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"THE FIFTH ELEMENT"
(1997) (Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Moderate Heavy Minor Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Minor None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Minor Minor Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-Fi: A cab driver of the future finds himself thrust into the middle of saving Earth from an approaching orb of evil.
PLOT:
Korben Dallas (BRUCE WILLIS) is a N.Y. City cab driver in the year 2259 who unwittingly finds himself thrust into the middle of an effort to save Earth from an immense orb of evil that is quickly approaching. Only one thing will stop the evil, and that's "the fifth element" which lands in Dallas' cab in the form of Leeloo (MILLA JOVOVICH), an alien woman. When combined with the four stones of the elements -- air, earth, fire, and water -- Leeloo will generate the "light of creation" and stop the evil. There are problems, however, and they are threefold. The stones are missing, an evil tyrant, Zorg (GARY OLDMAN), wants the stones for himself, as do a group of aliens. With the help of a priest, Vito Cornelius (IAN HOLM), and accompanied by flamboyantly effeminate intergalactic radio show host Ruby Rhod (CHRIS TUCKER), Dallas and Leeloo head to a foreign planet to retrieve the stones.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Probably. With the recent success of the re-release of the "Star Wars" trilogy and a big promotional push for this film, many kids will be revved up for this sci-fi flick.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense sci-fi violence, some sexuality and brief nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BRUCE WILLIS plays a cab driver who unknowingly gets involved in a race against time to save Earth. He smokes some and kills a lot of the villains while doing so.
  • GARY OLDMAN plays a wealthy Southern art dealer who will do anything (including killing many people) to attain the four stones.
  • MILLA JOVOVICH plays the fifth element, an alien who must learn the Earthlings' ways to save them, and uses martial arts fighting to dispatch the villains.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 1 out of 10
    This is easily one of the worst films of the year and is only one of few that I would have loved to have walked out on before the ending. Promoted to look like a Blade Runner-esque sci-fi thriller, the ads really hide the fact that is a "campy" film, although it's questionable whether it was intentionally made that way. While there aren't enough words in a thesaurus for "atrocious" to describe this film, one is almost certainly at a loss of words to fully explain why it was made or just how bad this film really is. Many people (myself included) thought this was going to be a "classy" sci-fi production. Instead, it looks and feels more like a cheesy "B" movie. As in most poorly done futuristic films, the people here wear clothing or gear that certainly looks like it's from the future, but never would come to be due to the shear impracticality of its design. Some of the special effects are interesting to watch, such as an uninspired multi-altitude car chase, but most aren't spectacular although they're heads and shoulders above the rest of the material in this film. That includes Willis' performance that make it look like he was sleep walking through most of the production. One has to wonder why he signed on to do this film. Perhaps it was to work with director Luc Besson ("Le Femme Nikita" and "The Professional"), or for a huge sum of money. After starring in the 1991 debacle "Hudson Hawk," it would seem that Willis would carefully pick his material and certainly would have avoided this stinker. The plot is a jumbled mess and Besson's normally taught directing is all over the place and lacks conviction. While Oldman and Chris Tucker ham it up in their respective roles and provide the film's limited humor, their performances soon wear thin and become irritating instead of invigorating. Again, one has to wonder what caused Willis and Besson to get involved in this (Besson did co-write the script), let alone why it was ever released. Didn't anyone watch this film? Or wonder what they were doing with its $70+ million budget? The financial backers are certainly thinking that now. It might have a big opening weekend stateside, but word of mouth will quickly send "The Fifth Element" out of theaters and onto the video shelves. We give this disastrous, horrible mess a weak 1 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Brief female nudity, mild profanity, and non-graphic, but plentiful violence give this film its PG-13 rating. A few shots of a woman’s breasts and the side of her bare buttocks make up the nudity and at the ending it’s implied that Korben and Leeloo are "fooling around" but nothing’s really seen. Many people and alien creatures are killed by both Willis and all of the other villains, and while very little of it’s graphic, it is rather excessive. Beyond the above, the traditional villain bad attitudes, and some minor drinking and smoking, there’s not much else to object to. Since many kids will want to see this film, we suggest that you read through the scene listings before allowing them to do so.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A researcher states, "You can't toast with water" and sends one of his assistants out to retrieve a bottle of wine.
  • Cornelius appears a bit inebriated at a spaceport bar, and his assistant shows up and has a quick drink.
  • Ruby drinks champagne.
  • The President and others on Earth celebrate with champagne.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A stream of blood runs down a man's face.
  • A creature's shoulder is bloody after a violent encounter.
  • A stream of blood runs down Zorg's forehead after he talks to his "leader."
  • An aqua skinned opera diva is shot and killed and bleeds aqua-colored blood. She tells Korben that the stones he's looking for are inside her, so he slowly pushes his hand down into her open wound and retrieves the bloody (aqua colored) stones.
  • Korben is mildly bloody after he's been near several explosions.
  • One of the creatures is shot in the head, leaving a small, bloody hole.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Zorg and the other creatures have both as they’ll kill to get the element stones.
  • A man tries to rob Korben at gunpoint.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The scene in which the friendly aliens land in Egypt might be a little scary for younger kids since they aren't immediately seen, but there is a foreboding atmosphere hanging over the scene. Once the aliens are sighted, very few children will be scared by the large, lumbering aliens.
  • Some viewers may find a few scenes listed under "Violence" as tense although they aren't designed to be that way.
  • Zorg sets a timed bomb that gives Korben and the others just twenty minutes to get off a futuristic cruise ship. As time draws closer to zero, everyone must scramble to escape.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Futuristic handguns/rifles/machine guns/explosives: Used to threaten, injure, or kill many people and aliens. See "Violence" for details.
  • Multi-purpose assault rifle: Demonstrated by Zorg and used to shoot, blow up, freeze and burn a police dummy. Later used to attack others.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Slut," "Bastard," "Shut up," "Piss off," "Pissed off," "Idiot," and "Screwed" (non-sexual).
  • Confronted by the police, Leeloo jumps from a building's ledge instead of allowing herself to be captured.
  • Korben speeds away from the police, who've ordered him to stop, after Leeloo pleads for him to help her.
  • To hide several people, Korben forces them into his upright freezer and they're later seen frosted over.
  • A man gives "the finger" to the police.
  • Ruby accidentally shoots a creature he was nervously holding a gun on. Since this is played for laughs, impressionable kids might get the wrong idea about shooting others (ie. that it's funny).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There is a minor amount of suspenseful music at a few points during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 5 "s" words, 2 "ass" words, 2 hells, 1 damn and 5 uses of "Oh my God," 2 uses of "God," 2 uses of "My Lord" (spoken to a "deity"), and 1 use each of "God damn," "Oh Christ," and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Leeloo's bare breasts and the side of her bare butt after she's been regenerated. Moments later, "thermal bandages" cover her private areas, but in a later scene we do see her bare breasts as she changes clothes but this time she's out of focus.
  • A McDonald's worker and several airline staff members/flight attendants show quite a bit of cleavage.
  • Though not seen, it's implied that Ruby (a man) performs oral sex (or manually stimulates) a flight attendent. He repeatedly disappears out of the camera shot moving down below her, causing her to have a pleasured look on her face. Later, he's seen fumbling with her bra, and then her legs are seen sticking straight out of a sleeping cabin (that's all we see of her) and they then slowly fall to the floor, implying more sexual activity.
  • The President wants to meet Korben, but he's in a cell regenerator with Leeloo. A worker peeks in to see how they're doing, and turns around embarrassed (implying that they're fooling around inside). Korben is then seen on top of Leeloo kissing her, but no nudity or sexual movement is seen.
  • SMOKING
  • Korben smokes several times and both Zorg and Ruby are seen smoking.
  • A few "airline" workers smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Korben briefly recounts getting the message that his wife was leaving him for their lawyer.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • What the future will be like 300 years from now.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A young man, frightened by the site of friendly aliens in Egypt, holds a machine gun on them and a priest who appears to befriend them. As he trips backwards, the young man pulls the trigger and the gun fires off several rounds.
  • A Federation ship fires into the orb of evil, without any apparent harm to it. The orb, however, moves forward, engulfing and evidently destroying the ship.
  • A man tries to rob Korben at gunpoint, but his uncertainty allows Korben to get the upper hand by deactivating the man's weapon and then placing his own gun to the man's head.
  • Two small fighters attack the friendly alien's ship and it crashes and is destroyed.
  • Leeloo breaks through the glass tube she's in and punches a General, knocking him to the floor.
  • The police fire machine guns at Korben in his cab and riddle the vehicle with bullets.
  • Korben slaps Cornelius to wake him after he's feinted and kisses Leeloo to do the same, but she grabs a gun and aims it at him.
  • One of the creatures pushes a booby-trapped button that causes his weapon to explode, killing him and his comrades.
  • The creatures shoot several guards dead.
  • Cornelius hits Korben on the back of the head, briefly knocking him to the floor.
  • The creatures open fire in a spaceport and kill many people.
  • Tired of his irritating behavior, Korben slams Ruby into a wall and lifts him from the floor by his neck.
  • Zorg remotely detonates a bomb that kills the man he was talking to and injures or kills others in the spaceport.
  • The creatures kill an opera diva's assistants and then attack the opera house itself. Many are killed or injured and the Diva herself is shot and killed.
  • Leeloo gets into martial arts combat with the creatures (hitting and kicking), defeating all but one who then shoots a machine gun at her. Zorg then shows up and fires his massive gun at her as well.
  • The creatures shoot and kill many people on a space "cruise ship."
  • Ruby accidentally shoots a creature he was nervously holding a gun on.
  • Korben shoots many creatures dead, while the remaining ones fire massive amounts of bullets at him as well as several missiles that blow up the bar he's hiding behind.
  • A big explosion kills many of the creatures.
  • Korben finds several creatures holed up with hostages. He fires his gun and kills many of them, but then finds their leader holding a gun to Cornelius' head. Korben wheels around and fires one shot, killing the creature.
  • Zorg shoots more people dead.
  • Leeloo studies war/violence images that quickly flash before her eyes on a screen.



  • Reviewed May 5, 1997

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