The Fifth Element uses one of the newest tricks in the science fiction motion picture handbook: perform a visual and aural assault on viewers in the vain hope that they won't notice the lack of substance, logic, and intelligence. For a few recent examples of where this tactic has been employed, check out Stargate, Independence Day, and Judge Dredd. The Fifth Element, the summer of 1997's first big-budget disappointment, is right at home in such company. A lot of money was spent on this film, but $100 million doesn't guarantee a good product. Maybe someone should have thought of spending a few more dollars on a better script.
Going into the film, I was guardedly optimistic. As a result of what I'd seen in the two-minute theatrical trailer, visions of Blade Runner danced in my head (I guarantee that no one in their right mind would make such a ludicrous association after seeing The Fifth Element). And the director, Luc Besson, is a well-respected artist whose short-but-impressive resume includes such international hits as La Femme Nikita and The Professional (Leon). I figured that if anyone could handle the task of putting together a rousing science fiction adventure...