The 5th Wave

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The 5th Wave

Dystopian teen fiction has reached a stage where the only thing that separates one series from another is the surface details. Just a): get rid of the parents, b): bring in a bunch of dubious authority figures, c): put our heroine in a grim survival situation, d): force her to do things (usually kill) to survive that she doesn’t want to, e): have a plucky group of friends and f): throw in a romance (love triangles preferred), and you’re set.

This time the cause of all the drama is a fairly ham-fisted alien invasion consisting of various “waves”. The first wipes out all electronics, the second was a series of floods and earthquakes, the third was a mutant bird flu that killed off millions, the fourth was an invasion (the aliens possess human hosts, so the invasion looks like guys out hunting deer) and the fifth… is a mystery.

Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) gets the traditional survival/romance stuff, while her younger brother Sam (Zackary Arthur) is drafted into a child army (led by Liev Schreiber). The child army is interesting, Moretz makes her suffering plausible, and there are a few decent twists; for once the “to be continued” ending probably won’t fill you with dread.

Reviewed by Anthony Morris