Opening Statement

While I wasn’t exactly sure what the film’s quality would be, I was well aware of its style and character design. These aspects of the film absolutely hold up and are unquestionably the film’s ace. Not saying the story is bad by any means, I could watch The Fifth Element without sound and get just as much enjoyment out of it — by Aaron Pinkston, July 17, 2017

Ugly Aliens

How might one describe the Mangalores? Hairless dogs with fish lips? Bipedal worms with shriveled elephant ears? How ever you describe at them, it’s unlikely that you’re going to think of them as friendly or beautiful. If you were to stick the wrinkled visage of a Mangalore in front of any stranger and ask them if the character were a hero or a villain, I’m pretty confident they’d come up with the correct answer — by Alex Moore, July 18, 2017

First Viewing: Epic Expectations

I had seen bits and pieces of The Fifth Element before. It was one of those movies that always seemed to be on TNT when I was in high school, and it’s hard to not pause on the channel when Chris Tucker pops up wearing a leopard-print leotard and a blond penis-shaped wig. Yet it’s for just those reasons that I usually didn’t stay long — by John Gilpatrick, July 19, 2017

Origins of the Modern Comic Book Movie

Besson’s filmography had always been built on pulp characters [Nikita and Leon] and stylized cinema [The Big Blue and Subway]. While The Fifth Element isn’t a direct adaptation of any particular comic book, its heritage is rooted firmly in pulpy, golden age sci-fi and comics — by Kevin Taylor, July 20, 2017

Related Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

If you’ve been reading our essays on The Fifth Element this week, you’ve probably noticed that most of us were pretty excited about seeing Luc Besson’s latest film. Perhaps it is the small contrarian in me that I expected to have a lot of fun with it despite what could be an absolute trainwreck. In the end, it is more bad than good, but like its predecessor there is a lot to love — by Aaron Pinkston, July 21, 2017