The Fifth Element Returns to Theaters for Its 25th Anniversary


Ruby Rhod, in a giant yellow pompadour and leopard print onesie, screams into a microphone.

Image: Sony Pictures

It looks like we’re not the only ones celebrating the 25th anniversary of Luc Besson’s surreal science fiction cult classic. Courtesy of Fathom Events, The Fifth Element, starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, and a truly career-defining performance by Chris Tucker, will rocket back into theaters for special screenings on Sunday, June 26, and Wednesday, June 29.

The film stars Willis as a 23rd-century flying cab driver who gets caught up in a quest to save the galaxy by protecting Leeloo (Jovovich) from an evil industrialist named Zorg (Gary Oldman, only slightly campier a villain than his role in The Professional) and gathering the five mysterious elements needed to prevent an intergalactic war. Our own Germain Lussier did a retro review of the movie couple of weeks ago (on the movie’s specific 25th anniversary, May 9, just saying), so I’ll let him describe the movie’s utterly unique creativity:

“Rewatching The Fifth Element for the first time in two decades, it was those radical swings that stuck with me. They felt so bold, so brave, but only partially successful. Which, in a way, is The Fifth Element as a whole. Scenes set across multiple centuries, complete with intergalactic travel, cool guns, and flying car chases make it feel almost like a natural progression from films such as Total Recall, Stargate, or Independence Day on a story level. But on a visual level, it eclipses those movies exponentially. The film’s production design, costumes, and special effects are all beyond spectacular. Every choice Besson makes regarding the look of the film is 100 percent The Fifth Element. You are never going to look at Leeloo’s costume or Ruby’s hair and get it mixed up with another movie. It’s a singular, stunning vision.”

If you go see the film, stick around afterward to watch an interview with Besson and outtakes from the movie itself. The movie runs at 3:00 pm on June 26 and 7:00 pm on June 29 (local times according to location; theater info here), so mark your calendars accordingly.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.


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