The Fifth Wave invades movie theaters

Avery Deen, Reporter

“The 5th Wave” movie was released on Jan. 22 based on the bestselling young adult novel by Rick Yancey. Fans of the books had long awaited the film and after its release there was a large mix of opinions. Personally, I think that while the movie is good in isolation, the characters lacked the depth they had in the book and the plot felt a bit rushed to fit into the two hour run time.

The plot revolves around aliens, called the Others by the main character Cassie, ushering a multi-step apocalypse with the ultimate aim to wipe out the human race and take the planet as their own. They do so via “waves” of destruction. The first wave sent electromagnetic pulse (EMP) waves down to earth which effectively ceased the function of all electronics. Cars, watches and phones no longer functioned, and planes even fell out of the sky. In the second wave, the Others incited massive earthquakes that in turn generated tsunamis which decimated every coastal city. Then came the biological warfare, the third wave consisted of a mutated version of the avian flu that was lethal in 99% of cases. Then the fourth wave came and brought the aliens to earth, the twist? They inhabit human hosts and are impossible to tell from the normal people.

The novel is told from several points of view, the main two being Cassie Sullivan and Ben “Zombie” Parish. Cassie’s younger brother Sam was separated from her and taken to a military base where most of the surviving children were being kept, the book follows her journey to find and rescue him, though she encounters many obstacles along the way. Meanwhile, Ben happens to be one of the child soldiers being trained at the military base with Sam.

In the book, my personal favorite character was Ben. He was determined, brave, and loyal to a fault. Yet in the movie, he was turned into a baby faced stereotypical high school guy and they removed a lot what were, in my opinion, his best scenes. However, the changes made to Cassie made her a bit more likeable than she was in the book. Many of the side characters were changed as well, most notably Ringer (another child soldier and one of the best at that) and Evan Walker (a strange guy who saves Cassie at one point).

In the book, Ringer was amazing. She was incredibly talented and sassy and all in all very well written. In the movie, they turned her into some kind of emo rocker chick who acted like the apocalypse was no big deal and she couldn’t wait to see those she didn’t like get offed by the Others. On the other hand, in the book Evan was supremely creepy. Stalker levels to the extreme. They took that away from him and made him out to be nothing more that a little quirky, which completely changed every single interaction with him. In the book you were always on the fence on whether or not to trust him, but in the movie Cassie fully believes him in about a day.

For the most part, the plot did stay the same which is nice. Very few variations occurred and those that did were minimal and acceptable. Although, what’s a good plot without it’s well rounded characters to carry it through?

As a movie in general, I’d give it maybe 7/10 stars. It was entertaining enough and did a very good job of explaining the exposition and in a much more succinct way than the book did. It also seemed to flow better and the point of view changes were a lot less jarring than they were on the page. As a book to movie adaptation however, I’d give it a 5 out of 10. In my opinion, a story is nothing without it’s lovable and well developed characters, and they just weren’t there in the movie.
I hope that if they decide to continue creating films based on the series, in the sequel “The Infinite Sea” they will improve the characters and try to remedy the damage done in this film. But all in all I’m going to keep my expectations small and stick to my bookshelf.