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Blu-ray Review: The 5th Wave

May 17, 2016

By John Corrado

★½ (out of 4)

The 5th Wave Blu-rayWhen a mysterious ship starts hovering above the earth, and the first four waves of an alien invasion unfold, the humans are either wiped out by viruses and dwindling resources, or forced to join the army.  When high schooler Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) gets separated from her father (Ron Livingston), she has to fend for herself, determined to rescue her brother (Zackary Arthur) from a base camp.

Although The 5th Wave starts off with a mildly intriguing and grittier than expected opening scene in an abandoned convenience store, the film quickly devolves into an overly derivative dystopic young adult adventure.  There are a few interesting ideas about tyranny and colonialism that are hinted at throughout the story, but they feel frustratingly underdeveloped.

This is one of those films that keeps actively avoiding many of its more interesting elements, in favour of delivering a bland and thoroughly clichéd teen movie.  The setup of a needless love triangle in the last act, like we need more of those, will have anyone who has ever seen one of these films before rolling their eyes.  And then it just sort of ends, leaving things open for a sequel, but not offering any sort of satisfying conclusion in its own right.  The film has a few flashes of something more here and there, but Chloë Grace Moretz deserves better than this subpar wannabe franchise starter.

The Blu-ray also includes commentary with director J Blakeson and Chloë Grace Moretz, deleted scenes, several featurettes and a cast gag reel.

The 5th Wave is a Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release.  It’s 112 minutes and rated PG.

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