Movie Review: The 5th Wave (2016)

Posted: July 6, 2016 in Action, Romance
Tags: ,

The 5th Wave

Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a typical high school girl.  She hangs out with her best friend Lizbeth (Gabriella Lopez) has a crush on a football player, Ben Parish (Nick Robinson) and is awkward around him.  Her seemingly ordinary life is turned upside down when aliens invade Earth. The aliens attack in waves, first they send an electromagnetic pulse throughout the world, putting an end to our technologically advanced society. The second wave brings earthquakes and tidal waves, and millions more die.  Cassie loses her mother, Lisa (Maggie Siff) in the 3rd wave when the aliens bioengineer the avian flu to make it more deadly to humans.  Cassie loses her father, Oliver (Ron Livingston)and is separated from her brother Sam (Zachary Arthur) at a refugee camp.  In the 4th wave the aliens disembark their ship and it is learned that they are parasites, attaching themselves to human hosts. Cassie is rescued from an alien attack from a mysterious farmer’s son named Evan. (Alex Roe) He agrees to help Cassie find Sam.  Meanwhile Ben joins a bunch of other teens and kids trying to repel the alien invasion, do they succeed?  Does Cassie ever find Sam?  Who is Evan?  Is he just a Good Samaritan?

The bright side about an alien invasion leaving millennials in charge is, no more college loans to worry about, the not-so bright side, movies like this.  The 5th Wave is a sub-par sci-fi film.  It uses the premise of an alien invasion to glamorize gunplay in the hands of kids.  It is derivative of many recent and far superior books and movies, like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Ender’s Game.  It even tries to squeeze in a possible love triangle between Cassie, Ben and Evan, as popularized in the Twilight Series.  There are several twists in the story, but frankly, Ender’s Game was the class of this genre, and so even the twists in this film weren’t that surprising.  And the ending is non-committal, leaving room for many sequels, which will hopefully never be made.

Chloe Grace Moretz, who I like, was shockingly bad in this movie, I was expecting Hit Girl from Kick Ass, and what I got was a whiny Valley Girl mall rat who is nothing more than a damsel in distress after she meets Alex Roe’s character.  Also Cassie manages to have perfect hair and make-up, while millions are dying on the streets, after an apocalyptic alien invasion.  It doesn’t seem to matter that Cassie doesn’t eat, even while managing to hike for miles in search of her brother.  Nick Robinson and Alex Roe bring little acting skills to their roles, and are nothing more than eye candy to the teen girls in the audience.  Only Liev Schreiber makes his role interesting, and makes the audience guess about his intentions.

The direction mostly features CGI scenes of destruction, and a few shots of a huge space ship that looks like it’s parked over Ohio for some reason.  These scenes are reminiscent of movies like 2012 and Independence Day, once again derivative. The pacing is very slow, and the director gets flat performances from everyone except Schreiber, who is a seasoned actor.

The 5th Wave.  Wave bye bye to movies like this.

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