‘The 5th Wave’ movie not as strong as book

Allison Althof, Staff Writer

Alien invasions are nothing new to entertainment. Many of us have watched Will Smith punch an alien in the face in “Independence Day” and Stephanie Meyer’s “The Host” made it on to the big screen back in 2013.

Extraterrestrial life is a fun topic to explore because we don’t know for sure if there is other life outside of planet Earth. However, even though you can’t really screw up writing about aliens you can screw up a book to movie adaptation.

My anticipation for the movie ended up being greater than my feeling for the actual film. I am not saying that the movie itself was bad, but this was a case where the book was definitely better. The characters were not the same characters that caused me to fall in love with the book but it wasn’t the casting. It felt like they were trying to make the characters more likeable to everyone and turn them into your typical young adult dystopian character, but it was the fact that these characters were different that made them unique in “The 5th Wave” book.

The casting itself was decent but they did typecast some of the characters, which made it hard to relate to them in the same way as the book.

In one case there was a character, which will remain nameless to avoid spoilers, that I actually liked at the beginning of the book and ended up hating at the end, but in the movie I hate him through out. An opinion shared with my companion who had not read the book.

The last part that made the movie a little dull for me was the timeline. The way that the timeline in the movie was set up was obviously sped up to fit 457 pages of the book into the 112 minutes of movie.

There were quite a few character details that were quickly thrown at the audience or forgone entirely. There were also quite a few things that were not translated from the book to movie as well. I feel like the movie would have reached the same level as the book if they had.

This was not a bad movie. The cinematography was beautifully done when working with many highly emotional moments. I did enjoy the movie. By itself the movie was great but I feel like if you read the book first you may not enjoy “The 5th Wave” as much.


“After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the second, only the lucky escape. And after the third, only the unlucky survive. After the fourth wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.”

Cassie was a very normal high school student before The Others invaded. She had a loving family, good friends, and a huge crush on the enchanting Ben Parish. However, with this being a classic young adult dystopian novel, Cassie’s life has faced numerous tribulations because of the invasion. Now she is on the run from The Others, who have conveniently taken up residence inside humans, and trying to get her little brother back at the same time.

This is a hard book to talk about without giving away too much of the little things that make the story stand out. Rick Yancey delivers a story that is both classic and unique at the same time. Alien invasions have been used in various forms of entertainment media for some time now and it is getting harder and harder to come up with fresh ideas on the subject. Every little thing that goes into the story gives you some clue to what’s really going on with all the characters.

The author used the length of the book to his advantage. The book followed a steady pace that kept my interest until the very end providing the audience with a gripping story. At the same time he switches back and forth between the four different characters giving us an idea of what is happening from all different sides of the invasion. When Yancey lets us see how a number of different people deal with this invasion, not just Cassie.

Out of everything that went into this book, my personal favorite thing was Cassie. Typically with dystopian novels that have a heroine, that heroine suddenly becomes this badass with a chip on their shoulder because the world has fallen apart. I’m not saying that that is bad writing and shouldn’t be supported, but it is nice when something new comes along. What I loved about Cassie is that she wasn’t a badass. The world fell apart and she didn’t suddenly go out and turn into Katniss Everdeen or Tris Prior. Cassie was just a teenager trying her best to survive. It made her a very realistic character and a worth while read.