ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The 5th Wave (2016)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: J Blakeson

Starring:
Chloe Grace Moretz/Cassie
Alex Roe/Evan
Maika Monroe/Ringer
Nick Robinson/Zombie
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Aliens come down to earth and attempt to take it over by way of 5 waves. Chloe Grace Moretz (as Cassie) is out there trying to survive and find her brother!
THE LOWDOWN

When I first saw THE 5TH WAVE trailer; I was sold right away! The cast was tight and I love me a good alien invasion movie. Then life got in the way, I didn’t get to see it on the big screen and the bad word of mouth seeped out and scared me off. Well now that the film is out on VOD and on DISK; this was my shot to finally give it a whirl and I did. So was it as bad as people said? Not for me, but I did have some issues with it that’s for sure!

The 5th Wave is an adaptation of Rick Yancey’s 2013 Bestseller of the same name (there’s a sequel book out called The Infinite Sea and the third book The Last Star comes out on May 24, 2016). And for the first 40 minutes or so of the film; I was asking myself “Why the hell did this get so many bad reviews? I don’t get it, I’m having fun!” Granted the whole set-up was beyond déjà vu but it was executed in a riveting manner, with impressive destruction sequences, fly camera work, a couple of cool spins on known conventions, a kick ass leading lady (the always reliable Chloe Grace Moretz as Cassie) and money on the screen. As the story progressed, I AM LEGEND came to mind for a short time in terms of the whole “lone survivor amidst enemy territory trying to survive” spiel and I was digging that vibe.

The same went for the "military gets in the mix" subplot that eventually kicked in. Not only did I groove to the whole training thing (think Ender’s Game) but it also meant that the great Liev Schreiber nade dropped on the scene to kick ass as he always does (yes I am a huge Ray Donovan fan). It also saw a nearly unrecognizable Maria Bello having fun with her role, the sexy Maika Monroe making for an affable tough chick and Nick Robinson making for an affable young leading man. Tag to that an obvious/powerful parallel to the genocide of Native Americans, one surprise that got me (and I was ashamed that it did, I should have seen it coming), a superior score by Henry Jackman (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) that often came through when the action on screen would falter, mature directing choices (Blakeson had helmed The Disappearance of Alice Creed in 2009 - he's no hack) and an easy pace and you get an “okay” time waster if you’re not in a nitpicking frame of mind.

And it was good that I was in a lazy brain type of mood when I watched it; that way the “face palm” inducing plot holes (like Cassie knowing about The Others being able to look like us when she never got the info), that one HUGE coincidence meeting near the end (which I hear is rectified in the book) and the random logic defying decisions (like those morons pulling guns on soldiers) didn’t hurt me too much. On that, the attempt at a love story (or was it a love triangle... not sure it was so half cocked and I so didn’t give a shit) was pretty pathetic and felt forced beyond belief (I almost hurled when that "Cassie spies on dude shirtless in the lake" scene popped up). Why did they bother again? Unconvincing and pointless! Then we had the aliens, or lack of! A couple of “facehugger” rip-offs aside, the flick went extra light on the ETs and that kind of blew being that it was a freaking alien invasion movie. And was it me or did we lose Cassie for a bit too long past the halfway mark? She was too busy playing house with that hunk of the month (an able Alex Roe). Bummer, especially since she was THE LEAD and that was who I was invested in.

Finally they didn't go far enough with their "Body Snatchers" rip, sloppily gave away their biggest twist early on and the last act simply wasn’t strong enough in general; sure there was lots of running, pow-pow and kabooms but something was missing... maybe a couple of aliens would have been nice! So on the whole; THE 5TH WAVE diverted me while I watched it; it had some serious faults as per the drivel above; but I somehow still managed to be amused – which at the end of the day is WHY you watch a film of this ilk. Ideal for that lazy Sunday morning...

GORE
Some light blood here and there. Nothing really.
T & A
Not for me! The chicks and gay dudes get a Alex Roe skinny dip shirtless scene.
BOTTOM LINE
THE 5TH WAVE had a gripping set-up, a stand-out cast (Chloe and Liev owned it!), stylized visuals, an easy pace and a kick ass score! I found the parallels to the way Native Americans were invaded powerful and the flick actually fooled me with one of its twists. Hence either I'm a moron or this flick was clever - I opt for explanation number 1 but who knows right? It was a shame that it wasn't always the smartest tool in the shed. This sucka needed a serious Script Doctoring session if you ask me! Moreover, it pimped out a forced love story/triangle, didn't have nearly enough aliens in it for an alien invasion opus and its finale kind of went down with a whimper. Not a great film by any means but I still managed to be diverted. Will you be? The f*ck I know. Tap it and find out, or don't !
BULL'S EYE
The flick cost $38 million to make.

Chloe Grace Moretz was fan of the book and was stoked to play the role of Cassie.

The novel opens with this quote: "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans."
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