I got it early on, but a lot of people are surprised and impressed at the hidden depth of The Fifth Element. Everyone thinks "Yay, Waif-Fu saves the world, go Leeloo!" until a later re-viewing reveals that the fifth element is not Leeloo. It's love.—Indigo
I respectfully disagree. I saw Leeloo as akin to the four stones (physical manifestations of the elements), being the manifestation of the fifth element life. Love is the activation of her, as the stones are activated by what the element does: wind blows, rain falls, fire burns... (paraphrased). Hence: life loves. -Moonshade
What exactly does earth do? Apparently even the screenwriters were stumped on this one.
Word of God states that the fifth element is sex. Which is brilliant, since in some philosophies the whole world (and life) was created by mixing the elements. And taking something from two things, then mixing it together and creating something new, is all what breeding is about.
Just take a look at the movie's poster on the main page. The tagline is, "There is no future without it."
Strange that Leeloo, after doing it several times over, still doesn't seem to know how to activate her power.
Not so much that she didn't know how, but she needed Korben to activate her. Just like the other elements, she needed an outside source of power.
It also nicely explains why Leeloo is a girl; it's the female of the species that carries and gives birth to new life. So of course the ultimate weapon is a woman of child bearing age.
Females on Earth. Surely in a universe as diverse as this one that cannot always be true.
In this particular instance, The Fifth Element then would most likely apply to human life, given that Leeloo takes human form and it's the Earth that is being protected through her power.
Except sex isn't inherently necessary for life to arise or persist; just ask the 100 trillion bacteria in your own body.
I was struck by the realization that the first time Earth defeated "Mr. Shadow" was how we got the moon. —starshine
The Evil Planet comes every five thousand years. The moon has been there for roughly 4 billion. You fail science. — Sherick
Every five thousand years, evil tries, going back through infinity. The moon would only appear the last time EVIL NEARLY WON.
Realize also that dozens of moons in our solar system alone, as well as an asteroid belt. Any of these could be more defeated evils.
Or rather, got that close. Was it just me, or when the Evil showed up, did it consume Jupiter?
The novelization specifically says there is now a second moon. Word of God also says that our moon is the remnants of a previous evil.
Presumably the stones have been kept on other planets in the distant past, when Earth didn't have enough life (or enough sentient life, if that's required) to provide a suitable harbor for the Fifth Element. So there's no reason to assume Earth would've been the stones' hiding place long enough for multiple Moons to have already accumulated from failed attacks.
I didn't realize until I read this tropes page that Korben Dallas never meets Zorg or even learns of his existence. When Leeloo and Zorg meet in the Diva's room, it's their first meeting and they don't know who each other are. During the movie, Korben never learns why the aliens are invading the hotel.
He can probably figure it out, though. I mean he's on a secret mission to retrieve the stones, and the very same aliens that shot down Leeloo's original ship show up and start shooting the place up? I think he's gonna be able to put two and two together.
Actually, they do interact indirectly. Freeze-frame on the notice that Korben got notifying him that his cab company was firing him. The logo was Zorg, following directly after a scene where Zorg said to fire one million employees. So Korben's entire fight was actually an ex-employee taking down his evil boss.
The Save the Villain scene seems to simply show us that Vito is good and would help everyone if he has to, even if he hates doing so. But at the same time he also saves earth. As we later see, Mr. Shadow stopped only because Zorg was going to get him the stones, but as soon as that fails, he starts to accelerate to earth again. If Zorg had died earlier, there would not have been enough time to get to Phloston and get the stones.
It's unclear why Shadow wanted the stones at all, with the possible explanation that it wanted any threats dealt with before it made its move. The woodblock plate in Vito's book only shows "evil standing there" and no stones, unlike in the fifth element "good ending" plate. Odds on, the Evil wanted the stones out of play so it couldn't be Moonified by some last-minute, do-gooding, rag-tag team of misfits. When its plans for taking the stones out of the equation failed, it made a last-ditch sprint for the finish.
Early in the movie, Cornelius explains the prophecy and mentions that if an evil being were to stand in the temple with the four stones, it would cause a class X-2 Apocalypse How. Later, Mr. Shadow appears to be Colony Dropping himself on top of the temple...
At two instances in the film, we get mention of how "old tricks are the best tricks". The Colonel mentions it to Korben Dallas regarding how the military rigged the Gemini Croquet contest so Korben would win. The other is when Zorg is showing off the ZF-1, regarding everything but the Replay feature as "oldies but goldies". This isn't unintentional. The movie is subtly telling us that Leeloo is going to win in the end. She's the oldest trick/weapon that the human race have.
At the beginning of the movie, the Mondoshawans enter the temple, at whom a startled professor asks "Are you German?". This is funny and all that, but when you think that the first scene is happening at the dawn of the First World War, the professor could have simply thought the Mondoshawans were German with some kind of armor.
Zorg chews the Mangalores out for not bothering to check that the case they stole actually had what he wanted. He commits the exact same error later, necessitating his return to the ship and prompting his double Karmic Death (see main entry).
When we see the remains of Leeloo's severed hand, it appears to be clutching some kind of handle with elaborate gold decoration. Later on, when the Mangalores deliver the case that's supposed to contain the four stones, it has the same decoration on the handles, and one of them is missing.
All the 'space saving' compartments in Dallas' apartment, once you realize that the only place they could fold out of is other apartments.
Not necessarily; they take up the entire wall, along with some shelves, so they're probably within the footprint of the apartment itself. Think of it like pushing all the furniture to the edges of the room so you can play Twister.
That does not explain where the fridge goes though.
Maybe there's wall cavities where the pipes and other inner workings of the building go that leave space for the space saving things. I mean, it's shown that every apartment is like Korben's, so the building must just be planned out that way.
Just HOW did Plava Laguna plan to get the stones out if she hadn't been shot?
Surgery. It's a bigger question just how she got them in. They are very big stones, and it looks like their combined volume is more than could possibly fit inside her stomach and ribcage, even assuming that she has no vital organs.
Courtesy of Crackednote from their list of 19 Instagram Food Pics From Famous Fictional Characters: 
What happened to the glove Leeloo was wearing? Her body was literally formed around it and then it's gone.
When her body is first formed, she's still wearing it. Presumably, she just took her hand out of it when she got up.
In a nice bit of film continuity, the glove is actually present inside the reconstruction chamber in every shot. You just may not have noticed it because... well, Milla Jovovich.
It's great that Mr. Shadow was stopped, but at only 60 miles about Earth, it would seriously screw up the Earth's gravity, tidal patterns, etc.
Not to worry! At only 60 miles altitude and no apparent velocity, its orbit would decay in no time and it'll just crash...into...oops.
You know it just occurred to me, while reading the entry above. New York is basically a bunch of gigantic skyscrapers - right? Not only it would be very difficult for people to breathe at such height (I think it's where airplanes fly right now, no?), it's freezing up there. Sure, the latter could be explained by all the vapor that occurs in the city. But what about air? And here is something - the reason for New York to become this way is overpopulation and lack of space. Yet the temple in Egypt is so stand alone, that makes you wonder why didn't humans build their city outwards? I mean, sure, Egypt is rather far (different continent no less), but does that means that others are not faced with overpopulation?
Actually, the implication is that the rivers and probably most of the Harbor have been drained to make more room (The Statue of Liberty isn't on a tower, that's what's left of Liberty Island itself). They didn't build up, they built down!
Plus, humans don't have long-term problems with unassisted breathing until you get to about 15,000 feet above sea level. Lots of planes fly lower than that (in fact, unless the pilot has supplemental oxygen, planes have to fly lower than that, which includes quite a bit of non-commercial civil aviation.)
You'd assume that, coupling the higher altitudes of the city and the pollution that's down in the lower levels, people have become accostumed to breathing in harsh environments.
New York city is the capital of the Federated Territories, i.e. Earth's capital city. It is no wonder that New York appears to be overpopulated.
It makes for a lovely dramatic moment and all, but one gets the feeling Leeloo was a little...sporadic with her reading if she got all the way to "W" before hitting a topic that would drive home how rotten humans can be.
Except she actively searched "war" so it's clear she's already well aware of its existence as a concept. There's actually several potential explanations for her reaction: 1) seeing all humanity's horrors condensed like that was just overwhelming as opposed to learning about it in small doses through other, more specific, terms; 2) the visual proof that in 5000 years humans are still hell-bent on destroying each other; 3) somewhat connected to the previous two, "war" as a topic encompasses pretty much all of humanity's worst aspects - violence, hatred, greed, selfishness, advancements made to design the most efficient way to end as many lives as possible, etc - in a way that more specific topics dealing with causes, methods and outcomes of war wouldn't. And actually being confronted with the reality all of that at once would be hard to take even if you were aware that it existed beforehand. Think about the first time you saw real evidence of what humans are truly capable of inflicting on each other (news footage from war zones/the aftermath of terror attacks/pictures or visits of concentration camps/etc) - I'm willing to bet that at the time it was pretty overwhelming even though you were probably already aware of death or war as a concept beforehand.
What happened to all the exotic functions of the ZF-1? When Zorg battles Leeloo, he just uses it like a plain, twentieth-cnetury machine gun.
Because it's not a "battle" and the other functions wouldn't have done much good. The rockets stood as much chance of blowing him up at that range, the darts, net, freeze ray and flame throwers would've just impacted the ceiling. Machine gunning the ceiling really is the most effective way to have attacked her in that situation.
How many first-person shooters have tons of guns with at least two firing options each, yet most everyone sticks to one weapon's primary fire because it's Boring, but Practical?
Exactly how long has the trash strike been going on? That pile of trash takes up half the concourse, and is like a wall. People walk by and no one comments on the smell (or is wearing some kind of mask to filter out the smell!)
Given how many people go through the airport in a single day, it probably wouldn't take all that long.
About a week, if RL trash strikes are anything to go by. Once there is a start to a pile, people won't hesitate to add to it as much as when the floor is clean. At that point, the piles grow quickly.
The scene where Korben meets Cornelius at his house with an unconscious Leeloo can be seen as a horrifying take on contemporary New York society: A man shows up at a priest's door dirty and covered in burns and wounds. He is holding a knocked-out barely-dressed (even by their standards!) girl, who is also dirty and covered in cuts and bruises. Cornelius had no idea who these people were, or even if the girl in question knew the person holding her. All we get is this exchange:
Korben: "I'm lookin' for a priest!"
Cornelius: (rolls eyes) "Weddings are one floor down, my son. Congratulations."
Especially bad as Cornelius is supposedly in a sect that "reveres life", yet can't take 10 seconds out of his busy day to make sure this passed out girl isn't in danger.
This scene is after the Mondoshawan's ship is shot down, and before Cornelius knows that the Fifth Element is still alive. Therefore his disregard may be nothing more than despair that Life will shortly be wiped out.
While it's better than it destroying the earth, rendering Mr. Shadow a moon orbiting earth will mess up the gravity.