Except to surf enthusiasts, dreaded things come in waves: violence, heat, Star Wars sequels, nausea etc.
Likewise in The 5th Wave, a disappointing film formulaically adapted from Rick Yancey’s engaging young-adult novel, we have unseen aliens dubbed “Others” invading Earth in a series of frightfully disabling stages that precede the sci-fi survival thriller’s titular fifth thing. An electromagnetic pulse deadens a planet; a tsunami has London bridges falling down; a virus spreads cataclysmically; half-human/half-aliens hunt down survivors.
Survivors such as teenage Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz), the story’s coming-of-age protagonist, whose bee-stung lips tremble in the face of hunky boys and apocalypses, but who discovers an inner Jennifer Lawrence – she’s a real Hunger Games baller – to fight a plot-twisting war as she seeks her tiny brother, one of the children conscripted into military service.
Topical ideas on humanity, mistrust and alien-as-immigrant metaphors are a plus, but a laughable romance and a ridiculous wrap-up render the film as only a staging ground for the next two parts of the trilogy to come. Although waves don’t have to be bad, this unambitious first one is ominous.Report Typo/Error