29 January, 2016

#GAfilm Review: "The 5th Wave" (**)

Editor's note: I'm happy to introduce a new contributor! Jamie Traner's perspective on films is every bit as unique as she is. I know readers will enjoy her articles, and what a better way to start than with a #GAfilm! -CM

Chloe Grace Moretz stars in "The 5th Wave."

Released last weekend, "The 5th Wave" stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson and Liev Schreiber. Filmed in Georgia, including some lovely scenery from the Macon area, "The 5th Wave" is based on the novel of the same name by Rick Yancey. The story revolves around a post-apocalyptic world run by alien-type beings known as 'Others.' The Earth has been attacked in the titled ‘waves’—1. a signal sent to short all electronics, 2. earthquakes and global tidal waves, 3. Avian flu, 4. the 'Others' inhabit human hosts and 5. an impending, unknown plan to eliminate the remaining humans.

The film starts strong with a good pace and an independent female lead (Moretz). Her mission is quickly presented—she must save her brother from the army base to which he has been taken, nearly 50 miles from her current location. Unfortunately, about halfway through the film, a male character (Evan Walker, portrayed by Alex Roe-Brown) 'saves' Moretz and the entire tone changes. The once bad ass female empowerment turns into a puppy-love Hollywood trope, complete with a clichéd scene where Moretz catches her male counterpart bathing (*blerf*). Moretz’s character also becomes sexualized with a bullet wound on her upper thigh, and constant bandage changes leave a gross third-wheel impression on audience members. The hackneyed romance disrupts the film more than it benefits it.

The other side of the film shows Robinson as the head of his squadron in army training. He and his team give an impressionable, though obvious, insight to the loss of innocence by training children as soldiers. Ben Parrish (Robinson’s character) lost his family in the first waves and has been numbed to a point that warrants his nickname 'Zombie' (though the film states it comes from his inability to die from the waves). Due to his incompetence, a female (Ringer) is brought in to aid with the squadron’s training. Again, the film falls back on a crutch by introducing this female as a hard, emo, overly aggressive girl that you’re apparently supposed to admire.

Aside from the character flaws, the shots and editing are also fairly elementary and erratic. Close-ups will transition to jump cuts and return to another close up of a character not seen in the previous frame. This wild style can become confusing and dizzying. Some night fighting scenes are not well lit, so much so that the audience feels like they are missing key action points only to be disappointed with no address to the interactions that occurred.

Knowing that the film was made in Georgia, perhaps I went in with too many expectations.

2 out of 5 stars.


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  2. I saw this in theaters on release day. I absolutely loved it. There's action, but more than that, there's intrigue. This movie makes you think. Makes you second guess each character. I will be buying this so I can watch it again and again.