The Fifth Element

This is the future: New York is one big 60-story traffic jam, stewardesses dress in belly-baring Gaultier, shape-shifting Mangalors (imagine rubbery bulldogs with automatic weapons) prowl the streets, the elite vacation on the interstellar ocean liner Fhloston Paradise and a planet-sized ball o' badness is hurtling toward the Earth at unimaginable speed....read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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This is the future: New York is one big 60-story traffic jam, stewardesses dress in belly-baring Gaultier, shape-shifting Mangalors (imagine rubbery bulldogs with automatic weapons) prowl the streets, the elite vacation on the interstellar ocean

liner Fhloston Paradise and a planet-sized ball o' badness is hurtling toward the Earth at unimaginable speed. The only one who can stop it is fetching waif Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), whose "I dreamed I went walking in my Maidenform bra of the future" scene should insure her a place in the hearts of

14-year-old boys of all ages. Brash, often very beautiful, and art-directed within an inch of its life, this juvenile fantasy-adventure (writer-director Luc Besson conceived the story as a teen) pits Leeloo and crack starfighter turned taxi driver Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) against evil

capitalist Zorg (Gary Oldman) and his running Mangalors. The fate of the Earth hangs on a quartet of ancient stones, which must be aligned in an ancient Egyptian temple... oh, forget that part. The fun is in Besson's vision, which draws deeply on European graphic novel traditions, with just a hint

of BLADE RUNNER: the giant alien diva (Maiwenn Le Besco) behind her shimmering chador, the flying cars, the friendly Mondoshawan (turtle-like aliens with great bronze shells), the efficiency apartment of tomorrow, the remote-controlled cockroach and much, much more. It's all densely imagined and

more than a little goofy -- perhaps too goofy for the average American viewer, who may also find that the flamboyant tomfoolery of hypersexed (if ambiguously) interstellar DJ Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker) verges on the stereotypically offensive. The supporting cast, which includes Tiny Lister as the

President, is full of sci-fi in-jokes, including Brion James as the President's military adviser and Ian Holm as Father Cornelius, keeper of the ancient wisdom.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: This is the future: New York is one big 60-story traffic jam, stewardesses dress in belly-baring Gaultier, shape-shifting Mangalors (imagine rubbery bulldogs with automatic weapons) prowl the streets, the elite vacation on the interstellar ocean liner Fhl… (more)

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