Monday, March 12, 2007

dreamrot's favorite movies week: day 1: The Fifth Element

I breifly considered holding off on The Fifth Element until Day 5, just because I thought it would be kind of clever in a completely obvious sort of way.

But no! We are kicking the week off with it! I'll just do something else for day 5.

I remember seeing commercials for this when it hit the theater in 97 and thinking that it looked so fucking cool. I desperately wanted to see it, but for some reason didn't. I was pretty anti-social back then and it's a good possibility that I just wasn't up for dealing with people. Or maybe I just had to work. I can't remember now. Regardless, it was on VHS by the time I saw it. For free no less because I was working in a video store by then. In fact, it was probably the movie I rented the most until I broke down and bought it.

The Fifth Element, also, for you dreamrot trivia buffs, was one of the very first DVDs I bought along with Run Lola Run.

The movie starts on Earth, early in 20th Century Egypt. An archaeologist and his assistant, Dylan, discover hieroglyphics describing a fifth element, a supreme being meant to destroy evil. The celebration of the discovery is cut short, however, by the arrival of a race of robotic turtles. War is coming, and they've come to retrieve the elements from the temple. They promise, though, to return in 300 years to combat the evil.

It then skips 300 years of human history and shows the president. A large man with a wonky eye. Somehow, he managed to get elected. Crazy. I mean, this guy looks like he should have been a pro wrestler, not a government official! We also meet Vito Cornelius, a priest played by Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo explains that they are fighting pure evil. It doesn't want money, or power, it only wants to destroy life. Pretty sweet, huh?

Cornelius explains that the robotic turtles have the weapon to destroy the evil and must be allowed to come to Earth. The President says no problemo and the robot turtles enter our space. They're almost immediately attacked and destroyed by a race of alien pitbulls who want to retrieve a case for Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg, an arms dealer and all around nice guy. Everyone soon discovers that the robot turtles did not have anything in the case. They didn't trust anyone and had someone else carry the stones.

What the robot turtles did leave in the wreckage of their ship was a fist. A fist with enough DNA to replicate the being it belonged to. This being is, by all modern tests and standards, perfect. Perfect or not, she doesn't want to be with the government and jumps off of a building into the cab of one retired military dude named Korben Dallas. Dallas decides to help her escape and off they go.

The girl turns out to be Leeloo Minai Lekatariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat, or Leeloo for short. Leeloo likes computers, chicken and clothes. Leeloo does not like being kissed by strangers.

There's really only once character left, Ruby Rhod. Ruby is a DJ or something. I don't know. He has a radio show and is an interplanetary celebrity as a result. He has really weird hair and a god awful voice provided by Chris Tucker. For some reason, he is something of a sex symbol in the future. This is a sad turn of events that I must implore all of you to try to prevent. It's not to late. Only you can prevent forest fires AND save the future!

They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God.

That's neither here nor there though, everyone is now on a mission from God. And Leeloo learned English! Which means the rest of her dialog for the movie goes to shit, but hey, sacrifices have to be made sometimes!

I am an opera singer I sing in foreign lands

The stones are being held by the Diva, played by the other chick from Haute Tension. Before the stones can be delivered, or the opera completed, the hotel comes under attack from the alien dogs. There's only one person who can save the day, Korben Dallas. And the day he does save. Crisis averted and stones retrieved, it's time to haul ass back to Egypt and let Leeloo do her thing. But she doesn't want to. Why bother, people are just going to fuck the damn place up themselves. Leeloo changes her mind when Korben tells her he loves her, and she creams at the ball of evil, stopping it in it's tracks. And they all live happily ever after.

The Fifth Element did not get good reviews when it was released. I remember a lot of people disliking it (like that jerk Mr T). I remember kids in school talking about how it bombed even though it spent two weeks at #1. All I know is that once I saw it I was hooked. I love the humor. I love how the hero (Dallas) and the villain (Zorg) never even meet each other. I love how fluently Milla speaks an entirely made up language. I love how annoying Ruby is. It's just such a fun movie I can't understand how anyone could watch it and not enjoy themselves!

The Fifth Element is an easy 9 points removed from your license after you make a mad dash from the cops into the fog because a chick with orange hair just crashed through the roof out of 10.


Nik! said...

I thought I had seen this. I'm mostly sure after reading your review I have not. I think I will now, as it sounds funny as shit...of course, it could just be that you're funny.

Unknown said...

I have no idea how you could have possibly NOT seen this. It's pretty much amazing.

Nik! said...

I live in a bubble?