The 5th Wave is yet another weak offering typical of January that may hold some appeal to those hungry for something (very) remotely resembling a Hunger Games or Divergent style flick. In other words, it caters to the Young Adult crowd, by showcasing a world in which kids and teens are the ultimate saviors of humanity!
It even opens like a scene out of The Hunger Games, with a teen named Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Grace Moretz) running through the woods of Ohio wielding a shotgun. As the narrative unfolds, we learn why. She is one of the few survivors of an alien invasion that has left much of Earth’s population decimated by a series (‘waves’) of disaster including a power surge, earthquake, bird-flu-like disease, and alien snipers who’ve taken on human forms. Cassie’s little brother has been ‘drafted’ into a kids’ army to fight the aliens – or so they are led to believe. Cassie knows better, and she’s determined to find and save her brother. She’s quite resourceful, but she needs help. Enter: hot young guy, Evan (Alex Roe) who may or may not be her knight in shining armor, and potential love interest. She may not trust him, but she does like to watch him wield an axe and bathe in a nearby lake. (Can you say, gratuitous eye candy?)
The acting itself isn’t bad, but the dialogue is often so cheesy, and the turn of events so predictable, that the movie becomes downright laughable. I suppose there’s a certain entertainment value in that, however, as well as in the fact that Cassie’s hair and makeup remains flawless throughout her harrowing ordeal. And of course there’s the obligatory love triangle brewing – between Evan, Cassie, and her high school crush Ben Parish (aka “Zombie” – played by Nick Robinson). ‘Team Evan’ vs. ‘Team Ben’ could easily be explored in future installments of the franchise. Did I mention that The 5th Wave is based on a young adult science fiction novel that aims to become the next Twilight?
The 5th Wave is part sci-fi, part drama, part chick flick, part disaster, and part action-adventure. It reminded me a bit of World War Z and a bunch of other movies that sewed a more cohesive implausible plot. It’s a rental – or a skip it – for anyone other than diehard YA fans.