Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Movie Review: The 5th Wave

Title: The 5th Wave
Based on The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Director: J Blakeson
Screenplay: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, and Jeff Pinkner
Producers: Tobey Maguire, Graham King, Tim Headington, and Matthew Plouffe
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Alex Roe, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe, and Liev Schreiber
Distributed By: Columbia Pictures

The human race stands on the brink of extinction as a series of alien attacks decimate the planet, causing earthquakes, tsunamis and disease. Separated from her family, Ohio teenager Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) will do whatever it takes to reunite with her brother Sam. Fate leads her to form an alliance with Evan Walker (Alex Roe), a mysterious young man who may be her last hope. Forced to trust each other, Cassie and Evan fight for survival during the fifth assault from the invaders. 

My Review

Okay... I know that I said I was going to see the film adaptation of The 5th Wave in theaters, but I lied. I never got around to it, mostly because no one I know wanted to see this movie with me. However, I took a risk. I decided to purchase it based on how much I enjoyed the book. Let me tell you... that risk paid off for me in a good way. The 5th Wave has everything movie watchers would want out of a movie that tells the story of the end of the world and more. It's thrilling, action-packed, and suspenseful - definitely worth renting or buying for anyone who likes end of the world or destruction stories.

I'm sure that most readers agree that they don't want changes to be made to their favorite books if it just so happens to be adapted for the big screen. Me? Not so much. While I do find myself frustrated with huge changes and differences, small changes don't bother me. I realize that they need to happen for the movie to be just long enough, but also short enough to keep the attention of audience members. I won't lie to you, but I don't want to spoil anyone who has yet to see the film. There are a few changes in the movie and how the story is told, but overall, it doesn't take away from the actual story that Rick Yancey gave readers. However, there are some big changes that huge fans of the books will notice, more specifically the characters who have been cut from the film completely and the lack of a certain term of endearment.

If you've read the book, you'll know that The 5th Wave isn't specifically a post-apocalyptic novel. It shows the destruction of the planet and human evolution to the rapid changes as it's actually happening. The movie does the exact same thing, and it's actually really interesting to see it happen with your own eyes. If I had to compare it to anything, I'd say that it's similar to the TV adaptation of The Walking Dead because it's fast-paced and about survival. I really liked the overall feel of the film, and I liked how it evoked the same feelings that in me that the book did. Plus, a lot of the settings looked exactly how I imagined them, so that's always a bonus.

I also think the actors did a really good job at portraying the characters that I fell in love with all those years ago when I read The 5th Wave. It's hard to really compare and contrast here, especially because the book is told from multiple points of view, but each character was represented in a way that gets watchers thinking about who they are and what they will do to save the world. Before watching this movie, I was only familiar with two of the actors - Chloë Grace Moretz and Nick Robinson. I will admit that I wasn't sure about the casting of Ms. Moretz at first, but I think she did a great job portraying Cassie Sullivan. After watching it, she really felt like Cassie to me. I was most impressed with Zackary Arthur, who played Sam. I think he did a fantastic job for such a young actor, and I look forward to seeing him grow as an actor.

The special effects for the natural elements in the film were great, and for the most part, they added to the movie. I really felt like the producers captured Yancey's world that shows a planet in chaos. The special effects for the "Others" weren't so great, though. I wasn't a fan of how the "Others" were presented when the characters see them through the lenses. I just didn't imagine them to look like bugs sucking on a human brain, and to be honest, it looked a little cheap and cheesy.

Overall, I think the film adaptation of The 5th Wave gets my seal of approval. I think it's a hard world to take on, but the screenwriters, producers, and director really captured the world that Rick Yancey created. I know there hasn't been a lot of news about a sequel, but I really hope that it happens because I would love to see how the events in The Infinite Sea are depicted on screen. If you liked the book, I would recommend at least renting The 5th Wave to compare and contrast the two mediums.

Let's Discuss

Alright... so I didn't want to spoil too much of the film just because I don't know how many of you have seen it, so please forgive me if my review was a little vague. Now let's talk about it. Have you read The 5th Wave? If so, did you enjoy it? Have you seen the movie? Were you a fan or do you think it flopped? Do you hope that a film version of The Infinite Sea happens? Feel free to let me know what you're thinking in the comments below. 

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