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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

A Thinking Man's Invasion.

The 5th Wave (2016) on IMDb

Plot Overview

“The 5th Wave” (2016) opens on a girl running in the woods, making a mad dash across the road to hit a derelict gas station convenience store whose security camera is down. She surprises another armed robber in the back room, and one of them doesn't survive the tense encounter. She then takes up a narration saying, “I miss the Cassie I was: a totally normal high school girl.” Now she's “Cassie the killer.” She takes us back to her last normal day before it started.

Their high school rigmarole is interrupted by a flurry of social media activity. NASA is tracking an alien space ship across the sky until it stops above Ohio where teen Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) can go out­side and look up at it. After ten days of silence, their invasion of Earth comes in waves. The 1st wave is an EMP that “killed all the power on the planet.” The 2nd wave is an inundation of water resulting in “every coastal city and island gone.” The 3rd wave is an “unstop­pable avian flu” that kills Cassie's mother Lisa Sullivan (Maggie Siff). The 4th wave is aliens possessing humans like parasites. Her father Oliver Sullivan (Ron Livingston) succumbs to them at refugee Camp Cuyahogo but not before giving Cassie a loaded .45 and telling her kid brother Sam (Zackery Arthur), “Listen to your sister; she's in charge.” The 5th wave is “simultaneous attacks on the rest of our metro areas, an all out alien domination.”

Cassie is now making the 80-mile trek to Wright Patterson Air Force Base where Sammy is stationed having been drafted by the army in a last ditch attempt to save our species. Mean­while, the aliens are engaging in guerilla warfare in the open country­side. Cassie manages to team up with local farm boy Evan Walker (Alex Roe) who's rigged tin cans on cables surrounding his ranch as crude motion detectors. The aliens having bested every­thing else, it's now up to the peasants, the bulvans, to stop them.


U.S. Army Col. Vosch (Liev Schreiber) addresses the new juvenile recruits with, (1Cor. 13:11) “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I under­stood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The army is making men and women out of these youngsters. Cassie being around the age a lot of kids accept Christ, she had her own wake-up call when she killed an innocent who was carrying a crucifix. This can stand in for religious conversion in the sense where one realizes his sins are responsible for Christ the Innocent's crucifixion and out of sincere repentance begins to follow Him. The map she consults to find her way lists (among others) the town of Shiloh, a prophetic name for the Messiah in the Bible. This movie has born again overtones.

Continuing, (1Cor. 13:12) “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” The recruits have special visors that allow them to discern alien-possessed humans, but the aliens, who look like us, turn out to be forth­right in their conversations so it gets to be obvious after a while who is who.

(1Cor. 13:13) “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” The main difference between aliens (who look like us) and humans is the former don't believe in love, what the whole 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians is about. They think, “Love is a trick, an instinct, a way to protect your genetic future.” Other­wise they're just like us. They just want our world. Thus the main plot is summarized in the three bible verses above.

There's a subplot that occurs when an alien sniper sights on Cassie and (“You flipped a switch”) falls in love with her (“Love's not a trick. It's real”) and ends up pursuing her romantically (“I choose you.”)  In defence of this sudden plot twist, I point out that Cassie is really hot. If I were a sniper, I'd fall in love with her, too. From Cassie's view­point, of course, the maxim regarding mixed relation­ships would certainly apply, that one shouldn't get involved with some­one of a race he or she would never marry to. Can save a lot of grief in the end.

The problem is this hunk likes her, and if the only difference between a human and one of “the others” is the latter's inability to love, and this one obviously loves her, what difference does it make? The problem of an alien-being inhabiting the body of one's desired spouse has actually been seen before. (Matt. 1:18-20) “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” Joseph was going to bail on her because the kid wasn't his, but the angel stopped him because the child is of the Holy Ghost. Is some­thing similar applicable in Cassie's situation? The apostle Paul seems to think so. (1Cor. 7:12-14) “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” The (possible) children are holy, so it's OK, and the unbeliever is sanctified by the believer as Cassie's humanity sanctified “the other” who was pleased to pursue her.

1 Corinthians 7There is one technicality: that Paul's answer, in a list of answers, is couched in the present tense, what one does about a non-believing spouse one is currently married to, while the question derived from the situation of Joseph and Mary is formulated in the future tense, should one proceed into such a marriage in the first place? The fix is given in an earlier verse in this epistle, (1Cor. 3:21-22) “For all things are yours; Whether … the world, or … things present, or things to come; all are your's.” What applies to the present tense (“the world, or … things present” being ours) applies also to the future (“or things to come; all are your's.”) So an unbeliever or “other” willing to court or marry a believer is acceptable, the same as if they were already married.

In the Theology of Saint Silouan the Athonite and Elder Sophrony of Essex, “St. Silouan asked Fr. Sophrony, ‘And how goes prayer in your place of silence?’ Fr. Sophrony answered, ‘When I pray, I have the feeling that the world is forgotten, but I still have the sense of my body.’ And Father Silouan replied, ‘And is our body not the world?’” (123). Paul said, (1Cor. 7:7) “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.” Paul would have us all be unhindered celibate beings of prayer, but he's realist enough to recognize that not every­one can totally ignore his body, so he allows for marriage under conditions he's set up. Cassie is young enough and hot enough to have options both human and other, and the movie ends with her still taking her time to make up her mind, which is wise for a girl her age.

Production Values

This Sci-Fi picture, “” was directed by J. Blakeson. It's based on the novel The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, adapted by screen­writers Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, and Jeff Pinker. It stars Chloë Grace Moretz. Chloë was just great in her role. Every­one else was in the shadows.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for violence and destruction, some sci-fi thematic elements, language and brief teen partying. The chaos is depicted with realistic special effects and palpitating tension that almost jumps out of the screen at you. Cinema­tog­rapher Enrique Chediak did a first rate job. The story is formulaic much like endless of other young-adult (YA) films, but it does provide entertainment.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

When I applied to the Air Force Academy back in 1965, I was vetted along with other high school applicants at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, after which my dad and I saw a movie on base, “Strange Bed­fellows.” After college, though, the army (in the Vietnam era) seemed more like the enemy. This movie reminds me a lot of that experience except the women in it have more functional roles in today's army than they had back then. Fortunately, I hadn't burned myself out on a lot of other YA material, so I was able to enjoy this one well enough. I liked it, but you may or may not.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Zacharias, Archimandrite. The Enlargement of the Heart (2Corinthians 6:13) “Be ye also enlarged”: in the Theology of Saint Silouan the Athonite and Elder Sophrony of Essex. Edited by Christopher Veniamin. Dalton, PA: Mount Tabor Pub, 2012. Print.