Cassie (Chloe Moretz) is a normal, teenage girl, she enjoys a party, has a crush on a football player at her school and has a curfew. However, when an alien ships hovers over Earth, her life is about to change. The alien ship seems dormant at first, but it suddenly begins to launch waves of attacks, firstly they cut the power, next they cause earthquakes that devastate the land. On the third wave a disease wipes out most of humanity and in the fourth wave they hide amongst us, pitting friend against friend ensuring that deep mistrust lies with humanity. Now, venturing through a post-apocalyptic Earth, Cassie must trust her instincts, find her brother and try to survive the final deadly wave.
The Young Adult genre has become so overinflated that its becoming increasing difficult to find a film from that genre that's a genuine breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, The Fifth Wave is not that breath of fresh because it feels very similar to the many of other Young Adult franchises led by a resourceful central character be it The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner or Divergent. The over inflation of the genre means nothing feels original or fresh whether the novel, on which the film is based, is any different is not for me to say but the general consensus is that the book is far superior.
That said, however, there is one factor that makes The Fifth Wave stand out and that's the 15 certificate handed to it by BBFC. The reasoning for the higher rating is clearly evident in the film's brutal opening act where a jumpy Cassie shots a man who she'd believed was carrying a gun when it was a crucifix. This sort of brutal opening captures the sort misanthropic environment (so perfectly captured in The Road) that would rise in such a devastating situation. However, the film never makes the most it and instead of making the most of something that would make the film stand out its gets bogged down in a dire and predictable romance.
Chloe Moretz is decent in the lead role, but she has some pretty bland support from her male co-stars, Nick Robinson and Alex Roe (the latter's arrival marks the film's decline, though it's not entirely his doing). From the film's good and interesting opening it is massively disappointing that the film took such a generic route, but director J Blakeson can't be blamed for this as he does a decent job at managing the pace despite the poor and shallow script that doesn't build upon the early promise it had.