The Fifth Element
Special Edition

Starring: Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Milla Jovovich and Ian Holm
Pathé Distribution
RRP: £19.99

Certificate: PG
Available Now

In the 23rd century an eternal evil will destroy all life upon earth unless four elemental stones (Earth, Fire, Wind and Water) are combined with the "fifth" element (Which comes in the guise of redhead Milla Jovovich). Of course this all happens with the help of Bruce Willis (Expect John Maclaine but with bleached blond hair) and Chris Tucker (bloody annoying). The evil that will destroy all life is helped along by a very capable Gary Oldman (Messed up haircut). There are also plenty of star turns from Ian Holm, Tricky, Luke Perry, Lee Evans and the late great Brion James...

Upon asking around all my friends I have discovered that the Fifth Element is very much like Marmite. You either love it or you hate it. Fortunately I fall into the first category.

This is a well conceived piece of sci-fi. Written by the director Luc Besson- (Nikita, Leon) when he was 12, in his bedroom (He had no friends apparently), it's very bright and very bold with plenty of style and a bit of substance to go with it. The effects are well put together and never fail to convince. With his vision of the future, Besson has provided us with a very bright version of Blade Runner. This is by no means a bad thing and with costume designs by Jean Paul Gaultier, it all mixes together wonderfully. I can understand why it is not to all peoples taste however. Sometimes you feel that you are stuck in the mind of a 12 year old boy. Fortunately this 12 year old boy knows how to have fun.

The DVD itself provides an excellent transfer with both Dolby Digital and DTS mixes. The extras are decent with plenty of documentaries and promotional material to sift through.

All in all the Fifth Element is greater than the sum of its parts and when you are having this much fun with a film, its hard to hold anything against it. A great film with a great package.

Simon Lee

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