Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie (Chlorace Moretz) is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal 5th wave, Cassie teams up with a young man who may become her final hope if she can only trust him.
In the film, THE 5TH WAVE, Cassie Sullivan was just a normal teen, whose biggest concern was just getting through High School. That was until, not only her's, but the whole world, was affected by an alien invasion. It is an alien invasion that seems to come in segments, which would come to be known as "waves". We meet Cassie during the 4th wave of attack. It is via flashback, where we learn just how things started, as Cassie narrates us along. Cassie first saw her normal life rocked by the first wave - one that brought down planes, and caused cars to crash. It was something, which brought panic to everyone, unfortunately though, as they would discover, things weren't finished. That's because a second, and third wave would soon follow. During the second, the attack is initiated via, a series of quakes, including a massive flood. This took out a good portion of the world's population. This would be followed by the third consecutive wave, which would see the regional Avian bird flu, spread wide. It is an airborne flu that would claim even more lives
including Cassie's mother, Lisa. Following her death, Cassie's father, Oliver moves he, and his children to a refugee camp, where other survivors have gathered, its here, that they learn of a 4th wave, when the the military, and a Colonel Vosch, inform everyone that the aliens have now taken the human form, as they have the ability to use bodies as a host. This means they have the possibility to infiltrate the group of survivors. This causes even more panic, as well as a big shootout between the soldiers and a seemingly overzealous survivor. It is an event that unfortunately claims Oliver's life, thus leaving Cassie and her younger brother, Sam alone to fend for themselves. Eventually, Cassie and Sam are meant to be transferred to an Army base called, Wright-Patterson. However, when Cassie rushes back to fetch young Sam's teddy, the bus leaves without her - separating the siblings. At Wright-Patterson, Sam and they other surviving children, find that they are being moved to the spot for a purpose, as the military group grooms them to fight - eventually forming an attack unit consisting of the youths. Meanwhile Cassie, elsewhere, survives on her own, all while trying to locate Sam's whereabouts. After awhile, when she is unexpectedly wounded by an unseen sniper, she finds herself taken in by Evan Walker, a young man who has also lost his family. With Evan's help, Cassie is, of course able to locate Sam at Wright-Patterson, where his unit has went on the attack against who they believe are "The Others". Unfortunately, before long, some shocking truth behind the whole invasion is uncovered. It is information that could change the face of all mankind forever.
My first reaction to THE 5TH WAVE, when it began to run its trailers upon its release, was simply, "another alien invasion film?" On the surface, it is just that, another alien invasion film. But what is to be discovered about it, is that, it is a little unique, in that its main focus is the younger cast. As the older cast are just more or less, support. I thought that was cool, as it goes back to that '80s notion that "the kids rule". This film is more about how the youngsters react to the tragedy and impending doom that they could possibly face. The film's plot is basically, and initially presented to us in segmented attacks known as "waves". Each one, more dangerous and deadly than the last. This is a running theme in the film, as is the subject of body snatching - with which, the film offers an equally unique spin. The approach to the progression of the film's story comes via 2 sides of the tale. First we have the younger brother Sam, who has been shipped off to another location, where it is soon revealed that the military group has plans for both he and the other kids. And then on the other side, we have Cassie's quest, to not only find her brother, but also to stay alive.
I have now read a series of differing opinions of THE 5TH WAVE. You know, the "some like it, some hate it" type. It is when I saw many of the negative opinions, that I feared for the worst here. But it is in my opinion, that THE 5TH WAVE isn't necessarily a bad film, at all, in fact, I kind of enjoyed it. But with that said, I will say that its biggest problem is that it seems to have been made with anticipation. It is a film that feels as though the filmmakers and the studio expected this one to be the "next big thing" You know, the next HUNGER GAMES, INSURGENT, and the like. Big budgeted films aren't made for fun anymore. They are made to make money. So, because of this, the film concludes on sort of this empty promise of possible things to come. It's a pretty abrupt ending, although the film itself runs just shy of the 2 hour mark. It sets up the possibility of a sequel, or sequels. However, whether we will see them, remains to be seen.
Overall, as I said, I kind of liked it. I really like the fact that movies are being made again which have younger people at the forefront, representing strong characters. Running at 1 hour and 52 minutes, I did feel that it was a little long winded, and could have possibly been trimmed a little. But still, it is above average enjoyable, as most of the film's action/drama relied much on emotion, which was aided by good lead performaces.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
I enjoyed this film for the most part. It is the emotion and the progressive storytelling that kept my attention throughout, the most. As far as its ideas, no, alien invasions, and subsequent body snatching, are nothing new to any medium, but I will give THE 5TH WAVE credit, when I say that its approach to these things are, admittedly, a little fun. As noted, the film leaves off, hinting that there may be a follow up in the future. We shall see. But for now, this film isn't a bad little(big budgeted) popcorn flick, which is obviously geared toward the teen crowd.
This film will be released on Blu-Ray/DVD on May 3, 2016