Friday, January 22nd marks the official release of teen sci-fi feature The 5th Wave. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance the previous Wednesday for the early press screening courtesy of Columbia Pictures, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.
I’ve walked past this book, only mildly intrigued, for a few years now. I had heard it was a decent teen book, and I figured, correctly it seems, that it would probably be made into a B-grade teen movie. I was at least not disappointed in my prediction. The rest of this rather dreadful film, however… well, let’s get into that, shall we?
We start with the typical teen nonsense of girl likes boy, boy pretends to ignore girl, both kids are popular, blah, blah, blah. Thankfully, this doesn’t last the whole movie. I’d say maybe ten minutes is dedicated to this before the “Oh no!, Aliens,” bit starts up to save us from what promised to turn into an episode of Dawson’s Creek.
How about we start there. Aliens show up, bad things start to happen. First, they use an electromagnetic pulse to knock out everything electronic on the planet (the first wave), next came earthquakes (second) and floods (third), then came a super virus (fourth), and finally, the fifth wave: infiltration. Seems to me you could’ve cut out a few steps and done less damage to the planet if you just started with the super virus and then infiltration, but that’s just me.
Chloe Grace Moretz (of Kick Ass, Carrie) does a pretty good job with the writing she was given. She was tough without pulling in too much of her Hit Girl character’s cheesiness from Kick Ass. If the writing would’ve been less juvenile, I might have liked it more, but, as Dave Harlequin quoted to the marketing firm following the feature, “We’re not the target audience,” so maybe teenagers will appreciate it more. As the main character, though, I expected more character growth and development. I have the same complaint of her co-stars, Nick Robinson (Jurassic World), and Alex Roe (Snoper: Legacy). Their characters don’t change or grow. Robinson’s character starts out a pouty moody teen and just stays that way. Roe’s character is stilted and not very strong presence wise. Ron Livingston (Office Space) did an okay job as the hapless, ill fated dad of the ‘kid heroes’ movie, but wasn’t really anything spectacular, either. Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) does a predictably perfect job as Colonel Vosch, but his character is the only one with halfway solid writing.
This movie has a lot of flaws. Poor writing, mostly. Some of the graphics left something to be desired, especially the bit with the water rushing in. I can’t un-see what looked like water flooding a model being overlaid on top of a real space. This movie was so horribly predictable that members of the audience were predicting key parts of it throughout the viewing.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, The 5th Wave just wasn’t that good. To again quote our editor Dave Harlequin, “It was like they took the best parts of Starship Troopers, and replaced them with the worst bits of Twilight.” It was fairly ridiculous, it failed to entertain me, and the predictability factor was so high, I just couldn’t even sort of get into it. If I were a teenager, I might give it a higher rating here, but I’m not, so I won’t. In all honesty, The 5th Wave wasn’t even really good enough to pass for a SyFy Original Movie. Seriously, don’t waste your money on theater prices… in fact, $1 at your local Redbox is kind of pushing it here. -4.0/10
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine