Review: The Fifth Element (1997) (Blu-ray)

Hundreds of years after aliens visit an archaeological site in Egypt, a mysterious object approaches Earth…

Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element is one of those movies which benefit from the big screen, and the Blu-ray edition now finally comes as close as we’re likely to get with a digital transfer to the richness of the colours and textures that Besson created.  Make sure you get the new edition – the old one was rightly panned for the poor quality of its transfer.

There’s much to praise about the film itself, with arresting performances from Bruce Willis, Chris Rock, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm and Milla Jovovich, and a whole society brought to life in a very different way from usual. The quality of the movie is matched now by the extras, which include a behind-the-scenes documentary, Discovering the Fifth Element, that doesn’t hold back on the film’s strengths and weaknesses. A visual effects commentary and features on the art and style of the movie give ample consideration to the technical side.

Verdict: A feast for the eyes that now has the extras it deserves.  8/10

Paul Simpson

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