Book Vs. Movie – The 5th Wave

Book Vs. Movie – The 5th Wave

Hey everyone! I’m starting up a new addition to my blog, so hopefully this goes well. It’s not going to be a weekly thing like Tuesday Talks, but if it gains popularity, that could be something I’ll look into. This segment to my blog is basically about discussing the differences and similarities between the books I read, and movies I’ve seen based on those books. I got the idea to do this after watching The 5th Wave last week and I had a discussion with my best friend about it right after. I figured, why not blog about it? Hopefully this goes well, and I hope to hear your thoughts.

This week we will be discussing the first movie of the year that I’ve watched in theaters based on a book I’ve read: The 5th Wave. For those who don’t know what it’s about, I have a post of the book’s synopsis on my blog, so go check it out. Now, when I first heard of this movie, when I first saw the preview of it after watching a totally different movie last year, my best friend and I decided right then and there that we were going to watch it as soon as it came out. When we realized that it was based off the book of the same name, we both went to our favorite bookstore and bought ourselves a copy each. We are both the type of people to read a book before watching the movie, so that’s what we decided to do this time. It was well worth it, and we both enjoyed the movie.

But, of course, like with all movie adaptations, there were some changes made that we were not too happy about.

****If you have not read the book and want to avoid spoilers, I would suggest not reading any further. Consider this your warning :)****

The one thing that they absolutely should not have gotten rid of in the movie was the concept of Wonderland. It was alien technology that basically made each human that was uploaded into the program relive their life in fast forward. It also gave the aliens insight into every single person they captured. In the book, we see Ben Parrish and Sammy go through Wonderland, since this is something that the aliens do to everyone who enters into their headquarters. It’s a nonissue, and something that cannot be avoided. When Ben/Zombie tries to go back to base to rescue Sammy, after he and the rest of his unit find out that they have been helping the aliens and are in fact the 5th wave that they have been all waiting for, the one thing he didn’t plan on encountering was having to go through Wonderland again. By being uploaded into Wonderland, the Others know the whole truth about everyone, and even though Zombie made up an elaborate lie as to why his whole unit turned rogue and why he was the only one to survive the onslaught, the Others would know the truth as soon as Wonderland showed them. I feel like this should have been kept in no matter what, and with author Rick Yancey overseeing everything going on with the movie, he should have spoken up about it. In the movie, Wonderland was reduced to the Others’ second home base since Wright-Patterson was being destroyed. It was totally not the same, and didn’t have the same impact as in the book. Thumbs down on this aspect.

Something that they added that I thought made the movie a little weird was a fight scene between Evan and some Others that corner him and Cassie on their way to Wright-Patterson. During this scene, we see that the Others have some superhuman type of strength, moving around as if they are vampires or werewolves, similar to what you would see in Twilight. In fact, after the movie was over, my best friend and I made that same recognition and thought it was weird. It’s hard to describe what we meant as weird, because the word weird could mean a number of things to any number of different people. It felt strange to see something that reminded us of Twilight in this movie, because in the book it was never really explained how they moved, how they fought. It was still a mystery, and the only thing we really knew was that they looked just like humans, and we couldn’t tell them apart from us. I loved the mystery aspect of the book and in the movie, it just felt like they needed to add something in it to get more action scenes.

I also wish they added more of the boot camp scenes. In the movie, it was very quick and didn’t seem like it was very difficult at all. In the book, it showed how intense the training was, how tired they all were at the end of the day, and how much they changed from when they first entered the base until the present day. It was so important to see that transition from scared little child into unwavering soldier. That’s essentially what the Others molded them to become, an Army that would wipe out the rest of humanity without having to lift a finger themselves. All they had to do was show some fake footage of a parasite in someone’s brain, and the kids would do the rest. They were bred into an ultimate killing machine, one that didn’t question why the “aliens” with their heads green on their Heads Up Display weren’t as menacing and brutal as they should have been. They also completely forgot about adding the part where the kids have to burn the bodies of dead people on a daily basis.

Yeah, that’s pretty brutal.

One thing my best friend mentioned that for some reason completely escaped me was how Cassie ended up figuring out that Evan wasn’t who he said he was. In the book, she is so infatuated by him, always talking about his chocolate colored eyes (in the movie, his eyes are amazingly blue but that’s okay. I don’t mind). She feels his hands and can’t help but think how soft they are.

But he’s supposed to have grown up on a farm all his life, the same farm where he took her to nurse him back to health, then how in the world does he have hands softer than her?

That was the moment that Cassie realized that he was lying. He wasn’t who he said he was. Hell, he may have even lied about not trying to kill her that day she almost died. She has no idea, and it freaks her out as it rightfully should. The one person she came to trust during her whole journey to find her brother just betrayed her, and now she feels like she’s sleeping in the enemy’s bed.


So why didn’t they put that in the movie? I have no idea. Maybe it was because to the producers and directors felt it was too small of a detail to include with everything else. Maybe they felt it would take away from everything else that was happening, especially because they had Evan and Cassie making their way to Wright-Patterson really fast rather than having them go through her rehabilitation phase. She got shot in the leg and was basically in a coma for a week. I doubt her leg was back up and running as quickly as they made it seem in the movie. But honestly it was their loss, because that was so smart of Cassie to figure that out. It showed that she paid attention to details, even though she was very hardheaded and “shoot first, ask questions later” because she had to be.

So after all of my thoughts finally down on paper, so to speak, I would have to give this round up to the BOOK.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie was amazing and besides what I mentioned, the book to movie translation was not terrible at all. I would watch it again and own the movie once it comes out, and I would love for them to make the rest of the trilogy into movies so I can watch them too. But there’s just so much detail that goes in this book that should have been shown in the movie too.

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