|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||The 5th Wave|
|Genre:||Adventure, Drama, Fantasy|
|Production country:||USA 2015|
|Running time:||Approx. 117 min.|
|Rated:||From 12 years|
It wasn't that long ago when Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) was just a normal teenage girl. She spent a lot of time with her best friend, had a crush on her classmate Ben (Nick Robinson), and had big dreams for her future. But all that is gone since Earth was invaded by aliens. In four waves of attacks so far, several billion people on the planet have been killed, including Cassie's parents. Now there is only her and her little brother Sammy (Zackary Arthur), whom she thinks is safe in a military base. At all costs, Cassie wants to make it to the base to be reunited with her little brother. On the dangerous way there, she teams up with young Evan (Alex Roe), who also lost his family to the aliens. Together, they plan to make it to the base before the next wave of attacks, unaware that Sammy is being prepared there, along with other children, for a final battle - the fifth wave.
With The 5th Wave, director J Blakeson has adapted the first volume of Rick Yancey's bestselling novels, conceived as a trilogy. As with many of the other young adult novel series, it once again centers on a teenage heroine in a dystopian story. But in the first half of the film, it actually does not bother much that here are recycled many elements that you have already encountered so often in Panem and Co. Because Blakeson succeeds here brilliantly in painting a picture of a devastating alien invasion that goes down so differently than you'd expect. Here, there are no attacks by monsters or spaceships. Here, the power is first taken from the humans before nature is used against them. You actually barely get to see the actual enemy here. He only always casts a threatening shadow on the survivors and leaves them completely in the dark about when he will launch the next wave of attacks, what it will look like and whether it will perhaps be the last, all-decisive one.
This creates an oppressive mood in the first hour, which is intensified by a high level of tension. Here the story and its cinematic realization reveal a potential that lets hope for quite great cinema. But unfortunately, this potential isn't used. Because in the second half the whole thing falls into the usual target group machinery and builds up an unnecessary love triangle, which will cause complications in the further parts. Even though the big twist that is revealed in the course of the last act is not uninteresting, there are too many clichés that are being used in a too uninspired way in this part of the movie for any real enthusiasm to come up. It's still entertaining, to be sure, and really good in places. But after the strong start, the plot and the somewhat too cheesy implementation is clearly a qualitative decline.
The actors, especially Chloë Grace Moretz, do their best to play against it. But the script puts too many obstacles in their way for them to ultimately succeed. It's a shame that the film, which reveals some grit in its opening sequence and promises to be an extremely gritty, gripping end-times drama, ends up drifting into shallow teen waters. Still, even though this wastes a lot of potential and will leave many viewers feeling somewhat disappointed, The 5th Wave is not a bad film overall. Especially the younger target audience from the age of 14 is offered very exciting entertainment cinema, in which one can still have a lot of fun beyond the age of 30 - at least over long stretches. And for that, despite the weaker second half, there is still a decent: Worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp