Movie Reviews

The 5th Wave Movie Review

It’s almost the weekend, and the weekend is the best time to hit the movie theater, so it’s time for another movie review brought to you by FatCats Gilbert and their delicious food and awesome recliners!

Alex Roe (left) and Chloë Grace Moretz (right) in The 5th Wave

It’s still January, which is recognized for bad movies, but after the first movie I reviewed this year, I’m getting a little bit optimistic about January. If you saw my review for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, you know that I really liked it, so so far I’m very happy with the first month of the year. Up next is The 5th Wave, another teen fiction film based on a book, which I lose interest in very easily. The Hunger Games films ended at the perfect time, I lost interest in the Divergent films, after just the first movie, I was already disinterested in the Maze Runner series, and don’t even get me started on Twilight, so I was really hoping that The 5th Wave would give me some interest in the genre again. I have to admit, as much as I heard the trailer be trashed, I was actually thinking that this movie could be good. I was really hoping it could be the next Independence Day. I know. That’s a stretch. Maybe it wasn’t going to be the Independence Day of the 2010s, but I still wanted to have some fun. I love Chloë Grace Moretz mostly because of Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, and I think she is an awesome actress. She seems to always be giving 100% whether the character is for her or not. To be completely honest, I hadn’t seen anything from J Blakeson, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect as far as style goes, but I was intrigued by the premise and even the trailers had me a little bit hopeful. Let’s talk about the movie!

Nick Robinson (left) and Chloë Grace Moretz (right) in The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave is directed by J Blakeson, the first movie he has directed since 2009, and stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Alex Roe, Nick Robinson, and Liev Schreiber. When Cassie, played by Chloë Grace Moretz first sees an alien ship in the sky, she goes from normal sister and soccer player to a survivor. The aliens begin to hit earth in waves. The first wave is an EMP, or an electromagnetic pulse, knocking out all of the power in the world. The next wave hits with earthquakes and tsunamis that destroy some of the biggest cities in the world and devastate the smaller cities. The third wave brings an incredibly dangerous aviary flu, killing most of the survivors from the previous two waves. In the fourth wave, The Others, as the aliens are called, had taken human form and were among the survivors to pick them off until they have taken over the planet. Now, the humans must prepare for the fifth wave, which is expected to be the aliens endgame. Once the fourth wave was in effect, Cassie was separated from her brother who was taken to a military base to learn to be in the military to fight The Others. Cassie has to work her way back to her brother, but on the way she meets Evan Walker, and the two begin a loving relationship, but the story doesn’t end without plenty of twists and turns.

Chloë Grace Moretz in The 5th Wave

Let’s start with what I really did like about the movie. I really liked the premise of the movie. It’s not a bad concept. The aliens come, they attack in waves, the aliens take on human characteristics and bodies, and the humans must fight back and determine who is friend and who is foe. I’m hooked. That’s pretty cool. I was really interested in the movie in the first half when we get to see the first four waves in action and how the characters survive and react as well as how it affects them. The first scene, which you may have seen in the trailer, made me jump right into the movie. I also liked that Cassie is pretty normal. They stress that fact, but she’s definitely no super hero. She is just attempting to do interesting things. She shows that she is a vulnerable character,and she isn’t perfect. I also thought there were some very good shots of the all of the waves of attacks, and even the shaky-cam used in the film was used effectively at times where I can see shaky-cam being a solid option. I mentioned last week that I didn’t like shaky-cam when it makes the action difficult to follow, but the way it is used in The 5th Wave is a nice touch.

Liev Schreiber in The 5th Wave

Unfortunately, there are negatives about this movie. First of all, it’s a very cliché movie filled with almost everything I’ve seen before. I can get over it when clichés are done in a way that makes them feel new and refreshing, but this movie pulls so much from other ideas, and it doesn’t feel fresh. It feels used. Like I said, I liked the grand scheme of things, but the pieces to the puzzle are very unoriginal. Next, there is so much short and choppy dialogue, and a lot of times it leaves me thinking that they definitely could have bulked it up a little and given the characters a clever edge. There are multiple scenes where I thought the characters could have taken over and taken their own form through dialogue, and it just didn’t happen. The 5th Wave is also very predictable, and come the second half, I began to see all of the clichés in action, and it’s not good. The romance between Cassie and Evan is almost painful to watch. It’s so predictable, and I didn’t find the character of Evan interesting whatsoever. There is a scene in the woods where Cassie watches him in the lake shirtless, and the whole scene was hard to watch. I’ve seen it a million times before, and it gets tougher to watch every time. Don’t do me like that 5th Wave. It doesn’t make for a better love story. There are no personal connections between the two, and Evan talks about how she has changed him, when really, nothing in the movie has connected them. It also introduced two elements I don’t like in the young adult movies: the love triangle (or maybe even a love square in this series) and the sequel set up. The sequel set up took me out of the Maze Runner, and though it wasn’t as blatant in this movie, it’s definitely set up for a sequel, which is probably true to the book, but personally, I am not a fan.

On the set of The 5th Wave

Overall, I don’t think that The 5th Wave is a garbage fest like a lot of people were expecting. In fact, I liked the first half, and I think that it will nail its target audience with force, and it will probably please the young adult readers whether they are fans of the books or not. My real problems lie in the second half when the romance is introduced and the characters become uninteresting to me. I thought that Chloë Grace Moretz fit the character well, but her character falls right into the problems I had with the film in the second half which is the romance and the characters who don’t connect. It’s not a horrible movie. It’s not. I found enjoyment in The 5th Wave, and I’m going to give it a 4.8/10.

Nick Robinson (right) and Chloë Grace Moretz (left) in The 5th Wave

So have you had a chance to see The 5th Wave? If you did, what did you think? If you haven’t, are you going to? Also out this week are The Boy and Dirty Grandpa, so if you’re going to see one let me know which movie you are going to see! Also, what is your favorite young adult film series based on books? I would probably have to go with the Hunger Games films because despite not really liking the third movie, they’re pretty consistently good movies with an interesting plot and concept. I should have a review out for Eddie the Eagle later this week instead of a Throwback Thursday Review, and the review for this coming weekend will be for The Finest Hours starring Chris Pine! Be sure to stay tuned for that, and, as always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

PHOTO: MovieWeb

Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at [email protected]