The 5th Wave (2016) Review

I don’t know about you, but when I go to an alien-invasion movie I want to see some aliens invading. This is evidently not a priority for director J Blakeson, however. His new movie, The 5th Wave, is a dystopian young-adult adventure (think the Hunger Games and Divergent franchises)

The central character, unsurprisingly, is a stout-hearted teen named Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz). Cassie lives in suburban Ohio with her mom (Maggie Siff), dad (Ron Livingston), and regulation-cute little brother Sam (Zackary Arthur). As you might expect, she’s also crushing hard on a sensitive-hot-guy classmate named Ben (Nick Robinson, of Jurassic World)

All’s well, very briefly, until a gynormous space ship appears in the sky and begins rocking the world with waves of calamity. The first wave features an electromagnetic pulse that destroys all power supplies. The second onslaught brings tidal waves that wipe out whole cities. Next comes a global epidemic of bird-borne disease, which dispatches Cassie’s mom.

You’d think that all of this would compel people to stay indoors, sheltering in their homes. But no. Dad sets off on foot with Cassie and Sam to reach a refugee encampment he’s somehow heard about. This turns out to be a tense place, and Cassie’s father immediately gives her a Colt .45, saying, “Punkin, there’s nothin’ safe anymore.”

An army detachment arrives at the camp, led by a Colonel Vosch (inscrutable Liev Schreiber), who announces to the refugees, “We’re here to help”—always an ominous promise. Vosch packs all the kids on hand into buses to be taken to safety at an air force base not all that far away. (In a pure plot-furthering move, Cassie misses out on this trip after scampering off the bus to go find her brother’s teddy bear and gets left behind.

At the army base Vosch begins to recite his best independence day speech, spouting that we will not go quietly into the night, we will not vanish without a fight, this is our world …etc, etc.

Making her way to the base on her own in search of her brother, Cassie gets wounded in an impromptu firefight and is rescued by another sensitive hot guy named Evan (Alex Roe), who comes bearing a chaste kiss and—after gently bandaging a bullet hole in Cassie’s thigh—the faintest suggestion of a sex scene. Then Colonel Vosch announces that the fifth wave of the alien invasion has begun, with the still-unseen interstellar marauders descending to Earth to take up residence in human bodies. Paranoia predictably blossoms.

There’s a lot of running around in this picture—through the woods, down boring airbase corridors—and lots of shooting, too (Cassie was apparently born to wield an AR-15). But the movie is short on real excitement—it never sweeps you up. Apart from some bogus fake-out sightings, the aliens, as I say, never put in an appearance; and just when you think they’d probably have to, the movie ends—with “to be continued” baldly promised.

There are many lessons to be learned here, such as bullet wounds to the leg and stomach can be ran off when the plot needs it and the most important lesson, an alien invasion can be thwarted by the most powerful human weapon of all … Love (I threw up in my own mouth a little writing that)

Its not all bad, the special effects on are par with most modern day disaster movies , but this is predictable as hell and that is without even have read the novel. I don’t expect much by the time the sequel rolls around (if the sequel rolls around), But i will say the movie did do one smart thing and that was release well in advance of independence day 2, no doubt not wanting to be crushed by a clear winner.

The 5th wave released on 22/01/2016 with a budget of 38 million, so far with a combined box office of 18 million this could be the first major flop of the year, its shame they didn’t use more of that budget to advertise as honestly the trailer is rarely if at all seen.

So out of a possible five stars, the 5th wave earns:

✪✪✪

What did you think of the 5th wave?

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