The 5th Wave

"Very Good"

The 5th Wave Review


Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels like it could be a worthy successor to The Hunger Games saga, with its smart story and strong characters. The premise feels remarkably grounded, as it follows a feisty teen while her world is turned upside down by an alien invasion. And Chloe Grace Moretz gives one of her most complex performances to date as a quick, flawed heroine.

The title refers to the stages of invasion, as unseen aliens quietly take over the planet. And then not so quietly. Most of humanity has been killed by disasters or disease, with the survivors waiting for whatever the next wave of attack might be. Before this, Cassie (Moretz) was a normal 16-year-old with a crush on the cute Ben (Nick Robinson). Now she's running for her life, trying to rescue her little brother Sam (Zackary Arthur), who has been whisked to safety by the gung-ho Colonel Vosch (Liev Schreiber) and his military resistance. Along the way, she meets farm boy Evan (Alex Roe), whom she reluctantly trusts mainly because he's such a hunk. Meanwhile, Ben finds himself in Sam's unit in the newly formed child's army Vosch is training to hunt down aliens who have taken human form.

Director Blakeson keeps the pace brisk without rushing past important details. This makes what happens feel unusually believable, and it also allows the actors to add personal touches to their performances. Moretz finds Cassie's innate courage and quick physicality, but nicely balances it with her impulsive decisions and adolescent self-doubt. As in most of these movies, she has to be in a love triangle, but her scenes with both Robinson and Roe offer something a bit more intriguing, mainly because both actors have surprises up their sleeves. There's also a fourth person in this relationship in the form of Maika Monroe's tough-girl fighter Ringer, perhaps the most intriguing character on-screen.

It's refreshing to see another dystopic teen adventure that is packed with properly thoughtful themes, from simple observations about finding hope in a bleak situation to pointed questions of trust, loyalty and personal choice. Blakeson sometimes over-eggs these big ideas, such as the way he overuses Sam's fluffy teddy bear to remind the audience (and Cassie) what is Really Important. And in the final act it becomes clear that this movie will have a naggingly open-ended conclusion. But the story has several terrific twists and turns in it, plus engaging characters who make us look forward to the next chapter, The Infinite Sea.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for The 5th Wave here:



The 5th Wave

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd January 2016

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, GK Films, Material Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 1 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: J Blakeson

Producer: , , Matthew Plouffe,

Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz as Cassie Sullivan, as Ben Parish, Alex Roe as Evan Walker, as Colonel Vosch, as Ringer, as Lisa Sullivan, Zackary Arthur as Sammy Sullivan, Talitha Bateman as Teacup

Contactmusic


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