The 5th Wave (2016)
Four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth in ruin. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal fifth wave, Cassie teams up with a young man who may become her final hope – if she can only trust him.
Genre : SF/Romance
Country : USA
Chloë Grace Moretz : Cassie
Alex Roe : Evan Walker
Nick Robinson : Ben Parish
Director : J. Blakeson
“There were no messages from our galactic party crashers during the first 10 days.
But pretty soon, they had a name.
We called them The Others.”
I’m not a believer of those New Year’s resolutions which are traditionally made during a drunk moment. Usually they are long forgotten after a few months. However, I have a new resolution after watching “The 5th Wave“. I’m never ever going to watch another post-apocalyptic, teen film based on a youth book, where there’s also the intention to use it in several, successive films. Content wise it’s obvious this movie is intended for teenage girls. The initial genres linked to this movies are completely useless. It all started great and it seemed to me it was going into an interesting direction. But the moment the romantic, pubertal storyline started in the middle of the film, the labels of action-packed, adventurous scifi for this twaddle, claptrap movie were replaced by lame and romance. Probably it’ll grow a fanbase among pubescent teenage girls.
Clearly there was a lot of borrowing from other films. The minute Cassie (Chloe Grace “The Equalizer” Moretz), Miss Popularity at school and in love with hunk number one of that school, saw the alien spaceship dangling above the earth (enjoy it because this is the only brief moment those aliens are shown), it was as if this scene came out of “Independence day“. Quickly it becomes clear that these intergalactic visitors aren’t as friendly as E.T. Through several attack, which are called “waves”, these villains try to decimate the world population systematically. You don’t need to be an intellectual to guess how many waves there will be, after looking at the film title. Lets find some more parallels with other films. The first wave reminded me of “Dragon Day“. The second wave caused a tsunami that was filmed in a similar manner as in “The Day after Tomorrow“. There just wasn’t an oil tanker in it. And the training camp where teenagers learn how to fight against “the others”, can safely be compared with “Ender’s Game“. The similarities with other dystopian teen films, with an innocent person emerging as the savior of mankind like “The Hunger Games“, “Divergent” and “The Giver“, are so obvious that it’s unnecessary to rekindle them.
As said earlier, it started quite reasonable and extremely shocking at the same time. The way Cassie’s loved ones died, was even for me a lot to swallow. I’m sure Cassie’s father Oliver (Ron “The Conjuring” Livingstone) imagined his fate less violent. And the third wave was fatal to Cassie’s mother Lisa (Maggie Siff). It seemed as if the plagues that struck Egypt, were given a second life. Except that the fourth wave felt so infantile. A sort of laziness of the writer to make the twist used at the end of the movie a bit easier. It was so obvious to foresee what was going to happen when Cassie met the sturdy, wood chopping Evan Walker (Alex Roe). And from that moment on the film changed from a nail-biting, promising SF into an irritating, goody-goody teen movie that gave me cold shivers. Liev Schreiber still tried his best, but his role stands in sharp contrast to that in “Spotlight“.
All my respect for Moretz who tried to play a proper role but probably was inhibited by the ridiculous story. What particularly surprised me was that her cosmetic case, full of make-up and hair products, was nowhere to be seen throughout the film. I have to give the filmmakers credit for that. They had to pay attention to that meticulously, because I’m almost sure she carried that case all the time with her, judging by her appearance. I’ve encountered a review title somewhere, that sums it up perfectly: “This SF-thriller doesn’t want to tell a solid story to young adults – it just wants their money“. I hope there won’t be any sequels, so youngsters can spend their money on more meaningful things.