The 5th Wave could have been a scary and highly affecting film had it not given into the cliché antics of adolescent thrillers which aim to cater only to the teens and people a few years above that age barrier. The film addresses an issue as serious and shattering as an alien invasion but just forgets to infuse any tension whatsoever in the narrative. Neither the characters nor the screenplay has anything that will make you stand up and take notice. What’s worse is that the story is really stupid at almost every juncture and wants us to take it seriously when it fails to do so itself.
The film starts with the character of Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) shooting a man in a dilapidated house in backdrop of a dilapidated city. We see that she murdered the man for no valid reason as he was merely pulling out a cross. Then the story moves back in time to show us how the world came to this. We are told that an alien ship arrived in the city and started unleashing earth shattering waves of fear and extermination as first all mechanics are destroyed, then Tsunamis hit, then a wave of diseases and then men are turned against each other. The 5th wave they say would be the most devastating and would wipe out the whole human race. Cassie gets separated from her kid brother after her father is murdered and she tries to get back to him making her way through dangers and unexpected friends and foes as the city reels under the wrath of the aliens.
The film shows absolutely no action on the part of the government to deal with the aliens. Nothing! That is just too much to fathom in a film like this. Cassie loses her family and yet goes about her search in a cool and composed manner. She even manages to drool over Jacob! I will come back to that in a moment. There is just no feel of terror or horror in her essay which brutally dismantles the believability of the plot. She meets with a handsome dude and there is sparks between them which in the given context was just too cheesy to accept. Never for once do they show the aliens and neither do they show how the aliens brought in the waves. I mean how do you explain the aliens causing a flood in a lake that nearly takes down the protagonist and her brother in bright sunlight. It’s just too much to fathom. They never show for once how the men are trying to deal with the aliens and keep the matter strictly confined to just a bunch of characters which in a disaster movie like this doesn’t really work. There is no human drama.
If all this was not enough, the climax blows it all away. The dude who was helping Cassie suddenly metamorphs into a superman and does things that you will find hard to believe and may even laugh about it. The fact that the baddies remain at bay only leaves the climax incomplete and unsatisfying. It sure hints at another part to this film and that would in itself be a far-fetched call. Chloë Grace Moretz is a pretty face and I mean she is a screen stealer but her character is so badly written and she has so less material to make an impact that she is reduced to nothing. She also doesn’t help the cause by just sleep walking through her essay. There is just no feel for the role in her essay. Nick Robinson plays a character referred to as Zombie and has a feel very similar to Edward from The Twilight Saga. Ron Livingston plays another character who feels like Jacob from the Twilight Saga and also helps Cassie or atleast pretends to help her.
Overall, this film is a good opportunity missed. With some sense infused into the proceedings and some more seriousness in terms of the performances and feel of the situation could have just elevated this film to being an engrossing affair. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen.