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The Fifth Element

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 7 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • The Fifth Element's 4K release dazzles with superb quality and extras, delighting fans and home theater enthusiasts.

    The Fifth Element 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • The Fifth Element's 4K UHD release dazzles with vivid details, vibrant colors, and improved shadow detail, reaffirming its status as a top-tier film-based presentation for fans and AV enthusiasts.

  • Audio
  • The Dolby Atmos and TrueHD 7.1 mix offers an audiophile's dream: richly immersive, detailed, and dynamic sound that elevates the vibrant, action-packed sci-fi adventure.

  • Extra
  • The Fifth Element's 4K UHD release boasts an exclusive, insightful featurette by Luc Besson, alongside a vast array of special features from previous releases, encapsulating the intricate production and iconic fashion.

  • Movie
  • Luc Besson's The Fifth Element, a celebrated sci-fi classic, mixes vibrant comic-book aesthetics with a unique storytelling and memorable characters, standing out even decades later.

    Video: 87

    The Fifth Element's 4K UHD Blu-ray launch does more than merely uphold the film’s vibrant legacy; it catapults Luc Besson's science-fiction marvel into the future with its stunning video presentation, making it an essential upgrade over previous home media editions. Presented in a 3840 x 2160p resolution, with the original 2.39:1 aspect ratio, this release is encoded using the HEVC (H.265) codec, boasting a 10-bit color depth along with HDR and WCG, delivering a visual feast that sharpens the details and enriches the film’s famous color palette. Despite minor drawbacks such as slightly visible digital enhancements and a few softer sequences—attributable more to the source material and the technology of its time—the disc showcases remarkable fidelity. From the intricate textures of desert landscapes and alien designs to the bustling metropolis and vivid space opera scenes, each moment glows with newfound clarity and a rejuvenated vibrancy that breathes life into every frame.

    Sony's dedication to remastering and re-releasing classic films on UHD has once again set The Fifth Element apart as a reference-quality disc. Utilizing the same master as the Cinema Series Blu-ray edition, this UHD version includes a restrained HDR color grade that opens up the dynamic range without distorting the original vision, offering deeper blacks and brighter highlights. While some have noted that the CG effects betray their age and resolution, and there are mild instances of edge enhancement, these are far outweighed by the overall improvement in detail, texture, and color depth. The film’s unique visual style—from the rocky terrains and intricate facial textures to the stunning costume designs—has never been more pronounced, with every element contributing to a more immersive viewing experience.

    The UHD edition doesn't radically change The Fifth Element's artistic essence but enhances it with updated technology, presenting a balanced and naturally vivid color scheme alongside profound shadow detail and contrast. Despite certain sequences appearing somewhat muted in comparison to the film’s traditionally bright palette, this transfer honors the original aesthetic while introducing significant upgrades in clarity and depth. This iteration’s use of HDR somewhat darkens the image but in a way that enriches visual depth considerably, making space scenes dazzle with stark contrasts and daylight scenes beam with a lively yet natural luminance. Even as some critiques point out inconsistencies in grain structure and effects resolution, this release reaffirms The Fifth Element’s standing not just as a cult favorite but as a cinematic work deserving of its technical due, offering both enthusiasts and new viewers alike the definitive version of Besson's visionary tale.

    Audio: 92

    The 4K UHD Blu-Ray audio presentation of "The Fifth Element" is praiseworthy for its Dolby Atmos track, impeccably layered over a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core that augments the film's dynamic and rich auditory experience. This cutting-edge audio delivers an immersive soundscape that elevates the viewing experience, seamlessly blending Eric Serra's unique score and the diverse array of sound effects—from the hustle and bustle of futuristic cityscapes to the intensity of action sequences. Dialogue clarity is never compromised, ensuring every word cuts through the mix with precision, while the effects and music provide a vibrant, atmospheric backdrop, enhancing every scene's emotional and thematic depth.

    The Atmos mix introduces a remarkable sense of spatial awareness and depth, utilizing overhead channels to craft moments of astonishing clarity and immersion, like the unforgettable scene where Leeloo dives into Korben Dallas’ cab. This sonically enriches the film, drawing viewers into the heart of its most thrilling moments. The track's dynamic range is exceptional, handling subtle nuances as well as bombastic action without falter. Surround sound use is sophisticated, creating a fully enveloping audio environment where every sound element, from whispered dialogue to roaring engines and gunfire, is positioned with pinpoint accuracy to replicate a three-dimensional space.

    Bass response and LFE channel utilization are robust and articulate, grounding the high-flying action without overwhelming the finer details of the mix. The score and assorted musical elements shine in this format, presented with lush detail that underscores the film’s distinctive mood and setting. Overall, this audio presentation not only respects but enhances the original masterpiece, ensuring that "The Fifth Element" resonates as powerfully today as it did upon its release, embracing both audiophiles and newcomers with a spectacular auditory journey through Luc Besson’s visionary universe.

    Extra: 82

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "The Fifth Element" adds a valuable piece to its extras with "The Director's Notes: Luc Besson Looks Back," a 10-minute insight into Besson's reflections on the film's creation and its hurdles, enriched with personal anecdotes and the filmmaker's uniquely detailed approach. This addition is a standout, offering depth and behind-the-scenes perspectives across various facets of the movie, from casting to special effects. However, the set doesn't fully transition all supplements from its Blu-ray counterpart, keeping viewers switching discs for the complete experience. The package also contains a myriad of featurettes exploring different elements such as visual aesthetics, character development, and costume design, alongside test footage and deleted scenes. A notable inclusion for collectors is the Best Buy exclusive 4K UHD Steelbook edition, showcasing a pop art design that fans of the aesthetic will find appealing despite its premium price.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • The Director’s Notes: Luc Besson Looks Back: Luc Besson delves into his experiences and insights on the making of "The Fifth Element".
    • The Visual Element: An exploration of the film's visual storytelling and special effects.
    • The Star Element: Insights from Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, and Chris Tucker on their roles and experiences during filming.
    • The Alien Element: Featurettes and test footage providing a look into the design and portrayal of the movie's aliens.
    • The Fashion Element: A dive into the unique and iconic costume design by Jean Paul Gaultier.
    • The Diva: Behind-the-scenes on the creation and portrayal of The Diva.
    • Imagining The Fifth Element & The Elements of Style: Discussions on the conceptualization and execution of both special effects and costume design.
    • Fact Track: An overlay providing trivia and facts throughout the movie.
    • Digital HD Copy: A digital version of the film for various platforms.

    Movie: 84

    Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element," now re-presented in stunning 4K UHD Blu-ray, remains a testament to his unique directorial vision, encapsulating a quintessential blend of sci-fi spectacle and comic-book action-adventure. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, it stands out not just for its vivid and innovative visuals—crafting a future with distinctive weapons and comic-like aliens—but also for housing performances that perfectly marry with its outlandish universe. From Bruce Willis's John McClane-esque Corben Dallas to Gary Oldman's memorably unhinged villainy as Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, each character adds depth to the vibrant world Besson imagined. However, it's arguably Milla Jovovich's Leeloo that steals the show, blending innocence and fury into a role that transcends the superficial, adding layers to what could've been a mere objectified character.

    Set 250 years in the future, "The Fifth Element" embarks on an interstellar journey against Evil, with only the titular Fifth Element—a supreme being embodied by Jovovich's Leeloo—and a reluctant hero cab driver played by Willis, standing in its way. Their fight against the nefarious plans of Oldman's Zorg, set against the backdrop of an imminent cosmic threat, is both exhilarating and visually captivating. Despite burgeoning under Besson's script—one tinged with his teenage fascinations—this sci-fi epic marries blockbuster action with an unorthodox love story amidst a visually sprawling futuristic setting.

    This 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation not only immortalizes Besson's last big screen outing that fans cherish but also solidifies its stand in the home theater market alongside other cult classics. The transfer respects the original's vibrant spectrum, bringing forth an unparalleled clarity and depth to its iconic visuals. While navigating through Sony's menu system may present a challenge, the quality of this release makes it an indispensable addition for collectors and new enthusiasts alike, capturing the essence of what made "The Fifth Element" a standout piece in cinematic history.

    Total: 86

    Sony's release of "The Fifth Element" on 4K UHD Blu-ray is a monumental event for both home media enthusiasts and fans of Luc Besson's work, offering an unparalleled home viewing experience that faithfully commemorates the film's 20th anniversary. This edition not only delivers stunning Ultra HD video quality, bringing the unique and colorful world of the film to life with exceptional clarity and vibrancy, but it also pairs this visual feast with a complementing Dolby Atmos immersive sound track, providing an auditory experience that is as engaging as the visual. Furthermore, the inclusion of a comprehensive selection of both new and legacy special features, notably a director's retrospective exclusive to this release, enhances appreciation for this sci-fi action classic, making it a must-have for collectors and new fans alike.

    Despite the film not achieving the pinnacle of sci-fi cinema, its distinctive blend of bizarre humor, vibrant visuals, and engaging performances ensures its place as a beloved classic that continues to entertain. Acknowledging some shortcomings in visual quality when compared to newer 4K releases, this edition still represents the definitive version of "The Fifth Element," presenting the best possible home viewing quality of the film so far. The integration of High Dynamic Range (HDR) functionality further elevates the viewing experience, making it particularly appealing for fans seeking to revisit Besson’s vision with the latest in home theater technology.

    In conclusion, while "The Fifth Element" on 4K UHD may not be groundbreaking in terms of contemporary visual standards, its release is a significant achievement that offers the highest quality viewing experience for one of cinema's most unique and enduring sci-fi films. The blend of superb video and audio quality, along with a rich set of extras, makes this edition a compelling purchase for both longstanding admirers and newcomers eager to explore Besson's quirky futuristic universe. Its enduring appeal reaffirms its status as a fun, visually spectacular film that is more enjoyable with each viewing, cementing its place in the pantheon of sci-fi classics worthy of being experienced in 4K.