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The 5th Wave by Henry Jackman (Review)

posted Feb 23, 2016, 8:14 AM by Kaya Savas

Henry Jackman was on quite a roll for a while scoring hit after hit, with scores that were worthy of the films’ successes and popularity. Lately though we’ve been getting some misfires in the forms of Pixels and now The 5th Wave. For The 5th Wave there isn’t much to dig through as Jackman goes through the motions and delivers a subpar score to yet another YA dystopian novel adapted into a film.

The score never really takes off as we’re limited to 1-2 minute tracks that barely deliver anything besides quiet desperation or generic propulsive strings. There is a lacking of a strong central theme that would have at least made the score more engaging than what it is. As it stands, the music barely fills the bare requirements of adding atmosphere and moving the narrative along. I mean, this is an alien invasion movie! Can you imagine how cool the score could have been? And Henry knows how to do cool, so I’m putting the blame on the producers for this. Jackman really only gets to flex his music muscles in the final act where just a sampling of interesting scoring surfaces. Henry does his best with the film’s poor pacing and structure, but in the end can only muster a few interesting orchestral/electronic hybrid tracks to wrap up this misfire.

The 5th Wave is a disappointment all around. I’m sure Henry put little effort into this one given how bad the movie is, and I know what he’s capable of since he’s an amazing composer. His work here is by the numbers and uninspired with only a handful of moments in the final act worthy of attention. We know Henry can do better, and I’m sure Henry knows Henry can do better. This one was a paycheck project, nothing wrong with that. I eagerly await his return to form in Captain America: Civil War.