Ruby Rhod (The Fifth Element)
There’s a lot of weird crammed into Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element, and for the most part that’s part of its charm. The movie wouldn’t be the same without Leeloo running around wearing a few adhesive strips, or Gary Oldman’s batshit-crazy performance, or the mugger with the picture of Korben’s hallway on his head. But then there’s Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod, bursting onto the screen as if somebody figured out how to weaponize a migraine headache and make it look like a person.
I get that Ruby Rhod is supposed to be annoying. The clothes, the voice, the screaming, it’s all perfectly calculated to put you in Korben’s shoes — wanting somebody to drop a safe on Ruby’s head. But he’s also supposed to be funny, I think, and in that Ruby Rhod fails pretty much completely. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are people out there who laughed at Ruby Rhod, but they’re also the sort of people who would watch the hypothetical Ruby Rhod Show, and that means they’re awful and should be avoided at all costs. I love The Fifth Element for the most part, but it commits one unpardonable sin: it gives us a character just begging to be killed onscreen in some horrible manner, and then it lets the fucker live.
How We Would Kill Him Off: Make him the sole target dummy for Zorg’s ZF1 demonstration. (See below.)