The 5th Wave movie review: Die young and leave a good-looking corpse
At The Movies
THE 5TH WAVE
* * (C)
• Directed By J Blakeson
• Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Zackary Arthur, Maggie Siff, Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe, Alex Roe
• Sony, Rated PG-13, Sci-Fi, 112 minutes
Adapted from Rick Yancey’s YA trilogy, the first installment of this post-apocalyptic trilogy — for and about teens — promises a romantic triangle. Given the dire circumstances besetting humankind, audiences will correctly respond with either “Why?” or “Why Not?”
Cassie’s family is awed by waves one through three of and alien invasion, and 16-year-old Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz) is our conduit to the invasion, apocalypse and romance. The first wave uses an electromagnetic pulse to take out power grids and cause engines to seize.
The second creates earthquakes and massive tsunamis. The third re-engineers the avian flu to become a lethal virus. Voila, without risking one extraterrestrial life, or causing undue harm to the planet, the number of humans is reduced by 95 percent.
In wave four, aliens become parasites controlling human hosts. By now Cassie, her little brother and father (Ron Livingston) have joined several hundred survivors in the forest leading a cooperative farming lifestyle — that is until stoic U.S. Army Colonel Vosch (Live Schreiber) arrives promising safety at an Army base nearby. Cassie escapes what she believes is a trap, but her baby brother Sam (Zackary Arthur) is taken to be trained as a soldier for the aliens.
Although injured Cassie is nursed back to health by hunky farm boy Evan (Alex Roe), who, in addition to saving her life, gives Cassie pointers in close combat maneuvers. Romance ensues before Evan admits he’s half-human half-alien. Claiming he fell in love with Cassie “at first sight,” Evan renounces his alien half and the belief that love is nothing more than the drive to reproduce. Obviously aliens never went to high school.
Meanwhile, Cassie’s hometown crush Ben (Nick Robinson), is drafted into the alien army. His combat squad includes Cassie’s little brother and several teens, with a special focus on an emo-cool sharpshooter named Ringer (Maika Monroe).
Though the teens initially believe they are hunting aliens, they apply their social studies smarts to figure out they are actually meant to be the 5th wave — tricked into hunting humans. Soon after this, with our future hanging in the balance, this chapter ends.
Whether or not I ever see the next two or three series installments, I hope if we’re invaded, it commences exactly this way. There’s obviously enough spare time to perform one’s daily grooming regimen because everyone’s makeup and hairdo is perfect.
Survivors appear well fed and are dressed in nicely ironed, clean clothes. Fear of imminent death isn’t ideal, but looking our best is surely the best defense against the sixth wave.