Critic Reviews



Based on 22 critic reviews provided by
The cast is a delight, but it's Willis who is the film's true "fifth element," giving it life, depth and humanity.
Chicago Sun-Times
I would not have missed seeing this film, and I recommend it for its richness of imagery. But at 127 minutes, which seems a reasonable length, it plays long.
What an attempt, and what a work of the imagination. The Fifth Element' will change the look of science fiction and will probably be imitated for years.
Chicago Tribune
It's ludicrous, but it's fun. Besson is a filmmaker so in love with his own daffy excesses that he's able to pull us, laughing, right into his world of loony pop. [9 May 1997]
Entertainment Weekly
The future-shock details are witty, the sets and skyscapes spectacular. Besson may not be a good director, exactly, but he's a wizard at retrofitting cliches.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
The movie unreels like a depressive in a manic phase, a frenzy of lightning-fast cuts, cuts, cuts.
USA Today
But for all the fancy-schmancy effects (budget: $90 million-plus), the vision of a hypercongested metropolis is not much more sophisticated than an episode of "The Jetsons." [9 May 1997]
Christian Science Monitor
The action is fast, furious, and as wacky as science fantasy gets.
This is a prodigious something. It's just difficult to say whether that something is good or evil.
Besson may have misfired with The Fifth Element, but at least he does it with flair and a sense of humor.
It's all densely imagined and more than a little goofy -- perhaps too goofy for the average American viewer.
The story is such a cut-rate kid's sci-fi fairy tale that at one point Evil actually calls Gary Oldman on the phone (and it isn't played for laughs).
As a yammering, swishy talk show host, Chris Tucker is flat-out incomprehensible, while Mr. Oldman preens evilly enough to leave tooth marks on the scenery.
Chicago Reader
Even the revelation of what the fifth element is at the end is disingenuous--in fact, the archness of this whole project is repellent.
It may or may not be the worst movie ever made, but it is one of the most unhinged.

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