The Fifth Wave
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye...
Hoyts Melbourne Central - Sunday 24 January 2016, 12:30pm
Running time: 112m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Mild themes, sex scene and coarse language)
Release date: 14/01/16
Rating: 6/10 (3/5 ME, 3/5 DP)
Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz from Clouds of Sils Maria) is an average high school student in Ohio when a large metallic object begins to orbit the earth. Firstly the alien visitors cut the power then cause tidal waves before unleashing a disease to wipe out the human population. The remaining survivors are rounded up by the army and the children are recruited as soldiers in a fight against the aliens, but not all is as it seems. Cassie tries to make it on her own, but after she's rescued by Evan (Alex Roe) the complexity of the situation begins to be revealed.
The Fifth Wave is the first in a 'brave teenagers fighting a mysterious post-apocalyptic threat' series, but unlike The Hunger Games, Insurgent and Maze Runner the setting is a familiar earth where life for everybody has been turned upside down. The performances by the young cast are very watchable and likeable, particularly Nick Robinson as Ben and Malika Monroe as Ringer. Maria Bello's villainous Sergeant Reznik is suitably camp (love the lipstick in her final scene) and Spotlight's Liev Schreiber as stubbly straight-talking Colonel Vosch brings a tone of doom to an already impossible situation.
It's far from film greatness but it's an enjoyable and satisfying beginning to a new series. It's great to see another film with a determined young female protagonist saving the world. There are spectacular moments amidst some questionable (and cheap looking) visual effects, but there's enough interest in the story to make up for its flaws. It lacked originality (there was a suggestion of a Twilight-esque love triangle at one point) but there was enough excitement to make it a satisfying film experience. (ME)