The 5th Wave was just released on DVD and Ryan, who loves to stay up-to-date on Red Box new releases, was anxious to watch it.
An adaptation of a novel by Rick Yancey, the film was written by Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, and Jeff Pinkner, and directed by J Blakeson. I had never heard of it, which is strange because it’s exactly in my genre (my bad). So of course I agreed and was I was sincerely excited. I adore Chloe Grace Moretz and think she’s got a great career ahead of her. PLUS, Ron Livingston plays her dad, so yeah, SIGN ME UP.
Everything about the film started off great. The story takes place in Middle America and is told from the perspective of a teenage girl, Cassie Sullivan. Her voiceover narrative had me hooked, right from the beginning, and I was stoked. About ten minutes into the story, an enormous UFO enters the Earth’s atmosphere and slowly orbits the planet. Then Earth is attacked. Wave one is an electromagnetic shock that disables all of the energy sources and communications systems, leaving everyone without power and running water. Waves two and three continued to wreak havoc on the planet, killing off as many human beings as possible. It just kept on getting better!
And then the fourth wave hit, and suddenly, I just didn’t buy it anymore.
At this point in the story, the remaining people, have all migrated out of highly populated areas and have established man-made communities in the wilderness. Cassie Sullivan is still alive. Her mother died during wave three, but her father and brother are with her in the community. Without giving anything else away, the family gets separated, and then their motivation for the remainder of the film is to find on another.
Something unbelievable happens at the camp. Unbelievable as in “that makes no sense.” As soon as the scene I’m vaguely discussing ended, I turned to Ryan and accurately predicted the film’s twist.
The ending was also predictable and unbelievable. When a villain of that magnitude is created, it’s difficult to believe that defeating it, by a mere mortal man, is possible.
My last gripe with the film was the introduction of the film’s male protagonist, Ben Parish, played by Nick Robinson. It happened way too late and was extremely confusing. For more than a third of the movie, the only perspective the audience was introduced to was Cassie Sullivan’s. When the Ben Parish’s storyline was introduced, it felt like it came from out of left field.
All in all, I don’t think this film is worth it. If you love sci-fi films and like having mediocre ones on in the background while you work (like I do), then this is a great option.