Let’s Talk Movies: The 5th Wave

Posted January 23, 2016 by Carlisa in Let's Talk, Let's Talk Movies / 6 Comments

5th wave

Hello, my lovely people (if you haven’t been told this today, you are so lovely). I just got out of the theater about an hour ago after watching the 5th Wave. If you’ve been following my blog, you’d know that The 5th Wave was one of my most anticipated book-to-movie adaptations of the year. I read the book last summer and really enjoyed the story, despite a lot of over-floweriness that usually bothers me. I remember just being engrossed by the story and loving it. You can read my full review for the book here.

Before I start talking about the movie, I really do want you to get a sense for how much I enjoyed the book. I loved the book. Okay? Is it clear now, or do I need to make it bolder?

I loved the book.

Okay, if you don’t understand by now, you won’t. So I’m moving on. With or without you. You with me? Okay, good.

I’m going to make a blanket statement here, but I don’t want you to read this and then give up on everything and close the tab. No, no. I want you to read this statement and then continue on with my review. This isn’t me trying to coerce you into staying on my blog (but stay, nice person), but it’s me trying to get you to understand my real feelings on this movie. Here we go:

The movie was…alright.

Are you still with me? That’s pretty much how I feel after coming out of the theater. It was alright. Not great, but not terrible. And I was so confused after leaving the theater. Why would I love the book and then not love the movie, even though there aren’t really any major deviations from the plot? They didn’t change anything really. As far as I can remember, they translated it from page to screen pretty well. So why am I not in love with the movie?

I think it has to do with the industry more than anything else. The 5th Wave is a dystopian story. Here’s the summary so you have a gist of what’s going on (and because I can’t explain it myself without sounding like a crazy person who likes weirdo books):

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave. On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up.

So, it’s an alien story. An alien dystopian story. Like, I’ve read a lot of YA dystopian. I’ve gotten tired of the trend myself. But this book felt different when I read it. It wasn’t the same. Sure, it has some of the same tropes, like a budding love triangle and fighting against the supposed leaders of the people. But it was new and different.

But in the movie…it just felt like another dystopian. Like the Hunger Games, like Divergent, like the Maze Runner. We’ve all seen these things before. And it’s kind of a bummer because I feel like people are going to just shrug off this story as something already done. “Been there, done that” mentality, you know?

But I thought that the acting was pretty good. Chloë Grace Moretz did a good job and I felt like she was good for the role. And I was hesitant about the actor they cast for Evan Walker, but I ended up liking him and his scruffy glory. They had a really nice chemistry that was believable and not insta-lovey.

So here’s my recommendation: go read the book. Not everyone likes it, but you should go read the book. The book really does have such a unique idea and the story is developed really well. And then if you like the book, then go watch the movie. Otherwise, I’m not sure that you’ll like the movie or the book. And it’s way more important to like the book anyway. Badjisaodjsiaodsadmsaoidjad.

Okay, does anything I just say make sense? Please tell me that it did! Anyway, I’m done now.


  • Zhana Trifonova

    I actually watched the movie without reading the book this week (like, two days ago) and I really, really liked it! I’m so happy I’ve watched it before reading the book, because I know I will like it more 🙂 There were some moments in the movie that were a little bit necessary for me, but I still really enjoyed it.

  • I’m definitely curious about this as a movie. Not sure how I feel about it as a book. This is probably because I don’t have time to read it right now – too many review commitments! Glad you enjoyed the movie alright, Carlisa. 🙂

  • We’ve already discussed this, but yes! I agree with what you said. I thought the casting was perfect. Especially for Sam and Ben. It’s exactly how I pictured them. I really enjoyed Chloe, too! I thought she represented Cassie perfectly. I wasn’t sure about the casting for Evan at first, but I too liked him, and his sexy lake scene *wink*. I thought the theatre was going to be packed, so Matt and I left early to get good seats and it was SUPER empty. Yikes. I guess people weren’t as excited as us, lol. It makes me nervous that The Infinite Sea won’t be made. Was it busy in your theatre for the movie?

  • I’m literally just about to start reading this one and have already bought my tickets to go and see it next week. I’m glad to hear that it doesn’t stray too far from the book story line. I hate it when films do that.

  • I totally get what you’re saying about it being alright but I actually enjoyed it. I always try to NOT compare the movie to the book, because the movie will very rarely be better. I think they could’ve added a bit more depth to the other characters like Ben and Ringer. But all in all, I enjoyed it.

    I actually reviewed this movie as well, if you want to check it out.

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

  • Dawn Abron

    I loved book 1 but that was over 2 years ago. I think they waited too long and I agree, Dystopian is quickly losing steam. I’ll wait until the DVD.