Let's first get one thing clear: The Fifth Element is the best existing adaptation of a Moebius work, even if it isn't legally described as an adaptation. Moebius may have lost the case that alleged that The Fifth Element is an unlicensed adaptation of his and Jodorowsky's masterpiece The Incal, but in much the same way that without The Invisibles there probably wouldn't have been The Matrix, without The Incal there wouldn't have been The Fifth Element. To make matters even more complicated, director and co-writer Luc Besson also based many of the story elements off of a different French comic called The Circles of Power, a volume of the long running French series Valerian and Laureline, by Jean-Claude Mezieres, who also did concept art for the film.

Despite its complicated origins and legal issues, The Fifth Element is a striking and lovingly designed ode to French sci-fi comics, full of mesmerizing costumes and breathtaking gadgetry. Essentially a romantic sci-fi epic, The Fifth Element is the story of Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), a sad sack taxi driver who used to be a hotshot special forces Major who is forced to realize his potential after a beautiful, mysterious woman literally falls in his lap. It's a typical Willis performance, filled with smirking cynicism and resignation, but like 12 Monkeys before it, it's enlivened by its gritty futurism and apocalyptic plot.

That plot is of course marvelously convoluted, but the gist is that Dallas must protect and assist the mysterious femme fatale who landed in his lap, named Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), and the ancient cult that has guarded a secret about a pending threat to all of humanity. Opposing Dallas and company is Jean-Baptiste Zorg, played by a wickedly campy Gary Oldman, who manages to be entirely menacing and completely ridiculous at the same time. The Fifth Element is by no means high art, but it's a continuously entertaining film that rewards multiple viewings, especially since so much of its appeal comes from the phenomenal design work, which is impossible to take in in one viewing. Like Moebius' art, the world of The Fifth Element is filled with rich, microscopic details and crammed with impossibly fantastic ideas. It may not be a clearcut adaptation, but no other film has quite nailed the tone and excitement of a Moebius work like The Fifth Element.

by Nick Hanover

publicado por Andreia Torres às 16:20