The 5th Wave is a post apocalyptic movie based on the book, The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. If you want to read a crappy review that I wrote back in May 2014, feel free to check it out. I don't exactly recommend it, though, because honestly, I sucked at writing reviews then more than I do now. I'll give you the basic summery of how I felt about the 5th Wave on my first read. I disliked the book because I felt like I was dragging my feet through about sixty or so percent of it. Looking back, I realize if I had the amount of patience for reading that I do now, I would've really enjoyed the 5th Wave on my first read through. I wasn't really that interested in reading the second book when it came out, but I did because I wanted to see what happened to the characters (especially Evan Walker) after the events of the 5th Wave. The Infinite Sea was what really made me love the series. Even though many 5th Wave fans didn't enjoy the second book as much, I absolutely loved it. After reading the Infinite Sea, I went back and reread the 5th Wave and really loved it. If you want to read the 5th Wave, I recommend that you go into it with a patient mind because it takes a while to really get invested in the story line.
Anyway, back to the movie. The 5th Wave is a very dark book, but it's lightened up by some quirky humor slipped in between the dark parts. That was my favorite part about the first book- the quirky odd humor the characters had even though they were in a seriously ominous situation. The movie, unfortunately, left the quirky humor out. While watching, I did sorely miss the odd humor, but that was my main issue with it.
Here's a quote from me back in November 2014.
"The movie for the 5th Wave comes out January 26, 2016. It’s a long wait, guys. The guy they picked for Evan looks a little old, honestly, but I think the movie will be great. They better do it right because if they make the movie right because this series could be the next big thing. Oh, the guy they picked for Ben is Rider from Melissa and Joey, this is gonna be weird."
They actually changed the movie date since then, but whatever. This movie did have a lot of potential to be great, and it was pretty good. It had a load of potential and it fell short in some places. Instead of talking about the negatives, let's discuss the positives of the movie first.
The 5th Wave movie certainly covered the darkness aspect of the book well. I really loved how it depicted the first three waves int he beginning of the movie. It had my heart racing and excited for more. The way the film had it flashback and then lead into current time was an aspect that I enjoyed. I know I said I'd start out with the positives but I just have to mention. From how I read the book, Cassie would definitely not be going out to a party on a Saturday night. I read her as an awkward teenage girl who, like me, would be at home on a Saturday night.
Chloe Grace Moretz (Actress from If I Stay, Carrie and Kick Ass) was a great choice to play the lead protagonist, Cassie Sullivan. She has the right looks and is a great actress. I was hesitant when I first heard the news that she was going to be playing Cassie, but Chloe was able to pull of the part quite well. I quite enjoyed seeing her portray her character.
Nick Robinson is Ben Parish. His career really seems to be taking off. You might know him from Melissa and Joey as Ryder Scanlon or Jurassic World as Zach. He's a cutie, I'll give him that. I also think he brings good life and personality to the character. While reading this, I wasn't Ben's biggest fan- possibly because I'm 100% team Evan. In fact, while reading the first book (the first time) I couldn't wait for his part to be over, but in the movie I looked forward to seeing Ben's parts as well as his story arc. Maybe it's partially because I like the actor, but I also did actually really enjoy how he played Ben.
Alex Roe portrays Evan Walker- my favorite character from the books. Now, I don't like critiquing people's acting because it's not something I really know and I'm not really going to critique Alex's acting. I just don't think he was the perfect actor for the part. I enjoyed his part in the movie, partially because I just love Evan Walker, and I think he has the looks for Evan, but I just don't think he said his lines in the right way. I actually don't know Alex Roe from anything. I looked him up on IMDB but didn't really recognize any of the things he's acted in previously. I did enjoy looking at him in the duration of the movie as well as his action scenes. I thought those were done marvelously.
I'm just going to get this out of the way. I never really was attached to Ringer's character, but the movie version was just terrible. I really hate calling things terrible but I really just did not like the way Ringer was portrayed. I was hesitant about Maika Monroe from the start, mainly because she looked nothing like the part she was playing, but I would've been able to get over it if she played the part well. Instead of getting some badass who needed no one's help, we got to see a emo chick with an annoying voice. I'm sorry, but I really just didn't like how she was portrayed in the movie. And question, how the heck did she get her hands on that much makeup? Every scene you see her in, her eyes are covered in black eyeliner and I was just wondering the entire movie where she got all of it because I'm pretty sure the military didn't provide it except maybe to Reznik. If they make a second movie (I hope they do, but from what I've seen, it has pretty low ratings and didn't do to well opening night) I really hope Ringer still doesn't have all that dark make up on. And if she does, I really hope someone provides a good explanation as to how the heck she has that much make up in the middle of no where.
As mentioned before, I really did enjoy the action scenes. I think the movie was able to build the feeling of anticipation and suspense to the perfect level before the action actually occurred. The 5th Wave is thrilling mainly because of it's numerous plot twists and action sequences. I think the movie pulled off the action sequences perfectly. Except for this one part when a character jumps like fifteen feet into the air. But we're going to ignore that and pretend it never happened.
On the part of plot twists, I think the movie didn't pull that off quite as well. I mean, I was silently laughing to myself for a lot of the movie because I knew all the plot twists that the story was leading up to, while my friends did not. Though, afterwards, one of my friends admitted she knew one of the largest plot twists was going to happen before it did. While I'm on the topic of friends, I'll just say, I went to the movie with three friends that have never even touched the book. They all immensely enjoyed the film (as well as dissed reading books, but we'll ignore that). So, for all those who haven't read the book, I think you'll find this movie food. The main issues for me was the relationships and missing quirky humor, so if you aren't really looking for those certain things, it is very enjoyable.
I did enjoy this movie, as proven by my high rating, but I just am pointing out the thing that I missed.
Next subject: Relationships. I think the movie did a bad job of portraying the relationships between characters. Especially between Cassie and Ben, Cassie and Evan and Ben and Nugget/Sam.
I think the main issue of low ratings of book to adaptation movies are the words 'in the book' because we really need to accept that, no, this is not that book, but there are some aspects of the book that I feel like we need to see in the movie. And the relationships are one thing from the book that I thought were vital things needed in the movie.
In the book, Cassie and Ben have this awkward relationship. Ben was Cassie's high school love and Cassie, well, Ben doesn't even remember her when he meets her again. In this, it's Ben who reminds her they went to High School together and they seem to have more of a connection in the movie than in the book. Like I mentioned before, there's a kind of awkward humor that makes the character's really lovable. The relationship between Ben and Cassie was one aspect of awkward humor in the book that I really enjoyed. Ben and Cassie's relationship in the movie is just plain out weird and while the actors portrayed it well, I thought the writers really missed out on a potential humorous part.
Cassie and Evan are supposed to have a connection, in the movie you can plainly see the writers were trying to write in a relationship between the two, but it was lacking too many scenes for anyone to actually get attached to the relationship between the two. Their relationship is also simplified down a lot, as is Evan's character. In the book, there are an ample amount of scenes showing the two go from mistrust to growing closer and closer. I missed those in the movie. There was one scene that I really wanted to see-
"Let's establish a code for when you want to go all creeper on me. One knock means you'd like to come in. Two means you're just stopping by to spy on me while I sleep. "
And then the part that comes much later in the book-
"He knocks once against the side. I don't get it at first, and then I laugh. Let's establish a code for when you want to go all creeper on me. One knock means you'd like to come in."
And they left it out. All the wonderfully sassy comments from Cassie and the slightly flirtatious ones from Evan. While Cassie and Ben's relationship was wonderfully awkward in the book, Evan and Cassie's was even more humorously so.
Ben and Sam. Their relationship was supposed to be almost like Ben is Sam's older brother. In the movie it tries to depict that, but they only really talk once (which leads into a humorous singing in the night) and then all the sudden Ben feels all protective over the little kid. In the book Ben takes Sam under his wing and you really get to come to appreciate their relationship as Ben grows more fond for Sam.
I think a big issue was the time. If there had been more time there would have been more time to build up relationships. The movie is one hour and fifty minutes. That's really short to adapt from a very long first book. That was another factor that I was nervous about and it looks like I was right to be nervous about it, because everything felt very rushed. If it was say, two and a half hours, just that extra forty minutes would probably make the movie feel a little less rushed as well as more understandable.
Anyway, I was going to do a spoiler section, but this review got a whole lot longer than I expected, so, no spoilery section! Sorry 'bout that but I have three tests to study for. If you're considering seeing this movie, I recommend that you do so. It's a fun, action filled movie and is quite enjoyable. Even though it fell short on adapting the best aspects from the book, the movie was still able to be quite good.