The 5th Wave (2016)1:32 PM
Protect Your Own
The 5th Wave is directed by J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) and stars Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, If I Stay), Nick Robinson (Jurassic World, The Kings of Summer), Alex Roe (The Calling, The Cut) and Maika Monroe (It Follows, The Guest). "Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother". So the trailer for this film was promising, the book it is based on is an acclaimed best seller - what could go wrong? Note to self - It is a January release.
So The 5th Wave honestly looked promising from the trailer which made me really excited until I saw the film was a January release. January releases are only usually awards contenders or trash that the studios didn't want to release at any other time of the year. The 5th Wave isn't an awards contender so it falls into the other category. Don't get me wrong, The 5th Wave has some really good moments and I probably wouldn't describe it as trash but it isn't excellent either. It is annoying that my first 2016 film is not of a great quality.
You know what would have made a great movie and story to tell? The prologue for this film. The film could have gone down the route of watching the characters in detail suffer through the 4 previous stages and then the film could have ended with Sammy being whisked away - that would have been a great cliffhanger and a really entertaining film. However, what we got was a 15 minute rushed version of this and then it just learned into a teen romance. I agree with the critics that the first act of this film is the best thing about it and it really does start out promising. I thought it was really interesting to hear about the waves and the whole concept was just so interesting. However, the film slowly collapsed as its male characters were introduced. I am kind of happy we won't get a number 2 as that would literally just be a love triangle story - at least in The 5th Wave the two male characters don't meet each other until the very end so there was no rivalry. However, once again, a would be strong female character is ruined by being boy crazy. I would say that the film is 'dumb fun' because it is harmless and forgettable so if you go see it, enjoy it for what it is. I really did enjoy the first act and I actually liked the final 15 minutes or so - when Cassie kicks some ass (finally).
So the rest of the film....I just don't know why Young Adult films have to include a love triangle or a love element. The Hunger Games is the only one to do it well and The Maze Runner thankfully doesn't have it as too much of a major plot point. The 5th Wave has terrible romance dialogue which makes the Jupiter Ascending dialogue about dogs seem like genius script writing. All the tropes of a teen romance are in this film - the female character comes across and then weirdly gazes at a shirtless male. However, something we haven't seen before (and hopefully we will never see again) is a man chopping wood - that scene must make girls go crazy (sarcasm). I also don't really think the characters match up very well - Boy #1 is played by Nick Robinson and looks age appropriate to Moretz but Boy #2 played by Alex Roe looks like her older brother. I am tempted to read the books just to find out that our female protagonist has some sense and will pick Robinson's character. The romance is a big element for this film, they could have at least done it well!
The visual effects aren't terrible but they aren't very good either. The big 'money shots' aren't really worth the money that probably upped this films budget by lots as they aren't really necessary as they are only needed for the prologue. The team behind this film could have been really smart and made this for a low budget so it was a financial success which maybe would have increased the chances of a sequel. The worst effects were when Evan is showing off his skills - I couldn't tell whether he was flying, super quick or just strong - I was really confused. The big waves and the aeroplane crash aren't great either.
At least the performances might be worthwhile? Nope. The strongest performance came from Nick Robinson who wasn't amazing but did the best job out of all the leads. I was looking forward to seeing Chloe Grace Moretz in this role as this is quite different for her - however, I didn't think she was anything special and I think she had as many weak moments as she did strong ones. She held the film together but I don't think she is cut out for roles like this. Alex Roe wasn't very good either - besides from the fact that he is an unbelievable love interest, he just wasn't a very good actor. His performance reminded me of the weird male in The House At The End of the Street - something tells me his character isn't supposed to be as weird and shifty as that. Roe can't even pull off the twist with his character (I guessed it from the trailer). I was most surprised to find that Maika Monroe was in this film - I really like her as an actress but she was definitely underused in this film. For one, she was unrecognisable in her role and played a character that isn't really made for her. Monroe definitely didn't do herself any injustice though.
The 5th Wave is just another YA adaption and takes us one step closer to the end of the YA craze. Now The Hunger Games is over, there is no YA series that has been consistently well received by audiences and critics alike. The 5th Wave has mediocre performances and takes a big misstep with its narrative - another love triangle! The film could have been so much better - I suppose the film has no-one to blame but itself - who would higher an unexperienced director to direct a best selling critically acclaimed book? It wasn't ever in safe hands. The visuals aren't anything special and the action only kicks in at the beginning and at the end. However, it is a fun watch and isn't too terrible. In summary, The 5th Wave is a crappy version of Divergent and The Maze Runner which are crappy versions of The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. It is a January release after all, what were we expecting.
What did you think of THE 5TH WAVE? What do you think the future for the YA genre holds? - COMMENT BELOW
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