NON HORROR REVIEW- ‘The 5th Wave’ could be referring to the fifth strand of teenage level apocalyptic theatrical releases that we’ve been hit with in the past five years. Quality wise, a fairly strong sub-genre that can appeal to most ages. However we get the rotten egg from time to time, and believe me ‘The 5th Wave’ is Salmonella.
Sloppy and careless are two simple words that can be used to describe the entire package that ‘The 5th Wave’ embodies. Even with blockbuster names like Chloë Grace Moretz, (Kick Ass, Carrie) Liev Schreiber, (Spotlight, X-Men Origins:Wolverine) Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) and Ron Livingston (Office Space, The Conjuring) ‘The 5th Wave’ stutter steps throughout its nearly two hour run time until it eventually falls flat on it’s face, tempting audiences to an early “6th Wave,” which would be walking out of theaters if they happen to be over the age of 14.
Through no real fault of the actors, it seemed as they lacked proper encouragement due to poor casting cohesion, thanks to casting director, Francine Maisler, which in itself is baffling because she is well known for infusing stellar casts, i.e. ‘Creed,’ ‘Black Mass,’ ‘Steve Jobs,’ ‘The Revenant,’ and ‘The Big Short’ in 2015 year alone.
The difference in casts of those films and ‘The 5th Wave’ boils down to age. It seemed as if all the actors/actresses were tossed into this film together based on their popularity with no proper coaching. They all seemed very uncomfortable with who they were working with, as nearly every sequence seemed forced and rushed, even scenes from Moretz eventually felt like she was giving up and wanted to get into post-production phases quickly.
The epitome of this was the choice of supporting role, Sam (Zackary Arthur), whom was very cute and adorable, but shouldn’t be on the big screen quite yet, at least in a film of this magnitude, there are plenty other child actors that could fill his role and execute it with more efficiency.
Along with that, the overall atrocities that director J Blakeson brought to cinemas is an outrage, with the only visually artistic shots of any substance included Schreiber during his speeches, the hasty London Bridge scene and a few visually catching sequence fillers.
The most laughable and embarrassing aspect was the unveiling of “The Others” and how the editing team decided to evolve that vision onto the screen. I’ve seen N64 video games that are more detailed than what we were slapped with in a $38 million dollar budgeted wide release. Shame on Blakeson and the editors for not taking more time with that.
Onto the story, we’ve heard it all before, seen it even more. High school kids are faced with the end of the world. At first they don’t know what it is, then they find out and they loose something. There is some puppy love romances, a butch feminist bad ass, an insecure confused male leader and a will to save the world sprinkled with revenge, all because they “promised to always be there for ________ no matter what.”
Usually there are some innovative approaches, top of the line computer generated visuals, kick ass mean, cool-looking villains, Oscar nominated actors/actresses, or even a damned zombie! But with ‘The 5th Wave’ we get none of that, not even a real alien or zombie. Actually one character played by Matthew Zuk and credited as a laughable “Wounded Man With Crucifix” in the initial sequence we might think is one, but ends up not being one!
There were no genuine emotional elements anywhere in ‘The 5th Wave.’ Everything could be seen coming a mile away, nothing was explained for the sake of relevance and the rest was all too cliche. I see this type of execution working for the average pre-teen who gets dropped off at the mall cinema on a Friday night and only wants to gossip to their friends during the majority of the film, other than that, I don’t recommend this movie. At best what ‘The 5th Wave’ is good for, background visuals and noise, nothing more, I happily WAVE goodbye to ‘The 5th Wave.’