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The Fifth Element
Gaumont/Columbia Pictures, 1997
Columbia Tri-Star Home Video, 2005
Directed by Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional)
Written by Luc Besson (The Transporter trilogy, the Taken trilogy) and Robert Mark Kamen (The Karate Kid, Kiss of the Dragon)
Running Time: 126 minutes
Rated PG-13 for violence, nudity, suggestive sexual situations and strong language.

Bruce Willis (David Addison in Moonlighting, Mikey in Look Who's Talking) as Korben Dallas
Milla Jovovich (Katinka in Zoolander, Maya in Kuffs) as Leeloo Minai Lekarariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat.
Gary Oldman (Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK, Drexl Spivey in True Romance) as Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg
Ian Holm (Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings, Mr. Kurtzmann in Brazil) as Priest Vito Cornelius
Chris Tucker (Smokey in Friday, Det. James Carter in Rush Hour) as DJ Ruby Rhod
Tom "Tiny" Lister, Jr. as President Lindberg

Brion James (1945-1999) (Leon in Blade Runner, Ben in 48 Hours) as General Munro

Maïwenn Le Besco as Diva Plavalaguna
Luke Perry (Dylan in Beverly Hills 90210, Oliver in Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Billy Masterson

Heavily inspired by bandes dessinees (that's "comics" in French) artists Jean-Claude Mezieres (Valerian) and Jean "Moebius" Giraud (Blueberry, Metal Hurlant), renowned French director Luc Besson collaborated with the two in 1992 to develop an ambitious sci-fi project tentatively titled Zaltman Bleros. While character and production sketches were being developed, the project was put on hold, pending support from a Hollywood company.

But when Besson's 1993 film Léon: The Professional became a worldwide hit, he reunited with Mezieres and Moebius and resumed production of their project, now renamed The Fifth Element. Released in 1997, The Fifth Element tells the tale of Korben Dallas, a New York cab driver in the 23rd century who encounters a mysterious girl named Leeloo. He later on ends up having to protect Leeloo, as she holds the key to the five elements that will protect Earth from all evil, not to mention a corrupt industrialist named Zorg who wants the elements for his own profit. If the five elements are not joined within 48 hours, all life on Earth will cease to exist.

Korben Dallas: "Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages: English and bad English."
[Leeloo continues to talk in divine language]
Korben Dallas: "Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for conversation, but maybe you could just shut up for a minute?"

Imagine Blade Runner mixed with Star Wars, with a little European style to it. You have The Fifth Element. Yes, the story leaves much to be desired, but The Fifth Element is pure eye candy with breathtaking set designs, dazzling visual effects and Milla Jovovich half-naked in the first half of the film.

Bruce Willis, as usual, plays a scrawny, gun-toting S.O.B. Gary Oldman, on the other hand, does a good job playing the neurotic Zorg. (Of course, it pales in comparison to his role as Stansfield in Léon.) And while this film launched Jovovich's career, nothing else she's done afterwards has been worthwhile. But the one who steals the show is Chris Tucker, who plays the gender-challenged DJ Ruby Rhod. In many of his scenes, you'll either laugh or just tell him to shut up.

The music by Eric Serra (GoldenEye, Bulletproof Monk) is a mix of orchestra and techno, but the highlight of the soundtrack is the Diva's captivating performance. Definitely worth buying the OST.

If you're a sci-fi freak or just a casual movie buff, check out The Fifth Element. Proof that the French can also produce a great sci-fi epic.

Police: "Are you classified as human?"
Korben Dallas: "Negative, I am a meat popsicle."

Rating: A-

"Anybody else want to negotiate?" - Korben Dallas

DVD Extras: A+
If you have a previous version of The Fifth Element on DVD (regular or Superbit), trade it in, as this two-disc edition is loaded with everything you wanted to know about the movie, and then some:

Check-in Attendant: "Mr. Rhod, you are going to have to assume your individual position."
DJ Ruby Rhod: "I don't want one position, I want all positions!"

Disc 1
  • Film feature available in DTS 6.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 English.
  • Fact Track. Liner notes that flash during the film.

Disc 2

  • The Visual Element. Interviews with Mezieres and Moebius, plus test shots of the film's set designs.
  • The Digital Element. A look at the film's dazzling visual effects, plus interviews with the staff of Digital Domain.
  • The Star Element. Interviews with Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich and Chris Tucker.
  • The Alien Element. Information on the Mondoshawans, the Mangalores, Zorg's pet Picasso and other races that didn't make it in the final cut.
  • The Fashion Element. A look at the wardrobe of 23rd century Earth, plus screen tests of Korben and Leeloo's outfits.
  • The Diva. An interview with the actress behind the blue makeup and prosthetics, plus test shots and outtakes of her concert performance.
  • Poster Gallery. Pics of theatrical posters from all over the world.

Too bad none of these features are available on Blu-ray. Speaking of which, Sony screwed up on the Blu-ray release of this film not once, but twice. The first in 2006 being a really bad video transfer, and while the second release in 2007 featured an improved picture, that's all it had.

The Internet Movie Database

Edited by areaseven
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I still find it hard to believe that there aren't any deleted scenes available from this film. As far as special edition DVDs go, the only things that makes them worthwhile for me are deleted scenese, alternate takes, or alternate cuts of the film. All the making of stuff is interesting once, but after that I never watch it again.

I love this film, but I still see no reason for me to buy the UE.

Thanks for the review, though! B))

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Love the film, but already have the first DVD.

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I remember seeing this one in the theater when it came out. I really wanted to like the movie, but it was just kinda meh.

That's funny, I had the exact opposite reaction. I really didn't want to see it but I loved every minute.:D

What's odd is that I watch it everytime I catch it on TV but I've never even considered buying the DVD. :unsure:

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This is possibly one of the worst movies I have ever seen. When I saw it, I couldn't believe the man behind The Big Blue, La Femme Nikita, and Leon The Professional had produced such a pile of crap. I don't think I could have watched the entire movie if not for the Prince inspired performance by Chris Tucker.

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you forgot to mention that it has remastered in high definition, but sinc eim sure the original film is getting old, i doubt the quality would be a huge step up form the existing dvd, if i had an HDTV i would get this for the improved video but sinc ei dont and since interviews and making-of doesnt interest me, ill stick with my regular version

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Ruby: "So tomorrow from the hours of [can't remember, but the duration of his show] can you PLEASE pretend you have more than a TWO WORD VOCABULARY!?"

I loved this movie. Nothing big or flashy, just a neat story with just enough action to keep it alive.

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Great movie. Its not up to his earlier works but its still fun and visually impressive. Some good humor in there too. I love the smokes lol.

Unfortunately it's the last thing Besson has done that I've liked at all. Joan of Arc was sort of a 'meh' (Milla alone kept my interest) and the various projects he's been invloved with as producer and whatnot haven't been very good (the Transporter). I'm hoping that Arthur and the Minimoys http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0344854/, his latest film, will be good, although it's still a long ways off (2006)

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you forgot to mention that it has remastered in high definition, but sinc eim sure the original film is getting old, i doubt the quality would be a huge step up form the existing dvd, if i had an HDTV i would get this for the improved video but sinc ei dont and since interviews and making-of doesnt interest me, ill stick with my regular version

I saw it at Costco, they had a sale for it that takes 4 bucks off the sticker price at the register, but I put it back on the rack when I saw how awful the printing quality on the cover was - even the HK bootleg DVDs put more effort into the quality of the cover slip. For an ultimate edition, the kind of low resolution, inkjet print-out quality just doesn't seem to jive. :rolleyes:

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I have the regular version... that's good enough for me.

I hold out now for the special versions when I buy DVDs,but I'm not gonna rebuy the ones I have. (Unless there's a uncut unrated version of the Girl Next Door that has Elisha doing full nudity, but then again that's not rebuying it... it would just be buying it:D )

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  • 5 years later...

Ewwwww...a few of those ladies need to put their clothes BACK on. And Lion-O? Really... <_<

Re: the movie itself, yeah The Fifth Element is a classic and is still more enjoyable then a lot of the stuff that gets put out now.


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I thought the movie was astoundingly fantastic...up until the last 10 minutes or so. I really, really, really hated the end. Which leaves me with mixed feelings about the movie as a whole, since I absolutely loved it up until it hits that final stretch. It really seemed like the movie was supposed to be longer, or they wanted to end it with a lead in to a sequel, but instead they slapped on a half-arsed ending and brought it all to a halt mid-stride.

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Sounds like you got the 2007 release, as a lot of people said the first release was crap.

Blu-ray Review

Yep. I heard about the first release being poo which is why I got version 2. A lot of people are iffy about this movie, but I love it and seeing it on blu-ray in 1080p hi-def is definitely outstanding.

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  • 4 years later...

Fond memories of this one. Mainly due to it being the only space action SF movie to come out during a long drought of such movies. And the attempt to reinvent future skylines (up until then, everyone was copying Bladerunner. After this movie, everyone started copying this one (gives Star Wars a stern look)).

Looking back critically at it, the anti-war preaching scene goes on far too long, but otherwise, its a great Luc Besson movie with an even greater soundtrack, and loaded with memorable characters.

Edited by sketchley
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