What The Fifth Element Got Right

Not at all a classic, The Fifth Element does abound in rich images and even more. While the screenplay does seem to be written by a teenager, we get a glimpse of how society can be in the 23rd century. Sometimes over the top, sometimes visionary, some of these scenarios have proven to be true.

And the first thing to be noticed is that a model can carry a big-budget movie on her fragile shoulders. Milla Jovovich was just a model, with just a few roles under her narrow orange belt, most notably appearing in Return to the Blue Lagoon (which isn’t at all a great movie). However, after The Fifth Element, she got her own franchise, Resident Evil, which has grossed more than $900 million worldwide.

Then the movie also got right what pop-culture (or at least a part of it) will look like. And Lady Gaga isn’t a product of the distant future – she is a product of our times. I am talking about Diva Plavalaguna, the blue alien that is hiding the sacred stones.

And then there is Ruby Rhod, the DJ that narrates his own entrance into the room and then is caught in the crossfire. That seemed over the top in 1997, when The Fifth Element appeared. But now he is seen as the exponent of every reality show that we watch on our television screens.

But the most important invention foreseen by the movie is the MultiPass: ID, credit card, driving license and everything else, all into one single piece of plastic. If you believe we don’t have that yet, you should think again: the new smartphone from Apple has the Touch ID, which has already opened the road towards making the fingerprint a universal password.

Therefore, we are very close to getting rid of our wallets and replacing them with a MultiPass (it will be a little bit thicker than in the movie, but it will still be a single object)

Of course, plenty of things didn’t become true and won’t be seen in the near future (flying cars, anyone?) But The Fifth Element stands as a proof that a writer’s imagination can come up with something else than overburdened plots and beautiful images.

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