Movie 411: The 5th Wave

Director: J. Blakeson
Screenplay: Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich), Akiva Goldsman (Fringe), and Jeff Pinker (Amazing Spinder Man 2LostAlias)
*Based on the books by Rick Yancey
Rated: PG-13
Released: January 22, 2016
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action
The Hook: With all the post-apocalyptic/alien stories scattered among mainstream entertainment, this one appealed to me.


Aliens have attacked Earth, with every intension of taking it over of course, in a series of waves. In the midst of an attack, Cassie gets separated from her brother. Fending for herself among this hostile and violent landscape, Cassie is determined, and desperate to find her brother.

The Review

So I mentioned appeal. The concept of this post-apocalyptic/alien invasion movie was different from the rest in the idea that the aliens attacked in waves. It seemed more strategic than past alien invasion movies where they kind of just take up space in the sky, or plant themselves on Earth eons ago in preparation for an attack, or aliens inhabiting the bodies of humans. I was also interested in seeing where Cassie fits into all this. I mean, it’s not like she’s overthrowing a government or liberating civilization from the oppression of a higher power (well, sort of but not like that. Ah, you know what I mean. Hopefully). In this one, aliens have attacked in waves and have successfully thinned down the population, so now what? Curiosity got the better of me.

Portraying our leading lady, Cassie Sullivan, is Chloe Grace Moretz. I am glad to see that she’s carving out some space in Hollywood for herself. It’s hard to believe she was that girl in Kick Ass. She did good. I mean, I’m not one to talk because I can’t act to save my life, but I liked the energy she brought the screen. She made Cassie relatable.

I’m not harping on the other cast members, but this movie really focused on Cassie so the rest of the characters, for me, dropped into the background so I’m sorry about that. All did a good job to bring the story to life, though. And this really seemed like movie #1 of a whole other movie franchise, considering the book series comprises of three books, so I feel that the other characters who were mainly secondary will start to suss themselves out in the next movie.

Considering that this is really the beginning of a longer story, I thought the movie moved along nicely. The narrative moments were good. I mean, it’s hard to make a movie when the main story line is a first person narrative in the books. If you didn’t already know that. So I like that the screenplay did a really good job to capture the story behind the narrative to make it enjoyable for those of us who haven’t read the book. And I haven’t read the book so I can’t comment on the book-to-screenplay angle but going in not knowing, I still found the movie enjoyable on its own.

I mentioned the narrative of the movie went along nicely. You don’t get lost or confused. Things are pretty straightforward, which I like. Not that I don’t mind a little thinking involved, but sometimes it’s tiring trying to think of “where are you leading us to?” when you’re just trying to enjoy the movie.

Overall, I liked this movie. It hooked my interest enough to see it to the end of the franchise. And if they never make a second one, I can live with that. That’s not to say the movie tied all the knots, remember, it’s the beginning of a longer story, but I’m not going to be immensely disappointed if they don’t continue it. Just saying. And with that said, I could see myself watching this a few more times. It’s not where it’ll come to mind when I want to watch a movie, but if it’s on cable TV or if a friend wants to watch it or if it just so happens to be . . . on, I would watch it.

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