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Fifth Element, The (1997, Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich)



Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina

Sensing the outbreak of World War I, the Mondoshawan, ancient architects of Earth, return to repossess four mystical stones representing the four elements and a casket containing a mysterious, omniscient fifth. Three centuries later the universe is disrupted by an evil force assisted by the forces of Zorg (Gary Oldman). Mondoshawan priest Cornelius (Ian Holm) predicts it can be destroyed only with a weapon built from the five elements. The battle begins unwittingly, when Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) is discovered and regenerated at a government laboratory.

Escaping her prison, she encounters wiseacre New York cabbie and ex-soldier Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), who escorts her to Cornelius. The priest realizes the truth: Leeloo is the fifth element, and holds the key to peace. She must be reunited with the stones, which have been held in safety on the planet Fhloston. Revisiting his military past, Dallas prepares to protect Leeloo en route but Zorg and his mercenaries are determined to ensure they never arrive…

With an $80 million budget this European production was packaged as a wake-up call to Hollywood. Ironically, they had to hire an A-list leading man and cherry pick Tinseltown’s back catalogue to do it. The tributes are numerous, including a visual nod to Blade Runner (and casting of ex-replicant Brion James). Having hoarded the story for 20 years, Besson inevitably indulges himself, reworking elements of Nikita , The Big Blue and Léon , with the addition of Digital Domain – James Cameron’s company – on extravagant special effects, including the largest indoor explosion ever filmed.

Besson’s undeniable energy, coupled with the vision of Moebius’s comic book artist and design inspiration, produces a diverting pantomime that certainly indicated a change in direction for European cinema.

production details
France | 126 minutes | 1997

Director: Luc Besson (also story)
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen

Gary Oldman as Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg
Lee Evans as Fog
Luke Perry as Billy
Christopher Fairbank as Mactilburgh
Roger Monk as Flying Cop / Military Technician
Michael Culkin as Hefty Man
Riz Meedin as Flying Cop
Frank Senger as Bodyguard
John Bluthal as Professor Pacoli
Tim McMullan as Scientist’s Aide
Brion James as General Munro
Richard Leaf as Neighbour
John Neville as General Staedert
Indra Ové as VIP Stewardess
Kim Chan as Mr. Kim
John Bennett as Priest
Bruce Willis as Korben Dallas
Ian Holm as Father Vito Cornelius
Milla Jovovich as Leeloo
Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod
Tom Lister Jr. as President Lindberg
Charlie Creed-Miles as David
Tricky as Right Arm
Mathieu Kassovitz as Mugger
Julie T. Wallace as Major Iceborg
Al Matthews as General Tudor
Maïwenn as Diva Plavalaguna
Mac McDonald as Flying Cop
Genevieve Maylam as Stewardess
Jason Salkey as Cop
Hon Ping Tang as Munro’s Captain
Vincenzo Pellegrino as Ground Crew
Ivan Heng as Left Arm
Sonita Henry as President’s Aide
George Khan as Head Scientist
John Hughes as Head of Military
Roberto Bryce as Omar
Said Talidi as Aziz
Clifton Lloyd Bryan as Mondoshawan / Mangalore Aknot / Airport Guard
Justin Lee Burrows as Mondoshawan
Richard Ashton as Mondoshawan
Jerome St. John Blake as Mondoshawan
Kevin Molloy as Mondoshawan / Ground Crew
Bill Reimbold as Mactilburgh’s Assistant
Colin Brooks as Staedert’s Captain
Anthony Chinn as Mactilburgh’s Technician
Sam Douglas as Chief NY Cop
Derek Ezenagu as NY Cop
David Kennedy as Flying Cop
David Barrass as Flying Cop
Mark Seaton as Flying Cop
Jean-Luc Caron as Flying Cop
Jerry Ezekiel as Flying Cop
Rachel Willis as Stewardess
Natasha Brice as Stewardess
Sophia Goth as Check-in Attendant
Martin McDougall as Warship Captain
Pete Dunwell as Diva’s Manager
Paul Priestley as Cop
Stewart Harvey-Wilson as Ruby Rhod Assistant
David Fishley as Ruby Rhod Assistant
Carlton Chance as Ruby Rhod Assistant
Gin Clarke as Diva’s Assistant
Vladimir McCrary as Human Aknot
Aron Paramor as Mangalore Akanit
Alan Ruscoe as Mangalore Kino
Christopher Adamson as Airport Cop
Ève Salvail as Tawdry Girl
Kaleem Janjua as Shuttle Pilot
Tyrone Tyrell as Shuttle Co-Pilot
Kevin Brewerton as Shuttle Mechanic
Ian Beckett as Baby Ray
Sonny Caldinez as Emperor Kodar Japhet
Zeta Graff as Princess Achen
Eddie Ellwood as Roy von Bacon
Yui as Fhloston Hostess
Laura De Palma as Fhloston Hostess
Lenny McLean as Police Chief
Robert Oates as Fhloston Commander
John Sharian as Fhloston Captain
Fred Williams as Hotel Manager
Sibyl Buck as Zorg’s Secretary
Sarah Carrington as Scientist
Ali Yassine as Scientist
Sean Buckley as Scientist
Dane Messam as Military Technician
Nathan Hamlett as Military Technician
Cecil Cheng as Military Technician
Scott Woods as Lab Guard
Leon Dekker as Lab Guard
David Garvey as Staedert’s Technician
Stanley Kowalski as Staedert’s Technician
Omar Williams as Staedert’s Technician
Robert Clapperton as Robot Barman
Robert Alexander as Warship Technician
Mia Frye as TV Stewardess
Leo Williams as Power Operator
C. Keith Martin as Power Operator
J.D. Dawodu as Zorg’s Man
Patrick Nicholls as Zorg’s Man
Shaun Davis as Zorg’s Man
Roy Garcia as Zorg’s Man
Alex Georgijev as Zorg’s Man
Marie Guillard as Burger Assistant
Renee Montemayor as Burger Assistant
Stina Richardson as Burger Assistant
Kristen Fick as Glamorous Alien Diva at Event
François Guillaume as Mondoshawan #3
Anita Koh as Japanese Hostess
Kamay Lau as Glamorous Japanese Girl
Tracy Redington as Stewardess
Gito Santana as VIP Lounge Worker
Joss Skottowe as Mangalor alien
Roger Wright as Afro Scott
Nicole Merry as VIP Stewardess
Stacey McKenzie as VIP Stewardess
Josie Perez as Stewardess