With the conclusion of “The Hunger Games” last November and the “Divergent” series ending this March, “The 5th Wave” attempts to cash in on the “teenage dystopian” genre so dominant in the box office over the last few years. This adaptation of yet another YA novel franchise fails to add anything remotely new or interesting to the space. 

It’s the basic apocalyptic story that we’ve seen before, and seen executed better. Cassie’s (Chloë Grace Moretz, “The Equalizer”) average teenage life drastically changes when the Others (aliens) invade Earth. Her parents die during the first three waves of destruction. Next, she’s separated from her younger brother, Sam (Zackary Arthur, “Transparent”), when the alien leaders recruit the surviving children as soldiers. On her way to save him, Cassie falls for the hottest lumberjack you ever did see, Evan Walker (Alex Roe, “Sniper: Legacy”). Meanwhile, at the Others’ base, Cassie’s presumed dead high school crush, Ben Parish (Nick Robinson, “Jurassic World”), just so happens to become leader of the squadron Sam’s placed in, and therefore Sam’s only hope to survive. A love triangle in a young adult movie?! Never seen that one before.

No one stands out for worst performance — they’re all pretty equally awful — but Cassie and Evan’s on-again-off-again relationship dominates the plot, making Moretz and Roe’s poor performances the most noticeable. Moretz can’t convince us that Cassie’s much more than the standard capricious teenager. Other than her underlying mood of melancholy, her acting’s inconsistent. Cassie erratically alternates between being a damsel in distress to a girl who would never possibly need assistance from cute boys. However, her moodiness makes moments of both happiness and frustration seem forced. As for Roe, he delivers lines like a robot — randomly and without emotion. Also, note his uncanny resemblance to Theo James, who plays Four in the “Divergent” series. Coincidence? I think not.

Furthermore, the fourth wave (interestingly called “The Silencer”) destroys not just Earth, but apparently the film’s dialogue. Cassie succumbs to using mostly one-word expressions like, “Shit!” “*insert boy’s name here*” “Ow!” and No!” that make her appear to be nothing more than a pretty girl with little brains. On the opposite end is Ben, whose lengthy monologues reveal so much that it eliminates all suspense and excitement. Then there’s Maika Moore, whose talent was eloquently demonstrated in “It Follows” but wasted here, where she’s reduced to simply reciting the stereotypical goth-girl mantra.

Another annoying aspect of this film is its portrayal of women — similar to “The Walking Dead,” this film’s women are obnoxiously and unrealistically beautified. The world’s power may be out but Cassie’s perfect golden locks suggest that curling irons can still function. Did I mention that she stops at a gas station to grab some tampons? And she must have packed makeup supplies in her survival bag, because her face remains clear even after spending days trekking through the dirt ridden woods. Why so much makeup? Probably so she always looks good in her countless close-ups. Unfortunately, perfect hair and flawless skin can’t lessen the ridiculousness of a slow motion shot of her running, but not actually getting anywhere. When the effect subsides, she tumbles down an unforeseen hill (ugh).

Just like Cassie’s unfortunate face plant, “The 5th Wave” is quite painful to watch. Actually, it’s more than painful — it’s downright torturous. So much so that the man next to me didn’t simply doze off — he was completely asleep within the first 30 minutes, which was the best part of the film. His snoring accompanied the lackluster musical score and disappointing dialogue for the film’s entirety. And his passionate sprint out of the theater indicated that he probably won’t be watching the inevitable sequels.

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