Fifth Element, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1 1/2

This sci-fi adventure is provocative at times, even though the plot gets wildly confusing. A prologue in 1914 shows archaeologists uncovering carvings that describe a force from another dimension that can destroy life on Earth and meeting some benevolent aliens who promise to return and repel this evil threat. The scene shifts to the 23rd century, and that force is bearing down on Earth. The alien protectors arrive, but their spaceship is blown out of the sky by strange creatures called Mangalores, mercenaries for evil business tycoon Zorg (Gary Oldman). One alien survives - actually some cells that can be cloned - and scientists reconstruct this being, named Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), who looks like a beautiful young woman. She escapes the lab and crash lands in a flying taxi cab driven by former military hero Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis). He takes Leeloo to see a priest (Ian Holm), who knows they must locate stones that help her harness the power of four elements - wind, water, fire and earth - and destroy the evil force. Dallas and Leeloo travel to a flying cruise ship on a distant planet to locate these stones, but Zorg and the Mangalores also turn up, resulting in violent confrontations. The Fifth Element has an outlandish, comical style and incredible production design and special effects, which makes it easier to overlook a few gaping holes in the story's logic.

You can't ignore some undesirable elements in the movie, however. Because Leeloo is unclothed when she's reconstructed in the lab there's brief female breast nudity, reappearing two more times when she's disrobing. Outrageous radio personality Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker) seduces a flight attendant, with sex implied. The dialogue includes five s-words, several crudities and four regular profanities. The priest apparently doesn't serve any particular religion, as aiding the alien woman appears to be his primary mission. Confrontations between good and evil produce many violent moments. There's little bloodshed, even when a Mangalore is shot between the eyes, but the volume of destruction becomes overwhelming. The Fifth Element isn't terribly offensive, but with its excessive violence, crude language and nudity there are still too many problem areas.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
Columbia Pictures, 10202 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times - Mild 3, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: Several (9) times - (s-word 5, other 4)

Profanity: Many (20) times - Regular 4 (G-d 1, C 1, G 1, in G's name 1), Exclamatory 16

Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (frequent gunfire and injuries inflicted with futuristic weapons, spaceship battles, explosions, characters punched and knocked unconscious, martial arts punches and kicks, shot to head)

Sex: Implied once

Nudity: Few times (brief female breast nudity three times); near nudity few times (low-cut outfits, woman in revealing outfit)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (implied unconventional sex)

Drugs: Few times (alcohol drinking, smoking)

Other: None

Running Time: 127 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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