Well, it isn’t completely familiar.
We’ve seen an awful lot of Young Adult novel series getting turned into SF movies lately, and it is rather nice to see one which doesn’t have children forced to fight each other…
Ooops, we’ve got that. Mostly.
We do, however have a special effects heavy apocalypse, with aliens launching four waves of their invasion of the Earth, complete with crashing aircraft and monster waves.
While that’s what all the trailers and posters promise, most of the film is a quieter affair, with Cassie Sullivan (a surprisingly grown up Chloë Grace “Hitgirl” Moretz) as a young girl trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world and find her missing brother.
Meanwhile, he’s being trained to fight the enemy’s shock troops – mind-controlled human beings – and is about to get thrust into battle.
And then she meets a mysterious, romantic stranger, but she can’t be sure if she can trust his offer of help (and no, he doesn’t sparkle in the daylight).
This one proved more interesting than most of the reviews I’ve seen suggested. Chloë is quite good here, and for once the story doesn’t depend on societies based on dividing everyone up in strange ways and making them fight against each other. There are hints of a romantic triangle, but it really isn’t developed much, which I’ve got no problem with, thank you very much. The big reveal is a little obvious, as are the secrets of several of the characters, but then, wasn’t casting Liev Schreiber almost a giveaway?
I will note that, while an EMP pulse will knock out any unprotected electronics devices, there should still be a lot of vehicles still running that didn’t have much in the way of electronics – everything from tractors and lawnmowers to older cars and motorcycles – which might perhaps stop as the result of the pulse, but would not have been seriously damaged. And, of course, anything built (or repaired) after the pulse would be just fine.
But then who expects accuracy from a YA novel?