Good Lord. I saw some bad movies last year and this one probably isn’t as bad as Fifty Shades of Grey but, oh boy, I had no idea what I was getting myself into here. Just briefly, let’s hit up the plot. The earth is attacked by a strange crew of beings via five separate waves of attack. The first is an electromagnetic pulse that knocks out all power, the second unleashes the world’s oceans on the earth as they engulf everything in their path, the third is a super-strong version of the Avian Flu that wipes out 97% of the world’s population, and the fourth wave is the ‘Others’ (such an original name) taking human form to wipe out the population. I won’t tell you what the fifth wave is just because it’s one of the surprises in the film.
This movie is mind-numbingly awful. How’s the acting though? Well, no one really stands out in a positive sense but Chloe Grace Moretz probably comes out of this thing with the least amount of damage done. She does fine and fits these types of roles well enough. In fact, I’d say her work in the very first scene is quite good. Unfortunately, the very first scene is really the only positive aspect of the entire film. Ron Livingston is a good actor but doesn’t do much here. Still, that man does not age. Ditto with Liev Schreiber. He also doesn’t do much except earn a paycheck. As for the rest of the actors… woof. Zackary Arthur has to be one of the worst child actors I’ve seen in quite some time. He is supposedly Moretz’s younger brother but he couldn’t emote his way out of a paper bag. The ‘child army’ actors are also all terrible despite one of them being the loveable Zero from The Grand Budapest Hotel. I just didn’t buy any of them as credible fighters, especially Zombie (Nick Robinson) and Ringer (Maika Monroe, who is apparently badass because she wears a lot of eye-liner). Ringer in particular is such a forced ‘badass’ character that every time she said anything that was supposed to be intimidating, I rolled my eyes incredibly hard. Alex Roe has a hard time playing a really poorly-written character known as Evan, who gets to spout off wooden lines like, “She looks like a funny person” when shown a picture of Chloe’s friend in a photo booth session.
Besides the terrible acting, we also get the script which is an early contender for worst of the year. The characters are so paper-thin and underwritten that I found myself not caring if any of them lived or died but rather hoped that they would all die so that the movie would end. We also get ridiculously long moments of exposition where a character would say something like, “I own a farm. You probably think I’m a country boy but I actually went to college…” etc. etc. Or how about a scene where Moretz stares out the window and Roe is literally chopping wood while wearing a lumberjack shirt? It’s such a cliched manly thing to do that I actually laughed out loud. When she sees his chiseled abs and gets a slight smile, it also made me wonder: isn’t she still concerned about her little brother that she’s been looking for during the entire film? Why do they stop to make out while alarms are going off and people are trying to kill them? It hurts my head. The plot was pretty weak too as despite a good initial premise, it failed to live up to it. There was one character twist in particular that I called after the character spoke about three words of dialogue. It was incredibly telegraphed.
This movie ended with the teasing of a sequel and to that I say… OH NO. PLEASE, LORD. NO. I will probably end up reviewing it.
* (Brutal; the worst rating)
** (Some elements keep it from being awful but still not very good)
*** (Completely watchable; a rental as old-timers might say)
**** (Great film with a few things here and there keeping it from being perfect)
***** (Flawless; a true achievement)