Director: J Blakeson
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz
I didn’t expect this film to be good, not even slightly good, but you know what? Although it has a lot of flaws, and a lot of things about it I would change, it also does a lot of things well, which is pretty rare in the young adult genre.
The film follows Cassie (Chloe Grace Möretz), as she witnesses an Alien invasion. The first 45 minutes or so just show wave 1-4 of the attack, which is really interesting, and although it could have been handled a bit better, it’s done a lot better than I expected it to be. At this point, she gets separated from her brother Sam (Zackary Arthur), and she goes on a quest to find him. This is where the plot branches out and starts to follow Ben Parish (Nick Robinson). The pair both end up getting recruited for the army, and this is where the film really gets interesting.
The film’s weakest scenes arguably come from Cassie, mainly because the writers decided to add a love interest. He comes in and just stops all the momentum the film had been building up. Honestly I think the film would have been a lot better if Cassie just stayed on the bus and had been part of the military without the inclusion of a male sidekick. Cassie’s involvement ultimately comes down to a romance story that I don’t think the filmmakers even believe. It was so forced and pointless you can tell the studio forced it in to try and sell more tickets.
The military scenes were easily the best in the film, and had they been the main focus, this could have been a very good, slightly fun young adult/sci-fi/action flick. Had it been a full training montage film, building each of the squad members, before heading to the same climax, that would have been great. All this film needed was a nice round ending, where all is revealed, rather than the open-ended conclusion we got, which was blatantly an attempt to leave room for an unnecessary sequel (which probably won’t even happen).
Overall, despite its massive flaws, ‘The 5th Wave’ manages to be a pretty good military/sci-fi movie, but a really poor young adult romance/action/drama.