Despite Chloe Grace Moretz’s involvement, write this off as another book adaptation following all the familiar steps in hopes that you’ll make this the next big time movie franchise.
Trigger Warning(s): Needles, Gun Violence, and Dead Bodies
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
There was a time when Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz) had a normal life and was a normal girl. She went to parties, had a crush on a football player, played on the soccer team with her friends, and would hang out with her family. Then the others came. From that point on she lost friends, family members, and had to toughen up quick. Not just for her own survival, but also to find her little brother Sam (Zackary Arthur). Someone she was split from as Colonel Vosch (Liev Schreiber) splits children from adults and prepares the children to fight a war. One in which not a single one of them know what they are in for, or who the true enemy is.
Brother/ Sister Relationship: Perhaps the sole highlight of the film is Cassie and Sam’s relationship. Which thanks to Arthur’s cuteness and Moretz quickly becoming tough to become his mobile security blanket, created a sweet on-screen relationship. Not one which will bring you to tears when they are separated, or cause you to cry as she struggles to reunite with him, but it is good enough to make them moments together touching.
A Different Type of End of The World: Unlike most YA novel adaptation dealing with the apocalypse, there was no nuclear war or zombies, but this time aliens have invaded and are a threat to humanity. Something new for me, which this movie gets points for, but the execution was kind of bleh.
There Is Nothing New Here, But Aliens: Normal girl whose world is turned upside down? Check. Love interest who is dangerous to her well-being but claims he’ll never hurt her? Check. A love triangle set to make you choose between the guy she met when her world turned to crap vs. the one she knew back when things were normal? Check. Someone with little to no training surviving all these deadly situations and making mistakes which get most of the extras in the film killed? Check. The list I could go on and on with.
On The Fence
There Are Plot Twists: But you will be so bored as they are revealed, there is no shock and awe. Rather, you’ll react in an “Oh, that’s nice” or “Well that makes sense” and go back to watching indifferently and maybe checking your phone to see how much time might be left.
Final Thought(s): Skip It
No matter the viewpoint, I think it can be agreed upon that the main point of this film was trying to find the next Hunger Games or what have you. Which I don’t knock the studio or the actors for, since money makes the world go round. However, with many YA novel adaptations out there, and this series in particular not even having its last book out yet, it seemed like this was a straight up money grab.
For, what does this film offer differently than the rest besides aliens and different actors? I mean, you can see everything is setup to follow all the familiar themes we are used to in movies like this. Leaving very little to really wonder about or get excited for. Which is why I’m saying to skip it for the story is so familiar that it almost seems lazy, and while the actors have shown how good they can be in other productions, you don’t get a Hunger Games vibe here. If anything, you get a Twilight vibe and see these wonderful actors perhaps at their worse.