Science Fiction and teenage stories are a combination that seldom ever works, but when they do, they can do some phenomenal things. Ender’s Game was one of the prime examples of that, it brought something unique to the table when it came to science fiction and teenage stories being combined. However, one of the weakest examples in this particular sub-genre of sci-fi would be The 5th Wave, a film that is based around an alien invasion, yet never really does anything unique or concise with it. It just focuses on bringing familiar elements and combining them to hope for a decent product.
How to Download The 5th Wave
You can download the film from a digital store. You can also stream it. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like science fiction films about aliens, check out also our reviews of Independence Day and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
The Movie Review
A series of destructive waves are released upon humanity when an alien race invades Earth to completely wipe out the populace. In addition to causing diseases and natural calamities, the aliens suck electrical energy, leaving the world in darkness. The protagonist, a teenage girl by the name of Cassie Sullivan, travels to the country with her family after the unfortunate death of her mother Lisa, her father Oliver chooses to take Cassie and Sam – her younger brother – to a survivor refugee camp. There, the two siblings are separated from each other as Cassie misses the bus that Sam is on. She discovers that in the fifth wave, aliens took on the shape of humans, and she sees the military killing camp residents, including her father. Hence, a journey of rebellion against a power unlike any other begins.
The Fifth Wave is what you’d consider a low-budget science fiction film. However, it gets off to a promising start with a more logical approach than films such as Divergent. The world is about to end as an alien spaceship has entered a dangerous orbit around the Earth, and the way they orbit is extremely precise from a scientific standpoint. I even thought that the story was running fairly well up until the family arrives at the refugee camp in the forest. However, the plot falters at that point when the aliens make a clever yet highly absurd tactical choice. You could just kill humans with tsunamis, epidemics, and earthquakes, there is zero need to dress up as people and kill them on the ground.
The jaw-dropping stupidity is followed by a plot twist that was obvious from a distance. Director J. Blakeson showcases that Cassie is assigned to a mission, and after that, the movie devolves into a fairly dreadful Hunger Games/The Maze Runner knockoff with Cassie caught between two love interests, her old crush Ben and her new and improved, mysterious savior – Evan. Cassie merely wanders around trying to fight when she’s just a civilian who has trained for two days, leading to much muscle-rippling and skinny-dipping action. The film focuses so much on the hamfisted romance aspects, that it takes away from the overall intensity of the scenario.
Chloe may be a talented actress, but she was unable to save the movie from the muck of its cliche-filled script, superficial characters, and dull narrative. However, the rest of the ensemble never appears, leaving Chloe to navigate the film’s legitimately offensive comedy and cringe-inducing dialogue alone. Given that the majority of the actors in this movie are newcomers with something to prove, it is much more difficult to appreciate their performances. I don’t blame them, though, considering the majority of the lines they were given were terrible.
In terms of presentation, it looks pretty good for a film with strict budget constraints and an untested director. I appreciate the visual effects in the film, and much of the camera work is not bad either. It’s not the best-looking film in the science fiction genre, that much is certain, but it’s not bad looking by any means whatsoever. It might be a bit bland though, but that’s something most teenage films have to make peace with. The music, on the other hand, is almost non-existent. I don’t remember a single tune that made me feel anything in the film, I don’t even remember them.
In general, it is a poor adaptation of a well-received yet mediocre book. The film is kept way too similar to the book, and that brings a lot of the source material’s shortcomings with it. It fails to make an effort to fix some of the elements that should have been changed, and it alienates every viewer over the age of 12.
I guess it could have fared better if scriptural changes were made to the dialogue, and the film was pushed to be a bit more mature. It does none of that and isn’t presented in an exciting way either. It’s an overall drab, dull, and boring film to say the least, with a pinch of fun added into the mix if you’re a child.
- The film has decent production quality, good cinematography and visual effects
- The film lacks a good story, and follows the same trends of teenage post-apocalyptic sci-fi films
- The acting isn’t great, Chloe is the only one participating, the rest are just there
- The music is not memorable whatsoever