How Well Do You Remember Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element"?

Torrance Grey

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

Featuring garish colors, scandalously skimpy costumes and a Barbarella-meets-Robocop production design, this 1997 film threw out the sci-fi rulebook -- and introduced Milla Jojovich to the world. How well do you remember "The Fifth Element"? Find out now!

In what country does the movie open?

The year is 1914, and a Howard Carter-like figure is brushing dust from hieroglyphs in the desert. Then a spaceship lands, and we're not in Kansas anymore!

In the Egypt scenes, which 1990s TV heartthrob played the sketch artist, Billy?

Perry was the "bad boy" (sort of) to Jason Priestley's "good guy" on "Beverly Hills, 90210." He survived early stardom to do a lot of voice work in animated series, including "The Simpsons."

For what have the alien Mondoshawans come to Earth?

Those items are essential to defeating a great evil. The Mondoshawans aren't outright stealing them from Earth -- the aliens have a close relationship with an order of human priests, to whom they promise to return the stones and sarcophagus when needed.

What do the four stones represent?

Really, there could have been three stones, or five, with an entirely different explanation for where they get their power. The main point, for plot purposes, is that everyone will have something to fight over.

The sarcophagus contains the Fifth Element. But what, exactly, is that?

The Fifth Element is a part of an ancient weapon that consisted of four stones and a sarcophagus which contained the fifth element. Th element appeared in human form, played by Milla Jovovich, and was capable of channeling a beam of light which would destroy the ancient evil enemy!

Who played the President of the Federated Territories?

Lister, once a pro wrestler, is blind in his right eye. This is visible in closeups, although to viewers, it's the eye on the left side of the screen.

When the Mondoshawans return, what prevents the "planned" hand-off of the stones and Fifth Element?

Earth is now threatened by a "great evil," also called the "dark planet" and "Mr. Shadow." Its pawn, a human businessman named Zorg, hires the Mangalores to prevent the Mondoshawans from returning the stones and the Fifth Element to the priest who can use them as a weapon. To prevent the stones from getting into the wrong hands, they trick the Mondoshawans into thinking they would hand off the stones, however, the stones were never on board.

What is the name of the priest in the 23rd century who knows about the great evil and the Fifth Element?

Ian Holm played the priest. Fun fact: "Cornelius" became a common name in European countries because in the days of the Roman empire, slaves took their master's last name. A very wealthy slaveholder named "Cornelius" liberated all his slaves at once, releasing a number of "Corneliuses" into the world.

What part of the "Fifth Element" survives the wreck?

When we first see the hand, it's encased in metal from the sarcophargus it was stored in. The warrior is re-created from the hand via a process that looks a lot like today's 3D printing.

What name does the Fifth Element take?

Her full name is Leeloo Minai Lekatariba Laminai Tchai Ekbat de Sebat. That might be a problem when she wants to get a New York State driver's license.

What does Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) do for a living?

Willis flies around a chaotic New York City in a hover-cab, dodging other low-flying vehicles. This is how he meets Leeloo -- she literally falls into his cab.

What kind of pet does Dallas have?

Willis' white cat wakes him up meowing to be let into his little pod-like apartment in Brooklyn, then stares longingly at the "fish" in the tank. Later, when Willis forgets to feed his cat, he promises it Thai food as a treat.

What language does Leeloo speak?

The language that Besson created for his alien warrior only has about 400 words. He and actress Jojovich spoke to each other in it so she could practice.

How does Leeloo learn to say "please help"?

The ad is in the back of Dallas' cab. How she seems to know that repeating the phrase will win over the reluctant Dallas isn't really clear.

What does Korben do at the priest's apartment that upsets Leeloo?

He kisses her while she's still asleep. Leeloo wakes up and pulls a gun on him, and says something that means, in the divine language, "Never without my permission." (Translation by Vito Cornelius).

Who played Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg?

This CEO and weapons dealer is an intermediary for the "great evil" on Earth. Somebody, maybe Oldman himself, decided the character needed a Texan drawl, despite his very Gaelic first and middle names.

What ruins Zorg's "broken glass" parable about destruction stimulating productivity?

After taking a few seconds to taunt Zorg about how all his wealth and power can't save him from a simple piece of fruit stuck in his throat, Vito Cornelius whacks him on the back, expelling the cherry. After all, Cornelius is a priest -- he can't just let Zorg die!

To whom did the Mondoshawans give the four stones?

The singer was played by Besson's then-girlfriend, Maiwenn Le Besco, in a blue crustacean-like costume. Opera singer Inva Mula sang the piece that Plavalaguna performed at Khloston Paradise.

Why did the Mondoshawans give the four stones to an intermediary?

Again, this seems to be more a plot convenience than anything else. It forces a detour to a "paradise" planet and created a small role for Besson's then-girlfriend, Maiwenn Le Besco.

How does Korben get his Thai food?

Though Dallas says he's getting Thai food, the flying kitchen is shaped like an old-fashioned Chinese junk. Its friendly chef banters with Dallas as he cooks and Dallas eats. Hey, this is one future development we can get behind!

What pretext does the military make for getting Korben Dallas to the resort on Khloston where Diva Plavalaguna is performing?

Dallas doesn't listen to the radio, so he misses the news until three officers turn up on his doorstep to explain the mission to him. Dallas' mother has heard, though, and she calls to nag him to take her along.

When Leeloo appears at his door, where does Dallas make General Munro and his officers hide?

The officers have dropped by to conscript him into the mission to Khloston Paradise. Dallas doesn't know it yet, but that's the same reason that Leeloo and the priest have come to see him. Cornelius even uses the same wording: "To save the world."

How many people claim to be Korben Dallas at the spaceport?

First, David passes himself off as Dallas, then the real Dallas shows up. Next, a Mangalore alien comes disguised as Dallas -- except he's shapeshifted into the form of the neighbor the police accidentally arrested in Dallas' place. And finally, the Zorg operative shows up, making the same claim. Got it?

Which comedian played Ruby Rhod, the talk-show host?

His name, "Ruby Rhod," seems to reflect his mix of masculine and feminine qualities. His behavior is fey and effeminate, but we also see him seduce a female flight attendant with what can only be called gusto.

What does Leeloo do while Dallas is at Diva Plavalaguna's concert?

As a warrior and "supreme being," Leeloo dispatches the squad of attackers with ease. She also employs the acrobatics and Tai-Chi-like postures that were so popular in 1990s fight choreography. This scene was nominated for "Best Fight" at the MTV Movie Awards.

Where are the four stones hidden?

There are several fake-outs where the stones are concerned. First, the Mangalores deliver an empty box to a disappointed Zorg. Then, in the Diva's suite,, Leeloo throws a box to Zorg that also doesn't hold them.

Who sets, and then disarms, a bomb at the resort?

Zorg intends to destroy the resort when he thinks he has the stones. On finding the box Leeloo threw at him empty, he shuts off the bomb's timer. Then he's killed by another bomb, this one set by a Mangalore. Why? Apparently just because audiences like explosions.

Who is in the Egyptian temple with Leeloo as the dark planet approaches?

Maybe Besson liked Chris Tucker's motor-mouthed, high-strung take on this character. The only other reason for him to be in the temple is so that four different people can "activate" the four element stones.

Why does Leeloo initially refuse to take part in the ceremony?

Just before the temple ceremony, Leeloo has searched the word "WAR" on the computer. What comes up is a montage of disturbing images that move her to tears.

Why does Leeloo change her mind about humanity?

Actually, we don't see Leeloo explicitly change her mind. Dallas simply declares his love and kisses her, and at that moment a powerful beam of light shoots from her up into the sky. It's implied that the kiss itself -- and the love it implies -- activates her powers.

What are Dallas and Leeloo doing at the film's end?

The president has arrived to thank them personally for saving the world, but they're too busy getting down. The embarrassed director of the NeuroLab (the same place where Leeloo was "re-created") quickly blocks the chamber's window and makes excuses for them. "They need five more minutes," he says.

What useful ability did the Mangalores have?

A Mangalore passes as human at several points in the film. One of them is at the spaceport, where a Mangalore claims to be Korben Dallas. Unfortunately, the real Dallas has already claimed his ticket.

After "The Fifth Element," Besson cast Milla Jojovich as Joan of Arc. What was that historical film called?

"Joan of Arc" was later a TV miniseries, in 1999. In that one, Leelee Sobieski played the young visionary.

How old was Luc Besson when he began working on the story for "The Fifth Element"?

Besson was 38 when the finished product was finally in theaters. Among the holdups was a very long original script and a high budget, both of which were pared down.

Which designer created the costumes for the film?

Gaultier's costumes for the film, for both men and women, showed a lot of skin. None more so than the strategically-placed "thermal bandaging" that Leeloo wears for some time after her escape from the NeuroLab.

What very successful film did Besson make in 1994, which probably spurred "Fifth Element" toward being green-lighted?

"Leon" was about a hit man, played by Jean Reno, who takes an orphaned girl under his wing. Reno, one of Besson's favorite actors, was considered for the part of Korben Dallas in "Fifth Element."

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