THE 5th WAVE – Review by Susan Granger

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What would happen if Earth was invaded by extra-terrestrials? In the 1st wave, they’d switch off the planet’s electrical power: an onerous precursor to further disasters, particularly for technology-dependent teenagers. In the 2nd wave, there’d be a Biblical deluge, tsunamis triggered by earthquakes. The 3rd wave is the avian flu, fatal to humans, followed by an infestation of alien body-snatchers, dubbed Silencers. Read on…

The 5th wave? Yet to come, as the strange craft belonging to the visitors, called the Others, hovers overhead with plans to wipe out the human race and repopulate our planet.

Ohio high schooler Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Grace Moretz), her younger brother Sam (Zachary Arthur) and her boyfriend Ben Parish (Nick Robinson) are among those affected, as tidal waves smash Miami and London’s Tower Bridge comes falling down.

Giving her a gun, Cassie’s father (Ron Livingston) advises, “Nowhere is safe anymore.”

That’s evident when the suburban parents load their kids on buses to be taken to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, deemed a ‘secure’ location by Colonel Vosch (Liev Schreiber), and Cassie becomes separated from Sam.

Saved from a brainwashed enemy sniper by Evan Walker (Alex Roe), Cassie is, nevertheless, suspicious of her mysterious benefactor.

Ineptly adapted from the first book of Rick Yancy’s YA trilogy by Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, and Jeff Pinkner, it’s shallow and confusing, as British director J. Blakeson (“The Disappearance of Alice Creed”) makes the violence intense with pointblank shootings resulting in a multitude dead bodies.

Geared to appeal to “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” adolescent audience, one can only hope that upcoming installments in this sci-fi series will get better.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The 5th Wave” is an insipid 4, a dystopian disappointment.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.