The 5th Wave - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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The 5th Wave - Blu-ray Review

Title: The 5th Wave


HTS Overall Score:76

Chloe Grace Moretz REALLY needs a better agent. As in she’s a very talented actress that started off her career with a bang (quite literally) and after a few hits has settled into taking just about anything that comes her way, with a spiraling track record that proves her agent isn’t the most discriminating in the world. Which is sad considering her natural charm and easy going personality. I guess it was a given that she would gravitate towards what would hopefully be the next big young adult franchise in “The 5th Wave”, but it looks like her penchant for picking awful scripts has come to haunt her again as “The 5th Wave” is a train wreck of hilarious proportions. Substituting lame acting and inane writing for anything valuable, this little young adult sci-fi film just lumbers along with the focus of an ADHD panda bear and the film logic of actually HAVING said Panda bear in the movie as well.

Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Grace Moretz) is your average run of the mill high school student. She hangs out with her friends. She parties on the weekends and has crushes on the cute boy across the aisle from her. That is until the end of the world happens. An alien force comes to planet Earth, hovering in the sky with their spaceship and striking fear throughout the populace (straight out of “Independence Day”) only to start unleashing their fury on humanity. Coming in separate waves (which they will be titled in the movie), the aliens first knock out the power, and then start bringing plague to the rest of humanity. Those who survived or were immune to the viruses unleashed gathered together in little communities where they hoped to at least live longer than the rest of the world has. Together with her father, Oliver (Ron Livingston, most notably known as “that dude from Office Space), Cassie and her younger brother, Sam (Zackary Arthur) eke out an existence. That is until the military, headed by Col. Vosch (Liev Schreiber), come in and take all of the children away leaving a swath of dead adults.

It seems that the military has found a way to target the alien beings, nick named “others”, and the children are the most easily screened. With that in mind they militarize the young kids and turn them into humanity’s last hope. Soldiers who have been immune to the plagues. Are easily identifiable as friendly’s, and have what it takes to defend humanity. However, there may be a few secrets that the top brass aren’t telling the kids.

Oh my goodness. That’s all I can say about this mess of a film. The opening shots and overly dramatic narration make hints at a promising film, with Chloe Grace Moretz playing a survivalist girl who is forced to give up part of her humanity to make do in a world that is anything but hospitable. However, after the first act the film just falls back into sheer and utter nonsense. Especially with the overly hammy romance that brews between Evan and Cassie. The dialog and over acting amongst the teenage warriors is so hysterically bad that I actually wanted to do a complete MST3K over the top, complete with throwing popcorn at the screen and making snide remarks. Evan is sooooooooooooooo obviously what we think he is from the opening scene (trailers actually gave it away during its theatrical run) and the false bravado between “ringer” and “zombie” back at the military base had me in the stitches the entire time.

You can obviously tell that the producers and director REALLY wanted this to be the next big thing, just substituting Jennifer Lawrence for Chloe. Sadly it is actually one of the WORST young adult adaptations that I’ve seen in recent years. There have been a few bummers, but most of them are usually watchable, but “The 5th Wave” is an empty calorie dish that feels about as natural and comfortable as Mike Tyson babysitting your children. Vacuous and completely inane, it manages to have some cool special effects and a few “booms” and “bangs” along the way, but will not make much of an impact on critical viewers.


Rated PG-13 for violence and destruction, some sci-fi thematic elements, language and brief teen partying.

Sourced from Arri Alexa digital cameras and given a 2K digital intermediary (which supposedly is where the 4K release is coming from as well) looks exceptional on Blu-ray, with a crisp looking photographic technique and plenty of fine detail for those of you who like demo discs. Some of the CGI looks a bit hokey and cartoony, but that seems to have been a budget concern as most of the action is relegated to human contact and some cartoony digital HUD’s on the military gear. The rest is all left to the imagination and leaves the natural forest as much of the eye candy. Said forest is littered with richly saturated colors, such as bright greens that pop off the screen and the darkness is given some excellent black levels. Black levels which allow for incredible shadow detail despite the dim looking film at times. Military outfits look well detailed, with individual fibers and strands showing, as well as the deep maroon of blood contrasting off the blue or green camo gear.

The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is no slouch either, matching the exemplary video encode blow for blow. The action starts out pretty quickly, with deep LFE that adds bone crunching power to the alien invasion, and fantastic use of the surrounds in a rural environment. You can hear the crunching of footsteps on fallen twigs under foot, and then be privy to the rustling of the wind through the tree branches in a softer tone. Action sequences light up the soundstage with bullets that fly form one end of the spectrum to the other and are accompanied by some seriously punchy mid bass. Dialog is crisp and clean, free of distortion and any other abnormalities that might create poor listening experience. While the movie may not be anything to write home about, the audio track (and video encode as well) are easily the highlights of the disc.


• Audio Commentary with Director J Blakeson and Actress Chloë Grace Moretz
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Inside "The 5th Wave"
• Training Squad 53
• "The 5th Wave" Survival Guide
• Sammy on the Set
• Creating a New World
• Trailers


“The 5th Wave” is best watched with at LEAST a six pack of beer by your side to get you through. Masked as an adventure/sci-fi tale, it limps along with an insipid and completely unbelievable romance story that just makes fun of humans in general by allowing it to be taken seriously. Plot holes abound throughout the story (the whole 5th wave attack in GENERAL seems more forced out of necessity to limit the special effects budget rather than a logical movement by the aliens), and characters are clichéd and overacted to the point of being ludicrous. What’s sad is that there is a lot of potential with the story. Especially a race that has subjugated humans and tossed them aside in the same way that humans have done to less sentient species right here at home. The trailers didn’t promise too much, but what they did promise was at least something semi interesting. As Yoda would say “Fail you did”. Just skip it and move onto something else. In fact, a rental is almost paying too much for this one. RUN!

Additional Information:

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Matthew Zuk, Gabriela Lopez
Directed by: J. Blakeson
Written by: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Sony
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 112 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: May 3rd 2016

Buy The 5th Wave Blu-ray on Amazon
Buy The 5th Wave 4K UltraHD Blu-ray on Amazon

Recommendation: Skip It

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