rhod). This film had action, comedy, and scifi thrills.
This movie starts in Egypt by showing an individual trying to decode wall paintings from ancient times. A spaceship arrives and Monascheiwans exit and go into a room within the pyramid. They have come to take the 5th element to assure its safety for the future. Fast forward 300 years to 2214. We are introduced to Korben Dallas living in Brooklyn, NY. We get a brief glimpse of his home which is pretty cool and definitely futuristic, much more so than anything in the Back to the Future films. I especially loved the bed that folded inwards and eventually lowered to what was a shower. We also see a picture frame and award on his counter that indicates he is a retired soldier. The scene switches to the President and his command center in NY as well as they are getting a transmission from an aircraft to land in their airspace. It is the Monascheiwans. Soon after permission is granted they are attacked in mid air and destroyed. Their attackers were the Mangalores.
After the wreckage was discovered the US government only recovered a hand which was clutching onto and handle bar in the space aircraft. With absolutely beyond this world technology they are able to reconstruct the individual and bring it back to life as a full functioning human being only this is they have no idea it is the Perfect Being, the 5th Element. I especially loved this scene where they bring her back to life because the special effects were awesome how the little surgical type devises put back bone, tissue, and everything else in such a cool way. After awakening from a flash from a picture inside the tube the Perfect Being breaks out of the tube and leads the authorities on a chase. This shows her mere strength. In an attempt to escape she finds herself on the edge of a building and literally leaps to what looks to be her death but lands right in Korben Dallas taxi. Dallas a short time later is confronted by police who ask him to hand her over. After a tearful attempt by the Perfect Being Dallas takes over and leads the police on a chase. I loved the music in this chase scene and the special effects again were very cool. The whole futuristic vibe of this film was awesome throughout.
Dallas per the Perfect Being's request takes her to a Preist, Father Vito Cornelius. It is apparent to them who she is after a brief conversation with Dallas. In a cute introduction session between Dallas and the Perfect Being this is where the Perfect Being gets her name Leeloo. Dallas actually shortened it and that is what stood for the movie. As Father Vito thanks Dallas and sends him on his way he knows he has to get Leeloo to Egypt to protect the universe. Zorg (Oldman) is an evil rich industrialist who wants to rule the world and in a failed attempt to gain the stones he turns his back on the Mongalores who eventually decide to pursue revenge against Zorg. Zorg sends his men out to get Father Vito to gain more information about the 4 stones. As Dallas gets home he has a very cool scene eating Chinese food from his apartment. It was a flying Chinese Boat and very cool looking. I wish they had these in real life. Father Vito had originally warned President Lindberg of the dangers of the Mongalores and how important it was for them to get the 4 stones and the perfect being in order to save the universe. There was information that the 4 stones would be with the Diva who would be performing at Fhloston Paradise.
President Lindberg ordered three soldiers to go get Dallas who they would be sending to Fhloston Paradise on a special mission. What they had actually done was rigged a contest to have Dallas win and get 2 tickets to this show. As they are explaining this to Dallas Father Vito and Leeloo show up at his place. He has to hide the soldiers and does so in the refrigerator. Father Vito has actually come to take Dallas winning tickets and plans to use them to go to Fhloston Paradise. After knocking out Dallas he takes off with Leeloo and the tickets. As Father Vito gets to the airport he is sending his apprentice to go as Korben Dallas and Leeloo to get the stones and bring them back. The real Dallas returns as he is attempting to board and instead boards the plane with Leeloo. After finding this out Father Vito sneaks onto the plane himself. As Dallas and Leeloo board the plane Dallas is quickly pulled aside and taken by the hilarious radio DJ Ruby Rhod (Tucker). He is actually on the radio broadcasting and Rhod's character is so damn funny in this film. I especially loved his "bzzzzz" moments and how eccentric and crazy he was. His entourage of men were almost as funny.
The next day Dallas goes to the Diva's show with Rhod. Meanwhile at the Diva's suite the Mongalores are tearing apart the place looking for the stones. They are unsuccessful in finding them however and Leeloo enters to fight them. Being the Perfect Being and all she kicks their asses until Zorg arrives and attempts to kill her. After finding a briefcase on the desk Zorg exits the ship and feels as though he has secured the stones, now for a second time. While exiting the ship he placed a timer for a bomb that read 20:00 on the door of the Diva's suite. In another hilarious moment he freaks out when he opens up the briefcase and notices their are no stones in there. He must now head back to Fhloston Paradise to get them. Meanwhile Dallas, Rhod, and the rest of the audience are watching the Diva perform. After her song and a standing ovation is present the Mongalores enter the theater and start firing on people and one hits the Diva. After pulling her down near him this is where Dallas learns in the Diva's dying moment that the stones are "in" her. He digs deep into her stomach around the blue blood pouring out and gathers all 4 stones. Having to protect the stones and calm down Rhod was a test for Dallas but he did so as they combined to outwit the Mongalores. In a fiery gun battle where Tuckers comedic talents are in full effect Dallas and Rhod both escape danger and eventual death by killing all the Mongalores and finding Leeloo. They quickly get into a ship which just happens to be Zorg's who had arrived back to get the stones. As Zorg attempts to disarm his bomb the Mongalores had triggered it to still go off and Fhloston Paradise blew up just as Dallas, Leeloo, Father Zito, and Rhod took off. It was a race against time but they arrived in Egypt and eventually saved the world. The final scene shows Dallas and Leeloo making out in the tube where she originally was reconstructed.
This film was great from start to finish. The characters were unique, quirky, funny, and enthralling. My favorite scenes were when Dallas took a gun from a would be thief at the beginning of the movie with a weird looking hat, almost any scene Chris Tucker in it but mostly the battle scene's where he freaked out and then at the very end when he also freaked out after the apprentice raised his voice in pleasure after saving the world, and the Diva's performance scene. Tuckers quick lip and jibber jabbering throughout the film was a perfect comedic element in this film. Considering the action, special effects, and humor this film had I would easily give it an A-!