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By the year 2259, however, the lessons of the inscriptions have been forgotten by all but a sort of high Priest ( Ian Holm). It is the moment, alas, that the cancerous, anti-life force has seized to try once again to extinguish the positive life force, and the earthlings have very little time to do something about it. Possible salvation arrives in the form of a genetically regenerated young woman, Leeloo ( Mila Jovovich ), a naked, orange-haired acrobat of superhuman strength who escapes from the lab only to land in the flying taxi of New York cabby Korben Dallas ( Bruce Willis ). While Korben takes Leeloo to see the priest, Zorg (Gary Oldman) overlord of all Evil, is equipping some would-be fearsome animal mercenaries for the ultimate battle.
Among the 224 visual effects shots for THE FIFTH ELEMENT done at Digital Domain, " the city-scape is something new", says visual effects supervisor Mark STETSON, a veteran of BLADE RUNNER and THE RIGHT STUFF, among others. Largely misfired European attempt to make an American-style sci-fi spectacular, THE FIFTH ELEMENT stands as by far the most expensive French film project ever undertaken ($ 70 million ). Sony Pictures Entertainment paid $ 25 million for the US release.