Hopefully you've hung on to your Multi Pass because it's time for another trip with the slap-happy sci-fi cult classic on its 25th anniversary.
An idea swirling in writer-director Luc Besson’s head since the age of 16, the ambitious 23rd century set The Fifth Element charts the interplanetary adventures of taxi driver Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) after a fascinatingly strange escapee, Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), plummets into his cab. As it turns out, she’s the titular Fifth Element who holds the fate of the universe in her hands, and is being sought by gangs of unscrupulous forces -- including the relentless Zorg (Gary Oldman).
Riding high after the release of Léon: The Professional (1994), Besson delivered another film for Columbia, with Oldman back for villain duties. For some viewers, the big surprise was the casting of Chris Tucker as the eccentric and hilarious emcee Ruby Rhod -- in between his signature roles in Friday (1995) and Rush Hour (1998). The film is also a valuable showcase for its roster of character actors, including Luke Perry (seen in the memorable 1914-set prologue), sci-fi vets Ian Holm (Alien) and Brion James (Blade Runner), actor-director Mathieu Kassovitz (who tries to rob Willis), Lee Evans, Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr., and rapper-record producer Tricky.
Besson's composer, Éric Serra, employing an arsenal of experimental audio effects, created one of the film's highlights, the "Diva Dance" song -- merged with the legendary "Lucia di Lammermoor" -- performed at the Royal Opera House in a show-stopping musical scene.
After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival on May 7, 1997 (complete with novelty Swatch tickets), The Fifth Element opened two days later in the U.S. and became a worldwide success.
Where to Watch 'The Fifth Element':