The Fifth Element to commemorate 20th anniversary back on the big screen

When we ran down our list of some of the biggest anniversaries happening in 2017 this New Year’s Day here at, we mentioned that Valerian, the lead character in director Luc Besson’s new sci-fi extravaganza Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, turns 50 this year.  Also celebrating this year is Besson’s most famous work, 1997’s visual spectacle The Fifth Element.  To celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary, Fathom Events is partnering with Sony Pictures next month to bring the film back to theaters for two days only.

The Fifth Element represents the best science fiction has to offer.  The look at Bruce Willis’s hero Korben Dallas living the life of an “every man” in a future New York City was groundbreaking.  At the end of one career Dallas finds himself driving a cab, getting hounded by his mother on the phone, talking to his cat, and ordering Chinese food–normal things from this century, yet with Dallas we see a future efficiency apartment jammed with every day necessities and every day wonders.  The Fifth Element also blends in fantastical elements–a fantastic journey with humor, action, and stunning visuals connecting ancient history and the future of not only humans, but a federation of aliens from other worlds, too.

The set decoration, cinematography, make-ups, costumes, and props were groundbreaking.  When we grew up thinking about the ideal year 2000, the bustling space travel and flying cars in The Fifth Element are exactly what we were hoping for.  Compare The Fifth Element with any other film with a vision of our future and the competitors will be difficult to measure up.  Only Doctor Who and Star Trek really compare, also mixing elements of sci-fi and fantasy with aliens and other worlds, and the most creative, visionary, artistic components–yet which single two-hour segment has all the elements boiled down into two epic hours?

Consider the acting talent:  Action hero Bruce Willis in one of his best, understated roles, action heroine Milla Jovovich in her breakout performance that would lead to her becoming one of our biggest box office successes, Academy Award nominees Gary Oldman and Ian Holm, character actor greats Brion James, Tommy Lister, and John Neville, plus breakout roles with Luke Perry and Chris Tucker.  If you haven’t seen The Fifth Element on the big screen, you haven’t seen it yet.  If you have, then you can see it again for the first time.

The Fathom Events screenings nationwide will include a 20th anniversary introduction by director and writer Luc Besson and an exclusive preview of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which hits theaters July 21.

The screenings are May 14 and May 17, 2017.  Check out the Fathom Events website here for more information and participating theaters.

C.J. Bunce


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