Originally Posted by Mr.G
However during the intervening years of watching this movie countless times I've gotten used to his character. As others have said it's over the top on purpose. There is a difference in humor between France and the U.S. and Luc Besson put something on the screen that he thought would be universally funny. I think he just misjudged American audiences.
When the french want to make american movies, it rarely works (there's been a lot of french action flicks lately that desperately want to be the equivalent of the best american action, they're trying too hard, it doesn't work and they're not convincing). Besson is probably the most successful french filmmaker in that area but something is still off imo. Tucker's character is as over the top as Gary Oldman's. When I first saw the film I thought Tucker was funny but his character became annoying throughout the film, it was too much. Like I said, french cinema is different than american cinema. It's hard to mix the two together, which is what Luc Besson is doing, sometimes it works better than others. In U.S films, sometimes it takes only one scene to establish a character and his background, american filmmakers know how to do this, some of them have perfected it. In french movies, it usually takes the entire movie, then the big twist at the end is that credits start rolling while you're thinking, "huh"...
...I'm french I love french cinema AND american cinema, both for different reasons.
I've always thought The Fifth Element is a very entertaining movie, but an uneven one also.