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The Fifth Element

Year: 1997
Production Co: Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont
Studio: Columbia
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson
Cast: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker, Luke Perry, Brion James, Tommy Tiny Lister Jr, Lee Evans
At first this film looked like it was going to be a lot more underground and cult than it turned out to be. I remember hearing about it and knowing what I do about the director gave it a sense of arthouse anticipation.

It turned out to quickly build buzz and release at the local multiplex, so no such luck about an accessible yet dark sci-fi film.

None of which is to say it wasn't very cool. No strange hooks, no clever-clogs gimmicks, just good characters, a cool vision of the future, evil monsters, aliens and spaceships.

Former commando turned cab driver Dallas (Willis) is drawn into an intergalactic conspiracy when a fare in the form of svelte reanimated being Leeloo (Jovovich) crashes through his cab roof.

Leeloo is the lynchpin in a power struggle that's been going on for centuries as an evil power returns to destroy all life, and she's the reconstituted supreme being that can stop it.

Cue lots of astounding visual set pieces, battles and action as both sides rally forces in the war for life. The plot is easy to dismiss, but it's the tightly wound characterisations and broad scope that will enthral you again and again.

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