7. What happened to that poor alien at the beginning?

fifth element alien

The Fifth Element packs a lot into its prologue. Opening in 1914, we're introduced to the mysterious Egyptian temple that plays a pivotal role in the movie's climax. An archaeologist is just about to discover the entire plot of the movie when the Mondoshawans -- an alien race of what can only be described as heavily-armored turtle armadillos -- show up to collect the powerful artifacts that they had previously stashed in the temple. Despite waddling at a pace of three feet per minute, the aliens claim they're in a hurry. The artifacts, consisting of four stones, aren't safe on Earth anymore.

Before anyone remembers he's in this movie, Luke Perry shows up and ruins everything. He waves a piddly pistol around at the vastly superior aliens, unaware that his priest friend has been in on this deal the whole time. When the gun inevitably goes off, some sort of temple security mechanism is triggered, and the walls start closing in. The last Mondoshawan barely has time to stick his hand outside the frame to deliver the temple key to his faithful human servant

fifth element alien

And then... the alien's buddies just leave him there. There's a supposed timecrunch involved, sure, but it's not like we see any bad guys hot on their trail. Maybe there's a deleted scene in which one of them realizes their mistake and yells "Oh my god, we forgot Frank on Earth!" But at best, the aliens act like their fallen comrade was just like a soda they left on top of the car some 40 light years back. We're left to assume that Frank is behind that wall for all eternity, doomed to perish long before anyone can reach him and open the door again.

But wait a minute, we know who has the key. Preistington McGoo foists it in the air as the ship takes off, pledging to pass down the knowledge of the stones.

fifth element

So, uh, what's stopping the priest from letting the trapped alien out of the temple? He's got the key, and literally all the time in the world. There's nothing valuable or sacred that remains but the structure itself, so there couldn't be any harm in letting Frank out. Then again, that would mean an alien would be chilling on Earth for the next 300 years. 

The next time we see the temple is during the final minutes of the film, after clergy intern David had prepared for the team's arrival. While everyone else was galavanting on Floston Paradise, David was dutifully setting up glow-sticks to light the way.

good job david

The movie doesn't show us, but we have to assume that David came upon Frank's dessicated corpse when he first opened the temple. Presumably he'd have had to roll that partially-disintegrated robot armadillo over to the side, right? 

We never actually get a good look at the entrance after the intro, so without any clues, we have to presume that this poor neglected alien was left to die alone, even though he could have easily been saved by his people or the numerous human servants on the planet. Sorry, Frank. 


6. Why is trash stacked to the ceiling at the airport?

fifth element trash

Midway through the movie, the various heroes and villains all converge at the airport in effort to gain passage to Floston Paradise. Between being amused at how amused Leeloo is at her Mul-Tee-Pass, there's something funny going on here. Namely, the fact that there's garbage everywhere. "Sorry about the mess," one attendant says. Refuse is stacked like 15 feet high. It feels like more than an apology is in order -- we need an explanation.

If you listen closely to the background, an intercom implies that there's a sanitation worker strike, but that doesn't make any sense. Why would the airport terminal, of all places, have their trash stacked up right there right where everyone can see? This is the same place where people are buying tickets, checking their luggage and cursing that one huge family at the front of the line who has been there for 20 minutes for seemingly no reason. 

If the sheer volume of the trash wasn't concerning enough, then we actually get a good look at the contents of the heap.

fifth element trash

Instead of piles of plastic bags filled with the leavings of thousands of passengers, these piles look like they belong in a junkyard. Scratch that -- all of these spare tubes, rusty fans and appliances actually resemble the landfill that the junkyard goes to when it has to take the garbage out. 

What's weirder is that a garbage strike shouldn't be a big deal at all, because we've already seen garbage robots in this universe.

fifth element trash

When Zorg slides his glass off the table in the middle of his self-satisfied monologue, like five robots come out of the wall and perform an autonomous cleanup. Wouldn't a massively-trafficked place like the airport be one of the first places to employ a fleet of Super-Roombas like these? Part of the benefit of robots is that they never go on strike. 

Then again, the movie does take place largely in New York City. If we're being honest, the disgusting trash dystopia in the movie isn't that far off from what it's like to visit LaGuardia Airport.