Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations.
I received an advanced screening pass to view this film on January 20th in Toronto from Sony Pictures Canada.
Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston
Director: J. Blakeson
Screenplay: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, and Jeff Pinkner
Summary (from Goodreads): After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
How excited do you get when one of your favourite series is optioned for the big screen? It seems that so many young adult novels are being adapted into screen plays these days and some are definite hits, while others seem to miss the boat completely. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is an epic dystopian novel that is gripping, well-written and makes the reader think about the world around us. While the movie absolutely contains many incredible scenes that are captivating and well-acted by its fantastic cast, there is so much deviation from the story that I felt annoyed at parts of the film.
First of all, how can one not fall in love with the amazing The 5th Wave series created by Rick Yancey? The frightening world that earth becomes when aliens have taken over the planet is realistically written through alternating perspectives, which gives the reader a very well-rounded impression of the scenes in the story. The major character in the novel, Cassie, is an average teenager who must turn into a quick thinking assassin in a race against time and to save her life. The reader is sucked into this alternate world that earth has become and is made to contemplate how the world we live in and our existence is a precious gift.
Now, the film is chock full of special effects that are truly jaw-dropping, and while I enjoyed it, I really felt that it didn’t stick to the original story as much as it could have. Admittedly, to transform an almost 500 page novel into a movie is most likely a daunting task. Many details and scenes must be omitted or condensed to get the story to the screen. However, there was more tweaking of the story here than needed to happen in my opinion and left me scratching my head at a lot of the changes and their relevance to the story itself. Also, there were quite a few moments in the movie that were so ridiculous that the entire audience was laughing out loud. Without spoiling the movie, let’s just say that there are times where the characters are in awkward situations that are very unrealistic to the plot.
So the real question here is, should you see The 5th Wave? My short answer is, yes! For those who are fans of the book, there may be some disappointment that is all too typical for readers as the book strays from the original storyline. On the other hand, the movie is a fun, thrilling ride that will leave viewers on the edge of their seats. This is one book that should definitely not be judged by its movie.