Fifth Element

I want to see a reboot of this movie directed by Greta Gerwig


Release date: May 7, 1997
Director: Luc Besson
Language: English

Who should watch this movie: People who had the Kit Fisto action figure growing up. Fans of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal. 

When should you watch this movie: When you need Halloween costume inspiration. When you’re writing a strongly worded article about gender politics in science fiction. 

The sell: Fifth Element may be a darling of the genre, but man does it need a feminist update. My goal here is not to come for Luc Besson. I have no reason to believe that he is anything other than a jovial french nerd who’s into alien chicks, but I hope it does not need explaining why the “perfect girl” theme is so problematic. Especially when that “perfect girl” is essentially a child in the body of a sexy adult woman. I find it frustrating that, in the same movie, we can have both the sex-positive, queer coded, liberated Ruby Rhod, and the blanket objectification of Leeloo by – and this is not an exaggeration – every single man she comes into contact with. It’s not just distracting, it’s nauseating. Fine, ok, credit where credit is due, Fifth Element boasts some fabulous world building and character design. The set pieces are innovative and the scenes of futuristic city life lay the groundwork for important subsequent productions (*cough cough* Star Wars Prequels, though George Lucas will never admit it). However, the “Born Sexy Yesterday” trope is exhausting and energies may be better spent elsewhere, watching Alien. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: