Thursday, January 21, 2016

No splash from predictable '5th Wave'

In what appears to be another hunt for franchise gold, The Fifth Wave is now reading across the nation's multiplexes. A big-screen adaptation of a 2013 novel by Rick Yancey, 5th Wave stars Chloe Grace Moretz as Cassie Sullivan, a high school student whose normal life is disrupted when an ominous alien spaceship appears above her Ohio hometown. Dull, predictable and, at times, laughable, The Fifth Wave turns Cassie into a quasi-action figure after she loses her parents; she's also put in a position where she must rescue her younger brother (Zackary Arthur) from soldiers who say (wink! wink!) that they're members of the US Army. Liev Schreiber portrays the commander who leads these supposedly helpful troops. Cassie eventually receives assistance from a hunky young man (Alex Roe), who learns about the girlish crush she once had on high school footballer Ben Parish (Nick Robinson). Just about every character seems to have been cut from typical YA cloth, and even the aliens are strictly off-the-rack: They're able to assume human form. Only Maika Monroe's Ringer brings any edge to the proceedings. She's a young woman who can out-tough any young man. Director J Blakeson occasionally allows the movie to fall into soporific lulls, and I wouldn't call it fun to see a perpetually troubled-looking Moretz running around with a semi-automatic weapon. Add a few medium-grade effects sequences depicting alien-induced catastrophes, and you wind up with a movie that may offer something to young fans of the novel and little for anyone else.

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