'The 5th Wave' - Movie Review

'The 5th Wave'
U/A; Action/Adventure
Director: J Blakeson

Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Alex Roe, Liev Schreiber, Maika Monroe, Maria Bello, Maggie Siff, Ron Livingston, Tony Revolori

5th wave
'The 5th Wave'. Pic/Santa Banta

A spent idea, Young Adult action adventures set in dystopian futures have become tedious and boring after steady outpourings that have long outlived their destinies at the Box office. This film, adapted from Rick Yancey's 2013 novel unleashes pheromones between human and alien (in a 'Twilight' like construct) and comes close to aping it's predecessors (The Hunger Games, Insurgent) in action and engagement but feels repetitive and therefore much less exciting. The film also has a close resemblance to headliner Chloe Grace Moretz's earlier release 'Clouds of Sils Maria'. No doubting that this is meant to be franchise bait, and therefore is plotted as a cinematic appetizer showing the Young adult at the centre of it all, developing into a fighting against-all-odds survivor from the position of a fairly dependent and protected child. But the slow-to-burn narrative and the unexciting turn of events makes the experience well short of thrilling.

This is mostly a workmanlike production meant to establish a steady base for what is to come in the future (sequels for sure). There's a certain restraint in the brandishing of spectacle, the earnestness and likeability is missing and the set-up reeks of unbelievable contrivances. The screenplay by Jeff Pinkner, Susannah Grant and Akiva Goldsman lacks earnestness and logical insight. How else would you explain a budding teenager Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz) entrusted with the care and protection of her little brother in a life and death situation leaving him behind to collect a stuffed bear that he holds dear. At a time when lives are being lost and livelihoods are being dismantled with unexpected ferociousness it seemed like trivial pursuit. Even if that set-up was meant to formulate a guilt driven coming-of-age reasoning, the plotting and performances don't come close to realizing that expectation.

Taken to an army base. the little boy nicknamed Nugget, is enlisted to fight the invaders in a squad led by his sister's old crush, Ben Parish. Ringer (Maika Monroe), a tough talking, venom spewing girl with spiked hair and dark rings around her eyes, gets to be the scene-stealing ever ready protector. The rest of the film is concerned with uniting the siblings amidst a catastrophic series of attacks that comes in waves.

Cassie, tramping through woods, en route to the military base in search of her brother, gets shot in the leg and saved from enemy snipers by Evan Walker(Alex Roe), a mysterious farm boy. The conflict comes when Cassie discovers him to have super-human gifts which reconcile with him being an Other. So now Evan has to prove his love by putting himself at risk in order to save planet earth from further destruction by the alien Others led by US Military General impersonator (Liev Schreiber).

While the first, second and third waves are well represented visually, the fourth and fifth one doesn't come through as forceful . The action and the rebellion thereof , and in that light, look a little feeble and directionless. And the film ends expectedly as a step-up for what is to come next. So there isn't any great climax to speak of here. The tone and tempo of the film create interest but the unredeemable contrivances and the unconvincing narrative spiel just leave you cold. Don't expect to be shaken or stirred!

Watch the trailer of 'The 5th Wave'

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