87 of 93 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Fifth Element Special Edition  [DVD] (DVD)
I worked at a cinema when this film was released. In between work I would sneak into the auditorium to catch snippets. It was an eagerly awaited blockbuster after all. But on each occasion I was repelled by what I saw: futuristic cars that looked like something you'd see at a fair; bright red hair; orange vests; Gary Oldman made to look ridiculous; low-budget-looking monsters. It all seemed wrong.
When the film came out on video I watched it one evening and was engrossed. It worked. Today I own the DVD and I can confidently say that this is one of my top 5 films of all time. I love it. It brings together elements of other well known sci-fi films but goes beyond with a positivity so fresh I can't imagine it ever dating or ceasing to please.
There is a curious mixture about this film of intense effort (it was a long time coming for Luc Besson before the likes of Leon, and after a couple of viewings it is apparent to be a clever and intricate conception) and an almost throwaway modern kitsch (for example the Jean-Paul Gaultier design that I now consider inextricable from the film's attraction) The overall effect of the film is that it not only works but sparkles. It all makes sense and yet makes you giddy. It's like sherbert on the tongue but it still leaves a pleasant after-taste.
Bruce Willis is a true hero, Gary Oldman a true villain, and Milla the most perfect and lovable girl I think I have ever seen on screen. It is not designed to scare or shock, it is not crammed with nerdy effects to wow the computer kids, it is human, funny, emotional and spectacular.