Someone in a forum chat room on Discord reminded me the other day about Ruby Rhod – the character played by Chris Tucker in the 1997 movie The Fifth Element…
Specifically about him being a radio jock – in the year 2263!
Wait a second… is that right?
Let me watch it again (like I need an excuse!)
…2 hours and 6 minutes later…
Yes, that is right – wow!
How could I have missed that?
It’s great to see that even cinematic genius Luc Besson thinks that radio will be around that long – with a fantastically over the top shock jock doing a live show from the deck of a cruise ship.
Yes he is a little Howard Stern, and hyper-kinetic – Chris Tucker seems to relish playing the role as an alien D.J. (didn’t pick that up? When Ruby is having sex with the stewardess [that’s before the spaceship takes off], he tells her “I never felt this way before with a human” indicating that he is an alien humanoid not from Earth).
Chris’ manic energy and machine gun delivery and rhythmic style of dialogue changes the tone of the movie from the moment that Ruby Rhod enters – from sci-fi to sci-fi-action-comedy.
According to the Ultimate Edition DVD, Prince and Michael Jackson were sources of inspiration for the part of Ruby Rhod, and both were even considered for the role, with Prince being the first choice, Jamie Foxx was next, then Chris Tucker.
A little trivia for you… Ruby Rhod’s original name was Loc Rhod, when changed Ruby Rhod’s name was done so as an inside joke. One of the original lasers created used a ruby rod as the core element to make it work.
It is still a beautiful and visually stunning movie after all these years, and one that I thoroughly enjoy with Bruce Willis (this movie turned his career around after a couple of flops) and Milla Jovovich in absolutely pitch perfect roles.
Gary Oldman’s character is also, so incredible – he is such a chameleon that I have nothing but respect for him and the roles he plays.
The whole film is a bit bonkers, a bit nuts, and is the only film I know of where the villain of the movie never, ever meets the hero!
It is visually stunning with ‘used universe’ and brand-new intermingling to create a cohesive world to play in.
The soundtrack is also top notch and although visually it appears to have been eclipsed over the years by other sci-fi films – Lec Besson holds a special place in my mind now for allowing radio to still exist in 2263.
If you watch The Fifth Element again – take special note of Chris Tuckers performance as a radio shock jock from the future (and look for when Ruby Rhod sings “All Night Long”, Bruce Willis can be seen trying not to laugh) – maybe like me you didn’t remember what exactly Ruby Rhod was doing while speaking into his microphone? How could I have not spotted that?
By the way – a couple of things you might not know is:
The Fifth Element is based on part of the movie “Heavy Metal” (1981) which is based on the comic book anthology magazine of the same name, and story by Jean-Claude Mézières
The unofficial sequel “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” (2017) is based on the comic book series “Valerian and Laureline” also by Jean-Claude Mézières
Their style and costume (or space couture) is almost identical, with some of the aliens and more appearing in both.
And finally – if you are a fan of the Wilhelm Scream, it can be heard when Zorg blows up Right Arm at the airport, and when Leeloo tosses two Mangalores out of the Diva’s room.