BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY The Fifth Element★★★★ 9.00-11.30pm 5★
The first four elements, here found in an Egyptian tomb in 1914, are earth, air, fire and water. The fifth, the one all the fuss is about, is the life force itself and in 23rd-century New York — where we go next — it’s missing. Earth is threatened by something vast and nasty hurtling towards it and it’s down to Bruce Willis, as the kind of smart-assed taxi driver everyone dreads, and Milla Jovovich, as a mysterious creature with extensive powers who falls into his cab, to save it. Not easy because there’s an anti-life force seeking to escape its prison. Only the five elements can save the day and getting them together is where the problem lies. From this you might gather that I have little idea what this claptrap is really about but then neither, I suspect, did writer/director Luc Besson. Still, the visionary images of a futuristic society are fascinating and there’s always something interesting to look at if not to listen to.
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