The 5th Wave tells the story of Cassie, whose on the run after four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated, in attempts to save her younger brother.
This is a another film in a stretch of young adult fiction novels that’s been adapted for the big screen…whether it be The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Divergent, Harry Potter, or Twilight, it’s becoming an over tired genre due to the disappointing outcomes of the adaptations stemming from a more often than not disappointing original text. And because of their “success” at the box office, despite usually mediocre reviews, Hollywood will continue to churn out sequels, prequels, and any other form of media to make money of these films. Another adaptation is The 5th Wave that starts off promising, with an interesting premise, but ultimately falls into a generic teenage film with a romantic subplot with unconvincing performances to carry out the progressively weakening storyline.
For at least the first half an hour, it’s intriguing and has some level of tension, but as stated earlier, events begin to become stale when the children become separated from the adults at the refugee camp. This downhill spiral is encouraged by the gaping plot holes that drifts into the romantic subplot where our lead, Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz), falls for Evan (Alex Roe). They have about as much chemistry as Edward and Bella in Twilight. Their romance is hardly believable. The film tries to balance this romance with Cassie’s younger brother, Sam (Zackary Arthur), who trains with other youngins to fight the aliens come to take over earth but if the focus was entirely on Cassie and her search for Sam, it could’ve made for a much more promising film.
It’s a shame that the cast of this film were mis-used as that of Liev Schreiber also appearing in Oscar nominated film Spotlight, in which he shows his true acting chops, and Moretz who is already a brilliant actress in her own right if given something she could really sink her teeth into.
As a result, The 5th Wave hardly brings anything new to the overstuffed YA genre as it pretty much sticks to the well worn formula. It could’ve held it’s place amongst the sub-par films of the genre but it was poorly executed.