Ossus Library Index Science Fiction Movie Index


Directed by Luc Besson (1997, Columbia Tristar)
Starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich

True evil is coming to destroy all life on Earth, so many groups of people try to find the five elements, many for their own evil purposes.



2 stars

January 27th, 2000 on TV  

The first thing I liked about this movie were the effects.  They were great.  Although there were a lot of visual references to Star Wars, from the Star Destroyer ships, to the saber-like light rods near the end, and more.  The aliens were really alien, and even spoke in alien tongues.  That's science fiction. 

The first thing I didn't like was the acting, and the story, as expected.  Earth has been visited every 5000 years by true evil.  Every time, a temple on Earth sends forth a destructive beam created by the five elements.  Good thing evil always picks the same place to launch its attack on Earth!

The stones were removed from Egypt because war was coming, probably the First World War.  When evil stirs again, three hundred years later, the stones are being returned to Earth.  But it seems that evil has contacted some nefarious creatures on Earth, itself, and has paid them to get rid of the stones. 

So pirates attack the returning alien ship, and it is destroyed.  That's okay, because we can clone them easily.  For some reason, however, the clone is a human woman, who escapes the lab, and crashes into Bruce Willis' cab.  He gets her to a priest from the temple (in New York instead of Egypt, for some reason), who teaches her all she needs to know to catch up, but not before falling in love with her.  She is the fifth element.

The four other elements, four stones, are nowhere to be found, not by the raiders, or by Earth's military.  They are hidden with an alien being the other aliens could trust.  Why, then, were they carrying the fifth element?  This alien is singing on another planet.

All the groups that want to get their hands on the stones go to this planet, in a hilarious scene where they all pretend to be Willis' character, to get a chartered plane to this vacation world. 

Willis ends up getting there first, and watches the concert from the front row.  Meanwhile, the alien pirates, who look like canines, hijack the cruise ship they are on.  They kill the singer, who gives the stones to Willis.  In all the fighting, the fifth element is wounded, seemingly mortally.  And from here, the movie degenerates quickly. 

The man who hired the pirates shows up, steals a case without looking in it, and discovers that he doesn't have the stones.  He sets a bomb, then turns it off, only to have it turned back on again by the pirates.  I don't know how they did that, or how they knew he was going to be there. 

Of course, they arrive back on Earth just in time, but can't figure out how to get the elements to work.  I figured it out immediately, but it took the characters more time. 

Evil is stopped, and the two main leads get to make love.  Evil is stopped just a hundred kilometers from Earth's surface, but it is never explained what happens to it.  Does it fly off and try again in another 5000 years?  Or is this a weapon that will be fired again later.  Who knows, and the characters don't seem to care, either.  I just hope evil remains clockwork like that again next time.


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