The Fifth Element (1997)
Dir: Luc Besson
I have seen some strange films in my time… and though that certainly wasn’t the strangest, it’s a close contender!
Set in the future, the Earth is under threat from an evil force, and the only way to save it is with a magical weapon made by uniting the four elements of earth, fire, water and wind with a ‘Fifth Element’ who is a jibberish-talking orange-haired ‘perfect’ woman! When she jumps into a renegade ex-military taxi driver’s (Bruce Willis) flying cab, he is also caught up in saving the world. Yeah, it’s that simple.
The film is immensely strange, and the future to be fair, does feel very different from the present, so that’s always a good start. This film is quite action packed, there’s very little quiet time in all the 126 minutes, and a lot is filled with flying, shooting, and explosions. A good chunk of the rest is filled with Chris Tucker as a flamboyant (to say the least) radio personality, who speaks at incredible speed and in his most insane of ways. The last thing I saw Chris Tucker in (apart from presenting at Sunday night’s BAFTA’s) was ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, in which I really liked him. In his performance here however he was very close to unbearably annoying, though I dare say that was how the character was meant to come across.
The film also features an alien pop/opera singer whose strange appearance and wearing a burqa surrounded by entourage made me think of Lady Gaga…
Anyhoo, very strange sci-fi, but at least it wasn’t boring, it’s very fast paced almost throughout, and you just have to go with the ride!