Directed: J Blakeson
Written by: Rick Yancey (novel), Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner (screenplay)
Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz (Cassie), Zackary Arthur (Sam) , Nick Robinson (Ben Parish/Zombie), Alex Roe (Evan Walker)
Running Time: 1h 52 mins
Genre: Sci-fi, action, adventure
I give this movie 2/5 stars.
There will be mild spoilers in this review. I was a little disappointed I wasn’t able to see this in the cinemas since I’m a sucker for these kind of end of the world stories. Be it aliens, zombies or killer viruses it doesn’t matter to me. There is nothing like a good old fashion struggle against all odds tale that post-apocalyptic adventures bring us.
The movie opens with Cassie Sullivan (played by Chloe Moretz) coming out of the woods and heading for an abandoned service station. It sets up the story well with cars abandon, doors open, items all over the road and camera angles looking through shattered glass. Cassie scavenges what little remains in the store before she hears a plea for help…and so the story beings.
This first encounter sets up the theme for the movie which I think is best described by one of Cassie’s lines later in the film. ‘It’s our hope that makes us human.’ In many of these post-apocalyptic genre films and tv shows the characters struggle with the possible loss of their humanity. This film is no different. The question is asked ‘Do you stop being human when you lose your humanity?’
Cassie is a normal highschool girl when the ‘Galactic Party Crashers’ came to Earth. She was on the soccer team, popular and crushing on the hot guy. But then the 1st wave hits, then the second and then the third wave. Having not read the books I would assume there was a better explanation on how the invaders delivered these waves but in the film it wasn’t clear. How did they make the Earthquake? How did they deliver the virus?
This paragraph has a little spoiler. There were a few things I felt not ‘right’ regarding human behaviour early in the movie. Between waves people went to school, work etc. I doubt many people would want to be separated from their loved ones throughout a disaster unless they had important jobs such as emergency services etc. When Cassie is in the refugee camp and the crowd hears a rumbling noise and sees dust rising near the entrance to the camp no-one is running away in terror especially after they’d survived the first three waves. Everyone was just standing around, even running towards the noise to see what was coming with what seemed like mild curiosity. I also felt the parents all made a decision, very calmly, that I know as a parent, I would never have made. I would have been kicking and screaming.
Cassie is on a mission to find her brother, she meets up with Evan Walker who offers to help her. Before she meets Evan she is smart, determined and tough. But then Evan takes control and she lets him. Pretty disappointed as yet another film portrays the girl needing to be protected and saved and in love.
The young cast were all quite talented but some characters were pretty cliché and typical for the young adult genre nowadays such as the tough girl with a poor attitude, the nerd etc.
I did love the music for this film but no real surprise there since the composer was Henry Jackson. The prologue was haunting and gripping, bringing tension without distracting from the scene. Throughout the movie the music was touching, engaging and enjoyable. I’ve since listened to the soundtrack and my favourite arrangement would have to be One Degree of Separation.
Overall it was an entertaining movie and I would recommend you give it a go. It won’t win awards but it will have its fans. Remember to come back and leave a comment after you watch it. Enjoy.