The 5th Wave (2016) – Film Review

Which member of the Hollywood brain trust thought a 15-rated cut of a YA film was a good idea?

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The 5th Wave is the latest attempt to recapture the success of The Hunger Games franchise.  The director at the helm of this project is J Blakeson who has done nothing I recognise and is based on a new book trilogy by author Rick Yancey.  Chloe Grace Moretz is typical high school teenager Cassie whose life is changed forever when a race of aliens known as The Others descends on Earth and unleashes a series (or waves) of attacks targeting mankind (humankind if you prefer).  Cassie is separated from her brother and goes on a desperate search to get him back.

The 5th Wave has a little of the strong female heroine from The Hunger Games (2012), the alien ship from Independence Day (1996) and a potential love triangle see Twilight (2008).  So you get the idea that the author did his research and created the ultimate compendium of Young Adult story arcs.  The film has a decent opening act as the world is created and it looks like we could have a decent alien invasion film with a teenage focus.  But then the tide turns.  The story I liked continued but then kids are being recruited (some very young) to fight as soldiers which is never properly explained.  The final act abandons any pretence that this is a serious invasion feature and kids are running around with ill fitting uniforms killing adults like professional hit-men.   WTF!  The scene when I completely checked out was when the group of kids are betting on a poker game like grizzled marines from a Vietnam war movie.

Here’s another thing.  This is a Young Adult property which in theory is aimed at young teenagers (and it has to be given the silly story) and yet they have released a cut of the film which the BBFC has decided deserves a 15 certificate.  It’s touch and go for me but there a couple of scenes that could justify it because of the context as opposed to any explicit content.  More to the point you have released a film that its target audience can’t go and see so it can only be watched by people stumped at seeing a kids film donning Mummy’s make-up and Daddy’s cologne.

You have no doubt picked up that I’m not a big fan of this film and you’ll be right.  The story is unbelievable and abandons any sense of credulity about half way through.  Stay clear of this one it’s really not worth it.  My rating 2/5.

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