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The Fifth Element (1997)  IMDB   
Genre Action/Sci-Fi MPAA PG13
Director Luc Besson Rating
Writer Luc Besson Runtime 126 minutes
Producer Patrice Ledoux Type Movie
Cinematographer Thierry Arbogast Format DVD
Studio Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Entertainment Disk No. 1/1
Language English Edition Superbit
Country France UPC
Color Color    
Plot Summary

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Two hundred and fifty years in the future, life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of Evil. Only the fifth element (played by Milla Jovovich) can stop the Evil from extinguishing life, as it tries to do every five thousand years. She is helped by ex-soldier, current-cab-driver, Corben Dallas (played by Bruce Willis), who is, in turn, helped by Prince/Arsenio clone, Ruby Rhod. Unfortunately, Evil is being assisted by Mr. Zorg (Gary Oldman), who seeks to profit from the chaos that Evil will bring, and his alien mercenaries.

Summary written by: David J. Gannon {dganno01@exch.eds.com}
Actor / Character

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Bruce Willis ..... Korben Dallas
Gary Oldman ..... Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg
Ian Holm ..... Priest Vito Cornelius
Milla Jovovich ..... Leeloo
Chris Tucker ..... Ruby Rhod
Luke Perry ..... Billy
Brion James ..... General Munro
Tom 'Tiny' Lister Jr. ..... President Lindberg
Lee Evans (I) ..... Fog
Charlie Creed-Miles ..... David
Tricky ..... Right Arm
John Neville ..... General Staedert
John Bluthal ..... Professor Pacoli
Mathieu Kassovitz ..... Mugger
Christopher Fairbank ..... Mactilburgh
Awards

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(1997) Academy - Best Sound Effects Editing (nom) ..... Mark Mangini
(1997) Cannes Film Festival - Technical Grand Prize (win) ..... Thierry Arbogast
(1997) French Academy of Cinema - Best Cinematography (win) ..... Thierry Arbogast
(1997) French Academy of Cinema - Best Director (win) ..... Luc Besson
(1997) French Academy of Cinema - Best Production Design (win) ..... Dan Weil
(1997) Lumière de Paris d'Unifrance - Best French Director (win) ..... Luc Besson
Review

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The Fifth Element is a colorful riot of a story, not precisely long on sensible plotting but making up for its flaws with non-stop movement and humor, courtesy of director Luc Besson. It's a flat-out comedy with a handful of dramatic elements designed to appease those looking for an event movie, and Willis does a brilliant job of playing the tight-jawed, fast-shooting, hard-hitting hero. Gary Oldman's Zorg is a flare of color, tacky and dangerous, no physical antagonist for Dallas (Bruce Willis), but making up for it in intellect --- which tends to come a cropper, since none of his assistants has the brains to tie shoelaces without disaster. Ian Holm is in fine form too, turning in a lightly comic performance that's a delight to watch. The Fifth Element is really worth the candle when it comes to the design and visual effects. Sticking with the story will get viewers through all the eye candy in a speedy enough fashion, and even Chris Tucker's seriously over-the-top performance as Ruby Rhod is unlikely to cause a bump. New York in the 23rd century is crowded and overactive, buildings rising for miles and traffic running in multiple lanes between those buildings. While the makeup effects seem to be relatively ordinary, the visual effects --- computer-generated as well as model-based --- are eye-popping and brain-straining. The flying traffic alone is phenomenally detailed. Overall, the film is a joy to look at, though video viewers are recommended to find a letterboxed copy (such as that on the DVD and laserdisc releases). The Fifth Element suffers from a flawed script that's little more than a chase number, never pausing to explain itself, but this is countered by the visuals and the performances. Taken in the intended spirit --- as a comedy, rather than as a dramatic effort --- The Fifth Element is grand entertainment. --- Steven E. McDonald

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