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The 5th Wave

Coming Soon

In the continuation of raiding bookshelves for movie ideas, the latest novel-turned-feature-film is The 5th Wave. The first book of a trilogy written by American author Rick Yancey was published in 2013 and almost instantly found notoriety on the New York Times Best Seller list. A second book, The Infinite Sea, was released in September 2014, and it also found its way onto that same prestigious list. With an established literary fan base, a film adaptation was the next logical step. That “next step” has since arrived with J Blakerson hoping to make a name for himself in this ultra competitive industry as the director of yet another young adult novel trilogy. For every “Harry Potter” there are ten “Beautiful Creatures”, so to say the odds aren’t in Blakerson’s favor would definitely be fitting.
The Sullivan family is your typical American family, but only temporarily. Very soon, almost everything starts to go sideways. It isn’t only this family that is dealing with an unexplained, unexpected phenomenon. Every family, person and entity is on the entire planet is dealing with disasters of biblical proportions. Only it isn’t the Almighty from above, it is an alien race decimating our planet. These attacks have come in “waves” with each having its own intended results. There are eventually four waves that have laid waste to our land and crippled humanity. Now The 5th Wave is upon us as humanity looks to fight back.
Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) takes on the lead role as Cassie, the heroine of The 5th Wave. Nick Robinson (Jurassic World, The Kings of Summer) is Ben Parish, a classmate of Cassie that doesn’t really know her that well. As the plot progresses, these two basically have their own stories as their paths branch off. Cassie meets up with a stranger named Evan (Alex Roe) and their relationship goes through all types of trials and tribulations. Ben is placed in more of a military type environment and becomes a leader to those surrounding him. The idle moments throughout the film are not long ones which J Blakerson can take some credit for keeping the pace moving along smoothly. The one negative to this approach is that character development feels a bit glazed over once you get past the second tier and beyond, thus an emotional indifference toward their fates.
Questions will be answered so there’s no worry that you’ll be left high and dry upon finishing The 5th Wave. Even if you didn’t know this was the first in a series of movies, it’s pretty evident that there is much more of the story that needs to be told. With any luck, moving forward will bring on a darker tone with increased tension. These types of movies need heavy moments every now and again help remind us that not every story is a fairy tale. Even though there’s a decent amount of action, it still feels like something out of a Nicholas Sparks novel which may cause those seeking explosions and gunfire to seek entertainment refuge elsewhere.
The 5th Wave is the epitome of déjà vu as it fails to bring anything new or fresh this downtrodden subgenre. If somehow this franchise realizes enough interest and revenue to warrant a film version of The Infinite Sea, I will be very surprised. I’ll be the first to admit that I certainly don’t fall perfectly into the target demographic but, having said that, there’s no way that I’m THAT out of touch with what’s going on here. Fans of the books will most likely enjoy the experience a little more since they have a connection to the characters. Having said that, they may also be some of the harshest critics, especially given the fact that a few important details were changed in the film adaptation. Check it out in theaters now.

The 5th Wave is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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