By Eduardo Castaeeda
Imagine waking up and realizing that the end of the world was at your doorstep. J Blakeson takes a unique approach to this scenario in “The 5th Wave,” but the film falls short in action.
Based on the novel by Rick Yancey, “The 5th Wave” is a film about an alien species that invades the Earth to wipe out the human race and take over the planet. The film offers a deeper perspective into the strengths and weaknesses of humanity.
The story follows the life of 17-year-old Cassie Sullivan (Chlo_ÒåÇ Grace Moretz), whose life consists of flirty text messages and high school house parties until The Others (the aliens species) changed her life forever.
The film dives into the chaos rather quickly, as the first three waves of electro-magnetic pulses, natural disasters and plague kills the majority of the planet’s population. Although the film is called “The 5th Wave,” the story should have given the first waves some more screen time.
After the third wave, Cassie’s father and brother find refuge at a “safe” camp where the U.S. Army visits them. Cue the fourth wave.
The army separates adults from their children and drives the children to a secluded location where they are not threatened. The adults are warned that The Others have arrived on Earth and can take human form. The army shoots all of the adults.
Before I continue, I must confess something. Even though I expected the army to actually be aliens, I did not think that the film would take such a controversial spin on the theme.
From one perspective, it could be argued that the director is suggesting that the U.S. Army and several authority figures are taking advantage of their power and are manipulating children.
Once the children arrive to the army’s base, the army tests the children by making them kill other children that are believed to be aliens. Again, this film stretches its boundaries by showing innocent children killing other children.
While The Hunger Games may have pulled off the children on children killings, “The 5th Wave” stands out for its harsh tactics.
As Cassie continues the search for her brother Sam, she gets shot by a drone and is saved by her almost-love interest Evan Walker (Alex Roe). Now do not let his irresistible smile and perfect looks fool you because Evan is extremely suspicious.
Cassie and Evan make you forget that the world is ending during a foray into the woods where they are interrupted by aliens. Evan fights all of the aliens and shows off too much of his super strength that it scares Cassie away. Moral of the story, trust no one.
The two split up, and the film’s teenage romance comes to an end. According to moviegoers, the novel did not give the love interest as much attention as the film.
In a heroic attempt to save her brother, Cassie finds the army base and kills a “soldier” that is testing her humanity.
The children on the base and on the field fighting “aliens” discover that the army is actually The Others.
Cassie finds her high school crush Ben Parish (Nick Robinson) on the base, and he leads her to Sam.
The almost-lover Evan appears out of nowhere and warns the group that he has set bombs on the base.
The Others are frustrated and create a massive earthquake to kill the group that is running away from the exploding base. A soldier from Parish’s unit saves the group before it is just a few inches away from falling into the crevices of the crumbling Earth.
The story comes to a sharp turn towards the end, where the remaining children are talking about their hopes and dreams.
“The 5th Wave” had the potential to be a great film, but it did not focus on its most exciting scenes. The film should have focused on each wave to make the movie more dramatic.
“The 5th Wave” is the first of a possible trilogy and will continue the alien apocalypse soon. The next installment of the film may save this film and may turn the story into something remarkable.
“The 5th Wave” is rated PG-13 for violence and destruction, some sci-fi thematic elements, language and brief teen partying.
“The 5th Wave” is in theatres now.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment
The 5th Wave
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