Studio: Sony (1hr. 52 min.)
Plot: The world is devastated by the waves of an alien invasion that has decimated Earth’s population.
Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello, Nick Robinson, Maggie Siff
Bottom Line: *
By Jon Rutledge
The young adult book-to-movie genre has yet another entry. With so many elements to borrow from in the garner, “The 5th Wave’s” filmmakers choose to pick some of the worst elements of all of them. The story’s core is a sound idea and some of the performances are good, but they are drowning in poor dialog and absurd plot points.
Aliens come to Earth with an overly complex plan for taking over. They attack in five different waves, all focusing on wiping out the human race. Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz), a normal high school student turned resilient warrior, gets separated from her brother Sam (Zackary Arthur), during the invasion, and crosses the country to get back to him.
Cassie is a strong independent female character, and yet inexperienced without making her weak. Moretz delivers an outstanding performance. Unfortunately she had to work twice as hard with the incredibly sappy and poor dialog, but she did her best with what she had.
In science fiction films you have to suspend a certain amount of disbelief. However, you lose me the more I have to work with the plot. The final straw was having an army kids fight aliens. Fine… OK… why do they make the 6-year olds fight? The weapons were as big as they were. I understand they wanted to just let them die, but it makes no sense. I can get behind aliens invading, but really? The elementary school kids aren’t going to be separated out, and only let those kids 13 and older fight? Don’t get me started on the super powered alien love interest subplot.
I began to think that the coma-inducing dialog was the fourth wave. Then it hit me this is the first wave, because these moves always come in threes. Then I was truly scared because studios have been breaking the last movie in a series into two parts. Dear God, they are invading.
“The 5th Wave” is targeted for the younger crowd. It’s a shame that instead of giving them a better story, they pandered to what they think kids will understand. Besides the aliens really had no idea what they were getting into. They planned to “control” teenagers, what were they thinking?
This was printed in the February 7, 2016 - February 20, 2016 edition.