If there is one specific genre that saturates film most today it would have to be young adult novel to film adaptations. The usual massive fan base gives the films enough stem to trawl through numerous sequels and often split the last book in the series into two parts. Some hate them, I personally find that I can quite enjoy them. However, even I thought that the trailers for ‘The 5th Wave’ looked pretty terrible.
The beginning of the film didn’t help to change my view with poor CGI used which failed to draw me into the scenarios that the characters were facing. On top of this the drama which the film has in its opening scenes fails to impact due to the lack of character development. So as result of this I felt very much like I was sitting in the cinema watching a movie when I should feel transported to the characters world. As the film progresses it does improve in parts and two groups of characters develop sporting two different storylines. One of which is interesting whilst the other becomes so cliched so quickly that it makes the middle section to this movie so painfully boring. If you’ve seen any young adult movies before you can probably guess that the dreaded love triangle bares its ugly head here and it’s the worst that I’ve ever seen it. Personally I think that one of the main members of this triangle, character Evan Walker should have been written out of the film as he adds nothing to this story apart from holding our main character back and slowing down the story. Whilst being utterly bored out of your mind you’ll no doubt be able to predict much of the plot and story line as the direction in which the film goes is so obvious. I don’t mind if things are cliched or unoriginal if they are done well but ‘The 5th Wave’ doesn’t do a great job of this.
Where Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley have gone before now it’s the turn of Chloë Grace Moretz to be the leading lady in a young adult series. I don’t think she is quite as convincing as her predecessors and at times it was very clear that she was acting, I saw her rather than her character but there is potential here. The rest of the cast try their best but with the average material that they are given it’s hard for many of them to shine. However, it was cool to see so many up and coming actors star in the movie. Star of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and ‘Dope’ Tony Revolori features here but he is probably the most underused of any talent. Already starring in two favourites of recent years, ‘The Guest’ and ‘It Follows’ this movie could possibly be seen as a backwards step for Maika Monroe and she does play a cliched character but she does try to make the most of it. There were a couple of child actors in the movie too, who are now all measured against Jacob Tremblay’s unbelievable performance in ‘Room’,contribute little to the film. However the character who suffers least from poor writing or lack of screen time is Ben Parish played by Nick Robinson who’s starred in ‘The Kings of Summer’ and massive blockbuster smash ‘Jurassic World’. He comes of best out of everyone and manages to make something of his character which was good to see. If it wasn’t for this casting I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed either of the storylines but at the same time ‘The 5th Wave’ won’t be the film these youngsters are remembered for.
I know that I’ve been quite critical of a lot of elements to the film but there is some merit to sections of it too. There are several individual moments that will surprise you as to just how effective they are. As I’ve said already I enjoyed the casting and the finale is actually quite fun too. So whilst it certainly has it’s flaws and is probably the weakest young adult film we’ve seen in recent years ‘The 5th Wave’ is far from being hateful. It’s a dumb popcorn movie which is entertaining in parts but it could have done with being a little more fun.
Rating – 6/10
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