The A.V. Club
What this ongoing YA adaptation cycle of dystopian and post-apocalyptic killer-teen movies really needs is a Starship Troopers: a film that could put the lie to the genre by exaggerating it into pitch-black, poker-faced satire. What it gets instead is The 5th Wave, a kids-trained-to-kill sci-fi flick that turns mildly subversive right before taking a headlong dive into sub-Twilight soap, complete with a conflicted super-human dreamboat. Based on a bestseller by Rick Yancey—the first in a planned trilogy, of course—The 5th Wave at least deserves kudos for finding the least enticing future setting possible: central Ohio, some time after the Earth has been attacked by aliens who don’t look like anything, and don’t even have cool spaceships. These are the end times of the survivalist imagination, where the last good people wear flannel and tote jugs of potable water with rifles over their shoulders, avoiding strangers and military round-ups.