The Fifth Element (2015 Blu-ray release) (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
November 11, 2015 by Dennis Amith
“The Fifth Element” is a fascinating, entertaining Luc Besson sci-fi action film that looks and sounds better with this 2015 Blu-ray release. While not the best Besson film ever created, nor the best sci-fi action film ever made, but still “The Fifth Element” remains as a popcorn action sci-fi film worth watching.
Images courtesy of
TITLE: The Fifth Element (2015 Blu-ray Release)
DURATION: 126 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1), English 7.1 Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1), French and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
RATED: PG-13 (Intense Sci-Fi Violence, Some Sexuality and Brief Nudity)
COMPANY: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: October 27, 2015
Written and Directed by Luc Besson
Screenplay by Robert Mark Kamen
Producer: Patrice Ledoux
Co-Producer: Iain Smith
Associate Producer: Thierry Arbogast
Music by Eric Serra
Cinematography by Thierry Arbogast
Edited by Sylvie Landra
Casting by Lucinda Syson
Production Design by Dan Weil
Art Direction by Ira Gilford, Ron Gress, Michael Lamont, Jim Morahan, Kevin Phipps
Set Decoration by Maggie Gray, Anna Pinnock
Costume Design by Jean-Paul Gaultier
Bruce Willis as Korben Dallas
Gary Oldman as Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg
Ian Holm as Father Vito Cornelius
Mila Jovovich as Leeloo
Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod
Luke Perry as Billy
Brion James as General Munro
Tommy “Tiny” Lister as President Lindberg
Lee Evans as Fog
Charlie Creed-Miles as David
Tricky as Right Arm
John Neville as General Staedert
John Bluthal as Professor Pacoli
From the director Luc Besson (“La Femme Nikita”, “Leon: The Professional”, “Taxi”, “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc”) comes his 1997 sci-fi action film “The Fifth Element”.
Starring Bruce Willis (“The Sixth Sense”, “Die Hard”, “Looper”), Gary Oldman (“The Dark Knight Rises”, “Leon: The Professional”, “Batman Begins”), Iain Holm (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”, “Alien”), Milla Jovovich (“Resident Evil” films, “The Three Musketeers”), Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour” films, “Silver Linings Playbook”) and Luke Perry (“Beverly Hills, 90210”, “Jeremiah”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”).
A story that was written by Luc Besson when he was 16-years-old, the film would be made 32-years later. While receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film was a box office success with a budget of $90 million, “The Fifth Element” would go on to to make over $90 million.
And now, a new Blu-ray release for “The Fifth Element” will be released in October 2015. Remastered in 4K and in Dolby Atmos, plus the inclusion of an Ultraviolet HD code.
The film begins in 1914 as scientists discover something huge in an ancient Egyptian temple. Not long after, aliens known as Mondoshawans have arrived to collect (for safekeeping) a weapon capable of defeating a great evil that appears every 5,000 years.
The weapon is a sarcophagus that contains four classical elements which combines each element to create a divine light of defeating evil. The aliens say they will return when the great evil returns.
Fast forward to 2263 and the great evil has now reappeared as a giant ball of black fire. As the priest Vito Cornelius (portrayed by Ian Hom) tries to send a message to the President of the Federated Territories (portrayed by Tom Lister, Jr.) about how they must defeat the great evil with the weapon that can stop it, the Mondoshawans make their return.
But while they return, the Mangalores led by Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (portrayed by Gary Oldman), has been instructed by the great evil to acquire the stones. A hand of the Fifth element after an exchange between the Mondoshawans and Mangalores and scientist use the technology to reconstruct a humanoid woman named Leeloo (portrayed by Milla Jovovich).
Not knowing of where she is and unaware of her surroundings, Leeloo escapes and jumps off a ledge and crashes into a flying taxicab driven by Korben Dallas (portrayed by Bruce Willis), a former major of the special forces.
Will Leeloo become the key to stop the great evil? Or will she be used as a weapon to destroy humanity?
“The Fifth Element” receives its third Blu-ray release in the last ten years. With a 2006 Blu-ray release which had plenty of issues, the second Blu-ray released in 2007 was a major improvement. And now with the 2015 Blu-ray release, presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio), “The Fifth Element” receives a remastering in 4K.
Featuring wonderful detail and better clarity, the film looks even better in HD. Skin tones look natural and there is a good amount of grain present. I didn’t notice any major banding issues during my viewing of the film, nor does this film looked aged.
Audio quality is equally impressive. Featured in English 7.1 Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1), French and Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1.
Considering that this sci-fi action film contains a lot of action sequences, the fact that the 2007 Blu-ray release had a magnificent lossless soundtrack that utilized the surround channels, now this Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1) lossless soundtrack is even more impressive. From the scenes which Dallas encounters Leloo for the very first time to the ending action sequence, the film features great use of the surround and rear surround channels, as well as utilizing LFE.
Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
“The Fifth Element” on Blu-ray comes with the following special features:
- The Star element: Mila Jovovich Extras – (12:02) Featuring four screen tests with Mila Jovovich.
- The Star Element: Chris Tucker – (4:17) Featuring an interview with actor Chris Tucker.
- The Alien Element: Mondoshawans – (8:13) Featuring how they created the Mondoshawans and their movements.
- The Alien Element: Mondoshawans Extras – (3:23) Featuring six outtakes and screen tests for the Mondoshawans.
- The Alien Element: Mangalores – (9:47) A featurette about the evil Mangalores and how to bring these aliens to life.
- The Alien Element: Mangalores Extras – (2:11) Featuring two Mangalores extras.
- The Alien Element: Picasso – (4:17) A featurette about Zorg’s pet, Picasso.
- The Alien Element: Strikers – (3:04) A featurette about the Strikers that did not make the final cut of the film.
- The Alien Element: Strikers Extras – (1:32) Featuring four Striker extras.
- The Fashion Element – (7:46) A featurette about the fashion in “The Fifth Element”.
- The Fashion Element: Extras – (5:17) Featuring four fashion extras.
- The Diva – (16:16) The actress who brought Diva Plavalaguna to life.
- The Divas Extras – (8:03) Four outtakes featuring Diva Plavalaguna.
- The Digital Element – (9:49) A featurette about Digital Domain bringing “The Fifth Element” to life.
- Imagining The Fifth Element – (5:14) The concept design, visual effects design and imagining of “The Fifth Element”.
- The Elements of Style – (5:13) A featurette of an interview with Jean-Paul Gaultier and the film’s costume design.
- Fact Track – Watch “The Fifth Element” with fact tracks.
“The Fifth Element” comes with a slipcover and an Ultraviolet Digital HD code.
It has been nearly 20-years since the release of “The Fifth Element” and with each watch, my perception of the film changes overtime.
With my 1999 DVD review of the film, I wrote:
I finally saw this movie and this is what I thought. I liked it a lot! This movie is visually stunning and the computer graphics were wonderful. The storyline is good but it appears that an extra 30 minutes or an hour would have given this movie judgment a much better score because I felt there were some loose ends that were never answered.
Watching this film in 2015, my thoughts that while the film was often considered a reference title for video and audiophiles (back during the DVD days), it’s a popcorn action films with impressive visuals. With some CG elements that still hold up, while others look its age.
But what I enjoyed about the film at the time was the fact that it introduced us to Mila Jovovich, who would become a much bigger star with the “Resident Evil” films years later, Chris Tucker who would become a big star with his “Rush Hour” films not long after, and for Bruce Willis fans, the film gave us another chance to watch the man who wowed us in the ’90s with his “Die Hard” films to return in a sci-fi action film which we can see his character kicking butt once again. And of course, watching Bruce Willis as a protagonist (with the similar bravado as his other action characters in previous films) and Gary Oldman as the antagonist, made the film worthwhile.
The film benefits from its visual imagery and imaginative settings, but the CG is well-done and its far-out Jean-Paul Gaultier costume design was also interesting to see. But how I felt about the film back in 1999, again in 2006-2007 and in 2015 has not changed. “The Fifth Element” does not have the greatest story but it was no doubt an entertaining film. But I feel each time I watch it, my appreciation of the film tends to lessen. The fact is, back in the DVD years, we considered “The Fifth Element” as a reference quality film to showcase our surround sound system. And while the film sounds impressive on Blu-ray, a lot of sci-fi action films during the later life of Blu-ray releases sound just as great. And the remastering in 4K and the 7.1 lossless soundtrack makes the film even more enticing.
And with this 2015 Blu-ray release, fans of the film will also get a good number of special features and an Ultraviolet HD code.
Overall, “The Fifth Element” is a fascinating, entertaining Luc Besson sci-fi action film that looks and sounds better with this 2015 Blu-ray release. While not the best Besson film ever created, nor the best sci-fi action film ever made, but still “The Fifth Element” remains as a popcorn action sci-fi film worth watching.
J!-ENT has not received any compensation from the company for this post. J!-ENT has no material connection to the brands, products, or services that are mentioned in this post.
For Product Reviews:
For product reviews, J!-ENT has purchased the above product for review purposes or may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free by the company which in no way affects our reviews, may it be positive or negative. We only recommend products or services we have tested/reviewed and believe will be good for our readers.
Some of the links in our posts are "affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, J!-ENT will receive an affiliate commission.
J!-ENT is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”