With The Hunger Games done and dusted, and The Divergent series three-quarters of the way there with the release of Allegiant in March, there's a gap in the YA movie market for a new love and rockets franchise...
And so Hollywood turns to Rick Yancey's aliens-among-us adventure The 5th Wave, a page-turner that was multiplex-bound right from its publication in 2013. They've cast it perfectly with Kick-Ass' Chloë Grace Moretz as teen hero Cassie Sullivan; the second book is in the shops and the third's on the way. But if The 5th Wave makes its bones at the box office, there will need to be more quality control and a bigger budget next time 'round to do justice to both star and author.
"When you're a teenager," laments Cassie in the prologue, "everything seems like the end of the world..." Then the end of the world happens: giant spacecraft overhead followed by loss of electricity, tsunamis and a killer flu as 'The Others' tick off the checklist on their plan for earth. On the road and on her own, Cassie tries to take it one terror at a time as she searches for her little brother Ben.
If you're a fan of the book, have seen just about everything else that's in cinemas right now or were a binge watcher of the original V and Red Dawn way back when, then The 5th Wave should prove an easy 100 minutes to put in. There's some decent action and a good supporting cast, while Moretz's transition from tyro to tough nut is handled well.
A pity, then, that the film feels rushed, the parallel storylines aren't equally satisfying (bizarre given that I am Legend's Akiva Goldsman, Erin Brockovich's Susannah Grant and Fringe's Jeff Pinkner worked on the script) and the CGI looks a bit too, well, CGI. As for that flawless make-up in the midst of all the mayhem...
If it's grittier post-apocalyptic shenanigans you're after, The Survivalist is out next month.