There is a persistent trace of past popular young adult adaptations in the J. Blakeson-directed film, ‘The Fifth Wave’. It rolls from a confident, brave start, but devolves toward the reaches of inevitable cliché.
At its core, is Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Moretz) whose shoulders are burdened with an impending apocalypse—yeah, I know, sounds familiar. Her world is ravaged by an alien species hell bent to colonized the whole planet, sending waves of destruction—electromagnetic pulses, epidemic, floods—to level the face of the Earth. There is a compelling force in this side of the narrative that effectively lures its spectators into attention, but one it barely sustains towards the film’s second half.
To make it more all too familiar, Cassie has the yearning of two equally reliable young men. The impending love triangle is arguably the most tedious portion, saggy for most part, but it helps to bring the narrative back into action.
The film hardly exploits the depths of its narrative, and it seems more inspired paving ground works for potential sequels, than entertaining the familiar scope of its already limited plot line. There is a sense of haste toward the harrowing catastrophe, barely allowing spaces for narrative expositions to stretch.
If it’s anything, this choice gives way for a more palpable focus to technical details, inciting Blakeson’s earnest leaning for ominous destructions and their extreme dangers, all of which rendered in fascinating ambitious CGI effects. This is probaly the film’s strongest element, but with barely a solid storyline to enforce, all these technical efforts seldom work.
‘The Fifth Wave’ suffers from over-familiarity and unnecessarily extreme reverence to genre-conventions, having been more sunk into the shallow depth of its material than transcended through the confines of the genre. It is an uncomfortably annoying choice, particularly for a book-to-film adaptation that hopes for a cashcow franchise.
RATING: 2/4 (JE)
4 – Excellent
3 – Good
2 – Tolerable
1 – Terrible