The 5th Wave is: Refreshing Dystopia and Alien Invasions

Image credit: Sony/Columbia Pictures
Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Grace Moretz) surviving. Image credit: Sony/Columbia Pictures

Just when you thought the world has enough of post-apocalyptic stories, a new one comes out. But far from the chosen one dismantling a totalitarian government Hunger Games and members fleeing a ruthless lord Mad Max: Fury Road, The 5th Wave brings a refreshing take on dystopia and alien invasions.

The 5th Wave centres on a world devoid of most of the human population thanks to the alien or the “Others” and Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Grace Moretz) surviving on her own. She’s on a quest to find her brother who has been taken to an army base. Soon she crosses paths with a stranger Evan Walker (Alex Roe) who promises to help her in her quest, but she distrusts him as the Others do take human form to finish off survivors.

Image credit: The Wrap
Evan Walker (Alex Roe), Cassie’s saviour or silencer? Image credit: The Wrap

Meanwhile, children including Cassie’s brother and teens are trained to fight back against the aliens, but Ben Parish (Nick Robinson) and his squad soon discover something isn’t quite adding up with their superior Vosch (Liev Schreiber) and the others in charge.

The 5th Wave is refreshing in that the female protagonist isn’t the chosen one, she doesn’t lead. While there’s romance and yes a hot guy (there are also cheesy moments), the film doesn’t heavily focus on it and focuses on her one goal. It was interesting to see how Cassie progressed from a typical teen to a teen effected by devastating events and finding her brother keeps her focused – we do see moments of her struggling to cope.

The film is also refreshing in that we get to see the start of the apocalypse happening and see the aliens up close, in human form that is, and of course they’re intelligent. While most alien films show that their main method of execution/world domination is blowing up things and killing off humans, The 5th Wave shows the aliens not only shutting off essential things like electricity, cause natural disasters and plagues, they rely on the workings of the human mind. They use people’s fears against themselves and revenge as a tactic to cause humans to turn on each other instead of the aliens. And what kind of people they can disguise as but military personnel and ordinary kind people?

Image credit: Ace Showbiz
Ben Parish (Nick Robinson) and Vosch (Liev Schreiber). Image credit: Ace Showbiz

However, the reason behind the invasion remains unclear. Perhaps it would be revealed in a potential sequel. Overall, with a talented cast and good script, The 5th Wave is watch-worthy and appeals to a wide audience, not just teens.