Monday, January 25, 2016

The 5th Wave mixes elements from every dystopian teen movie you've seen before

Movie Title:  THE 5th WAVE

  5th Wave, The

Grade:  C

Rating:  PG-13, 1 hour 52 minutes

In a Nutshell:    I think this is the 5th wave of teen dystopian moviesUnfortunately, it’s nothing you haven’t seen already with elements from Red Dawn (I loved the first one), Independence Day (loved the first one), Divergent (liked the first one), and even The Walking Dead (horrified and then addicted to the first one). 

Those drones aren’t the ones from Amazon.  It’s another teens vs. grownups movie….um…teens vs. aliens movie.  Of course, the teens are smarter than both grownups and aliens. 

Cassie asks rhetorically, “How do you rid the earth of humans?  First, you rid the humans of their humanity.”  Or…you make really dumb movies so they want to kill themselves.

Uplifting theme: 
  • “Love’s not a trick.  It’s real.” – Evan Walker (Alex Roe-Brown)
  • “The others see our hope as a weakness, as a delusion, but they’re wrong.  It’s our hope that lets us survive, that lets us bend, but remain unbroken.  It’s our hope that will let us win some day.  It’s our hope that makes us human.” – Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz)

Things I liked:
  •  I’ve always liked Chloe Grace Moretz, who plays Cassie, the heroine in the story.  She has quite a long film history, considering how young she is.
  • Some of the transitions were cool.
  • I always like a good twist.
  • I liked the version of “I was born in a thunderstorm” song at the end.

Things I didn’t like:
  • Some of the special effects look pretty lame.
  • Some of the acting was really terrible.  Black eye-linered Maika Monroe’s character, Ringer, was so clichéd and stiff that it was laughable.  So was Maria Bello’s character, Sergeant Reznik.
  • Cookie-cutter romance scene where someone accidentally stumbles upon a good-looking person bathing in a lake. 
  • Zackary Arthur sure is adorable, but needs time to develop his acting skills.
  • There are a lot of really dark scenes that make it hard to see what’s happening.
  • SPOILER:  Unfortunately, the movie ends with a wink to a sequel.  Uggg.  Please don’t let there be a 6th wave.
  • The trailer shows scenes that don’t actually play in the movie.  Odd.  Did I blink and miss them?
  • Did you see the poster for the movie “Big Fish”?   Was it a random ad placement or is there some reason behind it?  Does anyone know?
  • An awkward love triangle made me laugh out loud.  Are the directors hoping to spur on a fan debate like we saw with the Twilight series?  I mean, why would you choose Ben Parish when Evan Walker is an option?   (wink)
  • Dumb character names like Dumbo, Fintstone, Poundcake.
  • The first act was actually pretty compelling, but then it turned into every other dystopian YA movie you've ever seen.  What a shame.

Funny lines:
  • “Are we still alive?” – Teacup
“I think so.” – Zombie
  • “You want me to shoot you?” – Ringer
“Don’t pretend you haven’t thought about it.” - Zombie
  • “I was named after Ben & Jerry’s.  Truth!  Nothing made him happier than ice cream.”  - Ben Parish/Zombie (Nick Robinson)

Interesting lines:
  • “No more everything we took for granted.” – Cassie
  • “I thought we were safe here.” - Cassie
“Pumpkin, there’s nothing safe anymore.” – Oliver Sullivan (Ron Livingston)
  • “We’re not fighting the 5th wave.  We ARE the 5th wave.” – Zombie

Tips for parents:   

  • Some profanity, shooting, and blood.
  • Lots of guns and shooting.  LOTS.
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