A cab driver becomes the unlikely protector of
a supreme being who is Earth's only hope for survival.
The Fifth Element (1997)
Directed by Luc Besson
Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Milla Jovovich, Ian Holm,
Chris Tucker, Charlie Creed-Miles, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, Brion James
Oscar Nominations - Best Sound Editing
The Fifth Element is one of the most wholly original sci-fi adventures ever made, and a true gem of the 1990's. Featuring an all-star cast of character actors and some impressive visual effects, this film has become a cult classic for all the right reasons. Despite it being a financial and critical success, writer/director Luc Besson never pursued a franchise, even though this was a story he had been developing since he was sixteen. He had so much backstory on this world he created, but he wanted to stop at one film. As much as I would've liked to see more of this strange, colorful future, you gotta admire his restraint. Instead of a potentially dwindling franchise, he's got one solid 90's classic.
In the year 2263, former soldier turned cab driver Korben Dallas (Willis) has his life turned upside down when a woman falls into his cab. Leeloo (Jovovich) is a genetically-engineered perfect being whose destiny is to destroy a giant force of evil that is heading towards Earth. Standing in her way is Zorg (Oldman), a weapons manufacturer in league with Evil. Korben agrees to help Leeloo save the world, and falls in love with her in the process. Along the way, he meet so many bizarre characters and settings that help make this a really fun journey. Of course, I could've done without Chris Tucker's wildly annoying talk show host Ruby Rhod, but he's worth a few chuckles.
The craziest thing about The Fifth Element is how much it could've sucked. There are so many weird moments, characters, music cues, and dialogue that never would work on their own, but combined like this, they build this incredible sci-fi adventure into something special. The Fifth Element was the first DVD I ever owned, way back in the day. That alone should tell you that this one is a winner.