Film Review: ‘The 5th Wave’ Crashes, Then Slowly Dissipates

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Is there ever an end to the Young Adult Dystopia genre (“Hunger Games,” “Maze Runner,” etc.)? Or are we cursed with the end of the world every year, if it weren’t for those meddling kids? “The 5th Wave” is the latest adaptation, and if you haven’t read the source novel, good luck following it.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Yep, this is for fans of the book only, this time written by Rick Yancey, if that’s his real name. Instead of vampires or hunger or mazes, this time it’s space aliens (so obvious for the picking, good job Rick Y!). The numeric “wave” in the title refers to the step-by-step infiltration of the alien presence (1st, 2nd, etc.). At the 5th Wave, there is confrontation, and who better to confront those nasty invaders than a kid army and cute-as-a-button Chloë Grace Moretz. There is no subtlety in “The 5th Wave,” unless confusion is mistaken for subtlety. This is the type of film where the enemy is unknown, or it might be us! “To Serve Man” is a cookbook! Mostly there were glaring missing pieces, surely explained better in Rick Y’s book, and the inevitable “End of Part One” conclusion. Advice to Chloë - if you’re depending on Part Two, don’t buy that Mercedes yet.

The film begins with a gun-to-gun standoff between Cassie (Moretz) and a person she meets in an abandoned gas station. This begins the flashback, to when Cassie was a normal, non-gun toting high schooler, with a crush on dreamy Ben (Nick Robinson). This was before the alien invasion of earth by “the others.” The 1st Wave commences, an electromagnetic pulse that disables vehicles and cuts electric power. Cassie’s family eventually escapes to a refugee camp, and runs into a stern Colonel Vosch (Liev Schreiber, always welcome).

The 2nd Wave is floods, the 3rd disease, and the 4th is the old aliens-that-look-like-humans trick. After losing her Mom in the 3rd Wave, and her Dad (Ron Livingston) in the 4th, Cassie joins the 5th as a rebel, searching for her brother Sammy (Zackary Arthur). Sam was kidnapped for the rebel kid army, which includes Ben, a goth girl named Ringer (Maika Monroe) and a plethora of kid soldiers. Eventually Cassie is aided in her journey by Evan (Alex Roe), who may or may not be who he is. IT’S A COOKBOOK!

“The 5th Wave” opens everywhere on January 29th. Featuring Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Liev Schreiber, Zackary Arthur, Alec Roe and Maika Monroe. Screenplay adapted by Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner. Directed by J Blakeson. Rated “PG-13” (Yet Chloë says the f-word!)

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The 5th Wave”

Alex Roe, Chloe Grace Moretz
Evan (Alex Roe) Protects Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) in ’The 5th Wave’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The 5th Wave”

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