Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

The 5th Wave – Review

✯½

Young adult science fiction seems to be a case that just presents the same sort of stories with the same overdone drama on repeat. The 5th Wave is another one of those cases, and especially in moments where it tries so desperately to be different, it’s rather evident that it’s only continuing to fall back on its own face. There wasn’t so much of an attempt to set itself apart present and all that came out of The 5th Wave was just something utterly generic and horribly bland, nothing else but the intense feeling of boredom was running down my face.

Chloë Grace Moretz as Cassie Sullivan making her way through The 5th Wave.

A good chunk of what happened in The 5th Wave only left me scratching my head as it went on. Not only was it just plainly uninteresting all around, but events like seeing children getting militarized during what supposedly is an alien invasion just had me asking if these adults really are fond of their young. Instead, my only assumption was that it was just trying to find a means of aping onto the Hunger Games films where we have youth fighting to their death because the adults are condemning the younger generation, I just jumped to a conclusion that these adults are giving the same sort of punishment.

There’s already a good idea where the film is set to be heading when the lead character’s narration comes in, because that’s clearly something we haven’t seen in any other young adult novel-turned-film. I simply couldn’t care much less if the film were trying to explain any of this as opposed to just providing the same sort of worthless exposition because I already knew where The 5th Wave was set to go. I already knew where it was set to go since I’ve seen these sorts of films many times in order to get a clear idea just how blandly all of them play out.

Chloë Grace Moretz isn’t too bad in this role, which rather surprised me. When she’s actually trying especially when she has such an overwritten script (again, unsurprising since Akiva Goldsman was involved), the best moments of The 5th Wave come out. Unfortunately, even with all the talent she puts into this role, it’s rather easy to tell when she’s overdoing the drama she places in the character. I’ve thought that she had some sort of talent as proven by her role as Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass but what I’d really hate is seeing her going down the route of young adult fiction just to garner followers from the younger generation.

I think that where The 5th Wave gets utterly laughable is the moment in which it tries to shove in a romance especially when there was no real establishment for one to even start up. My only guess is that the people behind this had a checklist of what they knew other young adult novels-turned-films had been following in the past few years and instead of actually trying to form something interesting, they just carried on with the trend because there’s no better option in order to keep the audience.

Though it’s not completely despicable young adult fare, The 5th Wave is just utterly generic and bland, all it provides is nothing else but intense boredom. I already lost interest in what was happening about halfway through but I kept watching only to see if it were to get any worse, and all of it just stayed the same. Chloë Grace Moretz is a rather talented actress at least when she has great material, but what I’d really hate is to see someone like her jumping down the trend and joining what may turn into a franchise all as a means of garnering followers. The 5th Wave isn’t terrible the whole way through, but the lack of effort to set itself apart just makes for something ridiculously boring.


Watch the trailer right here.

All images via Sony.


Directed by J Blakeson
Screenplay by Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, from the novel by Rick Yancey
Produced by Graham King, Tobey Maguire, Lynn Harris, Matthew Plouffe
Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe, Liev Schreiber
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 112 minutes

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Author:

Jaime Rebanal writes film reviews regularly for Letterboxd and is also the founder of Jaime Rebanal's Film Thoughts, a blog dedicated to discussing the good and bad for the many films he views. He has written consistently for at least a year and continues to allow his content to roam free across the web, and is always open to discuss with fellow film fans.

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