The 5th Wave
Director: J Blakeson
Writer: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner
Based on: Rick Yancey‘s novel
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Alex Roe, Nick Robinson, Zackary Arthur, Maika Monroe, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello
Seen on: 20.1.2016
Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) used to be a normal teenager, but it also used to be a normal world – until aliens attacked Earth. In increasingly destructive waves from EMPs to natural catastrophes and sickness, these aliens have started to decimate the human race. The fourth wave has come and gone, leaving only a fraction of humanity behind, most of them huddling together in refugee camps, awaiting the fifth wave – whatever that will be. Cassie has lost her mother (Maggie Siff), when the army, led by Colonel Vosch (Liev Schreiber), arrives at their refugee camp. Cassie is supposed to go with her brother Sam (Zackary Arthur) and the other children, while her father (Ron Livingston) remains behind. But things go wrong and Cassie finds herself on her own and searching for Sam.
I like young adult dystopia books and films. Usually. But The Fifth Wave is one of the stupidest films I have ever seen. Nothing makes sense and it isn’t even entertaining. I could feel my braincells dying as I watched this shit.
Things we have seen enough of in young adult entertainment:
- love triangles
- (para-)militaric settings
- kids are used for the fights of adults
- love interests that can’t really be trusted
- you/your love/your beauty saved me
Guess what’s part of The 5th Wave? Yes, all of them. The only halfway new thing about it is that aliens are involved (but if we look at The Host not even that is all that new).
I would give the aliens a little more credit if their actions made any sense. The entire point is that the aliens are eradicating the human race bit by bit in a way that hurts the planet itself the least amount (or at least that’s the theory – having floods and whatnot isn’t all that nice to the planet either), so they can take over the planet for themselves. But the problem with this is that it turns out that the aliens are parasites. They live in humans, and when they do, they control them. And what do those controlled humans do? They recruit human children to make them shoot the remaining survivors one by one. And a) why the fuck would you choose children for that job when you already control the military and b) why the fuck would you as the parasite want to exterminate the race you’re fucking dependent on yourself?
Maybe in future installments of the series (if they do get a second film – the book trilogy will be completed this year) will explain this issues. Maybe it will turn out that the parasitism of the aliens was a red herring and they actually don’t need humanity and just took them over with their robo-parasites/parasitic-pets/minds/whatever. But I don’t see a really big chance of that.
So we’re left with a mess that is too tropey for its own good, doesn’t really bring anything new to the table and the only thing that’s really great about is Chloë Grace Moretz’s hair, apocalypse be damned. I certainly won’t hold my breath for any sequel of that.