Cinematic Releases: The 5th Wave

The next wave of young adult series adaptations hits theaters this week. 

chloe grace moretz
Hey! Have you seen Carl?
I want my pudding!
Mayhem. Destruction. Depression. Teenagers. And death. Lots and lots of death. And aliens. Lots and lots of bad, bad aliens. And female power. Tons and tons of female power. Once again, the future of humanity rests in the hands of a pretty girl and her fortitude for escaping the deadly hands of fate at every turn. 

Chloe Grace Moretz stars in the teenage alien armageddon feature, The 5th Wave. Armed to the teeth with plot points heavily borrowed from every genre picture under the sun, the feature is a mild disappointment that never sets itself apart from the other properties it wishes to recreate. With major elements borrowed from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing, Alien, They Live, and many of the pubescent dystopia films that have overrun theaters the past few years, The 5th Wave only entertains at a baseline level. Never escaping the trappings of what's expected from these popcorn flicks, it might have been better suited as a TV series. With shades of the failed Falling Skies, V, The Walking Dead, and numerous other fall of humanity genre entries, it's easy to see how this could have been transposed to smaller screens instead of cinemas. 

chloe grace moretz
Oh my god! Not the Carrie remake again!
Moretz deserves much more than this amalgamated man versus invader movie of the month. The 5th Wave gives audiences a-typical bad ass goth chicks with guns, standard military training exercises, and Xbox looking visuals mixed with expected romantic side stories. Sadly, Moretz seem outside her comfort zone in a movie that doesn't live up to her still underused talents. She's so much better than this, as we've seen in movies like The Equalizer and Kick Ass. Unlike The Hunger Games series and even the Divergent movies, the budget constraints are a massive issue and are quite apparent when comparing this to other, better movies about teenaged females battling their would be enemies. With support roles by Liev Schreiber and Maria Bello, The 5th Wave has a solid backbone but is ultimately harmed by its slow pace and familiarity. Where the movie could have created a new dynamic with more highly realized action sequences, it instead copycats many of its ideas from the Hunger Games so heavy handedly that it becomes embarrassing at times. 

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Adding to the lackluster mediocrity of this post-Christmas release is its video game looking graphics, its lackadaisical attempt at fight sequences, and a muted pace that won't keep its target audience very enthralled. This all seems like a laundry list of negatives but there are some positives too. Sadly for everyone involved in the movie, every ounce of success lies in the hands of Chloe Grace Moretz. Despite the glaring plot holes, horrendously ripped off story structure, and cliched tropes, she still maintains her integrity as an actress that should start sticking to more dramatic fare....or give us a Hit Girl spin off.  She's far below her pay grade with The 5th Wave.

Don't hold your breath for a sequel.