No movie is perfect. But maybe the most frustrating films to watch are the ones that are one character away from being perfect. Everything works except for that one wacky sidekick, or sassy kid, or crude stereotype who sticks out like a fart at a press conference.
7The Fifth Element - Ruby Rhod
If you've seen this movie, you know damned well what character we're talking about.
Ruby Rhod, played by Chris Tucker on what seems like a near-lethal amount of cocaine, is the radio show host of the future. He teams up with Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) and LeeLoo (Milla Jovovich) against a (literal) big ball of evil.
And its lieutenant, Captain Plastic-hair.
How He Nearly Ruined The Movie:
OK, so he comes on screen and you figure it's just Chris Tucker being Chris Tucker, talking in that Chris Tucker tone. He's loud and speaks in a nasally, unintelligible, hyperactive voice. He has a wardrobe that makes Lady Gaga's look it was purchased from an outlet mall. His hair is shaped like a dick. We get it, he's supposed to be wacky and annoying.
"Alright guys, what if we made Jar Jar Binks an actual black guy?"
And, if he passed through one scene and spent, say, 40 seconds on screen, we would have chuckled and moved on with our lives. But he sticks around. And around. It's not that the rest of the entire movie was about Ruby Rhod and nothing else... it just felt that way.
We knew we were in trouble when the guns start blazing and it becomes apparent the screeching comic relief is going to hang around for the pivotal action scene. During the battle with the aliens, Rhod's role expands from flamboyant and mildly amusing radio show host to incredibly loud and useless sidekick. Check the scene out below, for instance, featuring Chris Tucker's lungs drowning out a bomb Bruce Willis sets off.
Or, let us transcribe it for you:
Rhod: "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeee!!!!" Cough, cough, cough. "Whu-whu-whu-whu-whu-whu-WHATCHUDOIN'?!?!?"
Korben: "Count to 10."
Rhod: "CUBBEH! WAS THAT A BOMB?"
Korben: "Shut up and count!"
Rhod: "ONE TWO THREE-HUH-HUH FOUR HUH-HUH FI-HUH-IVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT NIIIIHUN-HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!!"
(Screech continues for approximately 27 minutes.)
This is how he spends roughly 84 percent of the film.
Not only is his screeching irritating to listen to, but the scene itself is really the pinnacle fight of the movie, so you'd think there'd be some kind of drama or sense of danger required. It's exactly the wrong time to have comic relief front and center, though there's probably never a good time to for comic relief that could have been swapped out for a car alarm for many scenes without us noticing.
Holy shit, we almost wrote a whole entry about The Fifth Element without using this image! That was close.
Hey, speaking of which...