‘The 5th Wave’ is the latest in a very long line of teenage book to film adaptations. Based on Rick Yancey’s sci-fi trilogy, it works hard to differentiate itself from many other similar works. Filled with a good cast and a decent script, it manages to hold its head above water. This isn’t any mean feat considering how glutted the genre has become. It all comes down to how captivating the story is which ‘The 5th Wave’ has no trouble telling as its characters battle an evil alien horde.
After four waves of deadly alien attacks, Earth has been left devastated. On the run is Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz) who will do anything to protect her younger brother. While bracing for a fifth wave of attacks, Cassie meets fellow survivors Evan (Alex Roe) and Ben (Nick Robinson) who also distrust those around them. Together they hope to defeat the otherworldly creatures before further onslaughts destroy their world.
Although the creaky wheels of the formula machine is seen driving ‘The 5th Wave’, it does its best to defy its familiar nature. Instead of diving head-first into an already ruined world, we see how things were. We also see our central heroes learning how to battle their new enemies. Unlike ‘The Hunger Games’ series, the characters in ‘The 5th Wave’ don’t know everything and discover the many twists and turns along with the audience.
This makes for a more involving story thanks to J Blakeson’s tight direction. Whilst certain sequences are overly sentimental with clichés of the ‘young adult’ genre creeping in, he ensures ‘The 5th Wave’ remains fresh. Moretz, Robinson and Roe aid in giving some spark to the dialogue and their characters. All make mistakes but have a determination mirroring the best of fictional heroes. The action scenes are suitably explosive with some genuine surprises and good pacing.
‘The 5th Wave’ may have odds stacked against it due to the over-abundance of similar movie product. That would be a dis-service as it is a more than strong entry in the full genre. Making one look forward to a sequel shows it did its job and one hopefully gracing screens soon.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.