Wild, loud, ridiculous, over-the-top in every conceivable way, Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element (1997) is a feast for the senses, a one-of-a-kind thrill ride, a candy-colored cacophony of comic book logic and madcap mayhem taken to the absolute extreme, and beyond. With its vividly imagined universe full of outrageous characters, ancient prophecies, magical relics, and its unapologetically simplistic take on Good versus Evil, it is some sort of acid-drenched mashup of Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Though upon release it divided audiences and critics alike, it remained for years the world’s highest grossing French film, vindicating Besson and his pet project, which he conceived in his youth and finally managed to bring to the silver screen after years of struggle and at a cost which at the time made it the most expensive European film ever made.
Tag: Luc Besson
I’ve always felt a certain comfort with Luc Besson’s THE FIFTH ELEMENT. This comfort is not due to its relatability, or emotional connection to the characters. In fact, I am grateful to not know what it feels like to have the weight of the universe riding on my shoulders or to have any friends with even a passing resemblance to the aurally offensive Ruby Rhod. The comfort comes from the completeness of the world that Besson creates in the film. It is inclusive and whole, and each time I visit that world it feels like a second home.