If you’ve seen Independence Day, Skyline (shudder), The Invasion, Signs, War of the Worlds, World War Z, The Host, Invasion of the Body Snatchers…well, then, you’ve pretty much seen this movie.
Here we go again. Hollywood taking from yet another young adult novel.
I actually went into this screening with no clue what this movie was about – all I knew at the time were two things: one, that it had something to do with aliens invading Earth in waves (c/o the trailer), and, two, Chloe Grace Moretz had tweeted out it was – on the day of the screening I went to – number one in Malaysia.
Plot: Cassie (Moretz) is just your average teenager – until one day…when aliens invade Earth. Cassie’s goal is to keep her brother, Sam (Zackary Arthur) safe, and she’s committed to doing whatever it takes to do that. When circumstances separate the two, it’s up to (surprise!) Cassie to find him. Meanwhile, aliens are destroying the planet and humanity, but the army has managed to break through to try and fight them. Led by Colonel Vosch (Liev Schrieber) and screened by Sergeant Reznik (Maria Bello), it’s up to children and teens to save the planet.
Right after I left the screening, I thought, “this totally has a a Twilight or a Divergent kind of vibe to it.” To me, that isn’t very good, and frankly, I was quite bored by this film – which I eventually found out is based on a bunch of young adult novels. Schrieber and Bello are underwhelming as villains, and Moretz, though at times charming, is overall bland. Once the first 30 – 40 minutes played out, it was easy to predict what was going to happen next. We’ve seen all the writing, the explosions, and this kind of peril before. Yawn.
What puts the cherry on top of the sundae of pain this movie is is the awkward love triangle between Cassie, her high school crush Ben (Nick Robinson) and new-found friend Evan Walker (Alex Roe). You’ll get what I mean if you actually choose to sit through this film.
I left the theatre feeling just okay about this movie. I think it will end up being popular with a new generation of youngsters who haven’t experienced films like Independence Day or War of the Worlds (either one, heck – even the T.V. show, I suppose). I could see it doing okay financially at the box office, because with its writing and characters, it clearly caters to a younger audience. I wouldn’t move heaven and earth to try and see this one – but if you REALLY want to see it, wait for a cheapie Tuesday. You’re not missing anything if you don’t see it.
Two boring, disorganized alien invasions out of five.