Jul 052017

The Fifth Element is a mixed bag of a film with some great flare and style but then you add in Chris Tucker and his obnoxious character to balance all that good out. On the plus side, Gary Oldman, as outlandish as his character is, is a lot of fun to watch and Milla Jovovich provides a nice spark.



The Fifth Element

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action
Sony | PG13 – 126 min. – $30.99 | July 11, 2017

Date Published: 07/05/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by: Luc Besson
Writer(s): Luc Besson (story), Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen (screenplay)
Cast: Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker, Milla Jovovich, Luke Perry
Features: Featurettes, Fact Track
Digital Copy: Yes
Media Type(s): 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A

Note: Portions were copied over from my 2015 Blu-ray review with updates for the 4K format.

THE MOVIE — 3.0/5

The story is set in the year 2263, on the brink of an impending “Great Evil” where we meet eccentric and crabby cabbie Korben Dallas (BRUCE WILLIS) who is thrown right into the middle of potentially the end of the world. Crashing through the roof of his cab is Leloo (MILLA JOVOVICH), the “perfect” woman and is the “Fifth Element” and the key to stopping the end of the world from a dark force advancing toward earth. She’s wanted by the police after escaping a military science unit and Korben has fallen head over heels for her and helps her elude the authorities.

Leloo doesn’t speak much English but mentions a priest named Father Vito Cornelius (IAN HOLM) and thanks his military background Korben is recruited by his former commander to travel to a distant planet, on board a space cruise ship where a big blue opera singer holds the stones necessary to stop Evil. It’s basically a race to get them, one of them including the ruthless Mr. Zorg (GARY OLDMAN) who is working in conjunction with Evil, as well as a nefarious alien species known as Mangalores.

Quick Hit Review:
Luc Besson is quite the interesting filmmaker and between The Fifth Element and 2014’s Lucy, he’s not exactly mainstream and isn’t for everybody. Personally, I like some of his ideas yet they don’t hit a home run and fall just short of being something memorable and even amazing. The Fifth Element was probably my first foray into Besson, even before La Femme Nikita or Leon: The Professional, and it is hit or miss but the miss is glaring.

It’s a messy movie and could’ve been far better but the action at least is well directed by Besson and, pardon the expression, but Bruce Willis is in his, ahem, element. Even Milla Jovovich isn’t bad though she doesn’t speak much English and is only required to kick ass and have sad/frightening facial expressions. In the end, it’s at least an entertaining flick that despite being filmed nearly 20 years ago, the visual effects hold up relatively well.



This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Thankfully, from what I could tell, all of the features from the Ultimate Edition (DVD) have been ported over.

The Director’s Notes (10:29; 4K) is an all-new interview with writer/director Luc Besson as he looks back on his space odd-ysey. This is exclusive to the 4K Blu-ray release.

The Visual Element (18:25; HD) looks at the movie’s production design and the inspiration that dated back to a French comic book.

The Visual Element Extras (6:13; HD) are a collection of raw test footage.

Under The Star Element there are profiles for Bruce Willis (4:18; HD), Milla Jovovich (12:47; HD), Milla Jovovich (12:47; HD) and Chris Tucker (4:17; HD) and Extras for Jovovich with test footage.

There are several Alien Element features covering the Mondoshawans (8:13; HD), Mangalores (9:47; HD), Picasso (4:16; HD), Strikers (3:04; HD) and Extras for each containing test footage and outtakes.

The Fashion Element (7:46; HD) looks at the costume design for the 23rd century. There’s also an Extras (5:16; HD) for test footage.

The Diva (16:15; HD) examines the alien opera singer and how she was created. Also included is an Extra (8:02; HD) with screen tests and outtake footage.

The Digital Element (9:48; HD) centers on the visual effects.

Imagining The Fifth Element (5:14; HD) is about the creation of the world and other aspects of the film.

The Elements of Style (5:13; HD) goes over the cinematography of the movie.

Last up the aged-old Fact Track.


VIDEO – 5.0/5

It was less than two years ago Sony released The Fifth Element onto Blu-ray “remastered in 4K” but now that actual 4K has taken off a bit, they have now officially released it in the format — presented with a 2160p UHD and in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio — and it does look fantastic with Besson’s bright colors shining through very nicely and displaying incredible detail throughout. Along with the audio, this is easily reference quality work.

AUDIO – 5.0/5

Not to be outdone, we’re given the Dolby Atmos track. Considering reviews on the previous version, which had both PCM and TrueHD 5.1 tracks, were already positive, I think this one takes it up a notch. The audio is incredibly dynamic from the beginning with the LFE channel kicking in for good measure with a low rumble which shook my floor and walls to the dynamic elements when the action begins providing for a strong and vigorous aural experience culminating with the all-out action sequence on the cruise ship. I was very impressed to the point that it is reference quality work done by Sony.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Overall, The Fifth Element is a mixed bag of a film with some great flare and style but then you add in Chris Tucker and his obnoxious character to balance all that good out. On the plus side, Gary Oldman, as outlandish as his character is, is a lot of fun to watch and Milla Jovovich provides a nice spark.


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