Wave Goodbye to “The 5th Wave”
By CHRISTINE BAE
The movie “The 5th Wave” doesn’t compare to the original novel’s gripping story, and was a disappointment. Despite the recent successes of other young adult dystopian films such as “The Hunger Games” and the “Divergent” trilogy, “The 5th Wave” was mediocre and received negative reviews from a majority of critics.
“The 5th Wave” is a post-apocalyptic story about aliens called The Others whose ship coincidentally hovers over the lead character Cassie Sullivan’s town. After complete silence for 10 days, the Others begin to attack in a series of waves. The first wave shuts off all electricity and battery powered objects, the second wave consists of earthquakes and tsunamis which destroy all coastal cities, and the third wave is a deadly plague that kills the majority of the people who are still alive. These waves kill 98% of the human race. The movie alternates points-of-view between Cassie and Ben, Cassie’s high school crush. Cassie’s younger brother, Sammy, and Ben are taken to a fake military base called Camp Haven. They are told that they are being trained to fight the Others using new technology that can differentiate between a human and an Other. After being sent into the field to kill aliens, Ben and his squad realize that they were being tricked into hunting humans and that they are the 5th wave. The squad decides to escape from Camp Haven, but Ben realizes that he has to go back to save Sammy. At the same time, Cassie tries to reach Camp Haven to save her brother, and on her way she meets a mysterious, handsome boy named Evan Walker who helps her reach the camp. While there, Cassie and Ben see each other again and escape with Sammy, leaving Evan back in Camp Haven.
The book excels at the portrayal of these characters, but the movie falls short. In the novel, the characters have multiple dimensions and the readers are able to see many sides of them. In the film the characters are very 2-dimensional and lack the depth that would made them more compelling.
For the most part, “The 5th Wave” was not a satisfying adaptation of the best-selling novel, despite some of the small positive plot aspects.