``The Fifth Element,'' which opened the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, is one of the great goofy movies--a film so preposterous I wasn't surprised to discover it was written by a teenage boy. That boy grew up to become Luc Besson, director of good smaller movies and bizarre big ones, and here he's spent $90 million to create sights so remarkable they really ought to be seen.
That's not to say this is a good movie, exactly. It's more of a jumble that includes greatness. Like ``Metropolis'' or ``Blade Runner,'' it offers such extraordinary visions that you put your criticisms on hold and are simply grateful to see them. If Besson had been able to link those sights with a more disciplined story and more ruthless editing, he might have really had something.
He really needn't have said any more, except that he had column inches to fill. It is a hodge-podge of a movie with attitude and grace.