The 5th Wave: Film Review
Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Ben Parish, Zackary Arthur, Ron Livingston, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe
Director: J Blakeson
Another YA outing gets a big screen event movie with Rick Yancey's alien invasion story hitting the cinemas.
And once again, all the tropes of the genre are in place, but this time around, they feel more derivative and installed into the narrative via a checklist, rather than dramatic necessity.
Kickass's Chloe Grace Moretz stars as Cassie, a high schooler whose life changes when aliens invade via a succession of attacks. After surviving electrical attacks, natural disasters, fatal disease a la Avian Flu and then body snatcher style invasion a la The Invaders which wipe out her family bar her brother, she finds herself on the run. With a desperate race to save her young brother from the army's clutches and from their weaponising him, Grace Moretz gives everything to the film and sells every ludicrously predictable turn it takes.
It's just a shame that the film gives nothing back.
Despite a stunning first 30 minutes that see the alien menace cleverly and craftily energise the story, it stalls and hits a sickening thud when it realises it needs to weave in the tropes of the genre. (Young love, life after high school seeming like the end of the world, a mistrust of authority etc etc)
After the action slows, The 5th Wave becomes an unconvincing sludge of a film that's barely able to build on the mistrust and premise. The story fractures into Cassie's search and meeting of a charisma-free dishy designer stubble potential love interest and her brother's involvement in the weaponising-our-kids-storyline - and the result is one of tedium more than anything.
Ending on a whimper and the limp promise of yet more, The 5th Wave is a frustrating experience.
Despite a crowded genre with The Hunger Games, Divergent, et al, thanks to Grace Moretz's turn and a terrific start, it could have been so much more and never once delivers anything original or compelling past its invasion schtick. It sanitises its potential brutality and its de-humanising of its lead, and therefore ultimately sells everything short that it sets out to do.
Turns out The 5th Wave from the aliens, that threatens all our lives, is actually tedium.