"The 5th Wave" stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Alex Roe, and Liev Schreiber. Released on January 22, 2016, the film is about a teenager who searches for her younger brother during an alien invasion.
The film is directed by J Blakeson, who is known for directing The Disappearance of Alice Creed, and it is based on the novel of the same name by Rick Yancey. When it comes to films based on "Young Adult" novels, most of them can range from greatness (Hunger Games) to mostly good (Divergent, Maze Runner) to those that act too overdramatic to even mention (Twilight). I personally did not read any of the young adult novels those films were based on, especially the one I'm reviewing right now. So as before, this is me reviewing it as its own film. How does this film range in the YA novel/film scale based on my experience with it? Let's just say, it's slightly below the 'mostly good' section, but not without its entertainment values.
The performances in this film were pretty decent. Moretz plays Cassie Sullivan, a teenager who is one of the last survivors after a series of 'waves' destroyed most of the Earth's population. I really liked her performance in the Kick-Ass films, and I thought she did all right with this film. It's not the best performance I've seen from the young actress, but until we see her in an Oscar-worthy film, it'll have to do. Not only does the film focus on Cassie's journey to find her brother, it also focuses on another 'main' character, Ben Parish, played by Nick Robinson. Parish is one of the new recruits who are trained by the army to fight off against the aliens. Robinson was known for his role in last year's summer blockbuster, Jurassic World, and I thought he was pretty decent in this film. The only actor I thought could've done a bit better was Alex Roe as Evan, who assisted Cassie on her journey. Now don't get me wrong, I'm pretty sure he looks like a nice guy, but I thought his performance could've been a lot stronger considering the mystery behind his character. The film has many intense moments that were pretty quick, but mostly effective. It's the fact that you don't know who to trust because they could be one of the aliens in disguise or one of the survivors. That's what kept this film going for me. It could've been a lot stronger in terms of the script and emotional depth, but for the most part, it's handled pretty well. I also think that the first act of the film felt a bit rushed in terms of intensity and the destruction of humanity. If it was at the same pace as the second and third acts, it would've been a solid adaptation of the novel. The screenplay was a bit weak in terms of its corny dialogue like the other YA film adaptations I've seen. The action sequences were filmed very well without any of the shaky cam, which adds to some of the intensity of the film.
Overall, like many other YA film adaptations, "The 5th Wave" does its job at providing some entertainment value to the YA fan base, but in terms of some decent performances, corny dialogue, and its weak story, it will have a difficult time reaching to those outside of its target audience. I thought the film is fine for what it is, but I would like to see them improve in the next installment (if there's ever going to be a next one, that is). Like I said before, if you like the novel the film is based on, you might like this as well.