‘Allegiant’ is a weak and somber filler in the ‘Divergent’ series
Some fans will blame Twilight, the first franchise to adapt the third book into two films to exploit fans at the box office, but Allegiant proves that the Divergent series can plod worse than the tension between Jacob and Edward. Allegiant is the “part one” of the final chapter, but is barely a film that can stand on its own.
Shailene Woodley is back as Tris with Four (Theo James) as Chicago’s Divergent savior, primed to lead a group over the wall despite a potential civil war sending the city back into chaos and violence. Octavia Spencer’s Johanna fights for an “Allegiant,” a return to the order of the Factions, defying Evelyn (Four’s mother, played by Naomi Watts) who is filling the shoes of resident dictator. Even after getting outside the city to a desolate world reminiscent of Mars in The Martian, they group only finds more questions and conflicts than solutions.
Miles Teller’s Peter asks “What, now the sky is bleeding?” as the scarlet rain drops cause the need for cover. The savior city offers a bar code, a shower and separation from one another as only Tris is allowed to proceed to see this ‘Wizard of Oz,’ David (Jeff Daniels), who is thrilled have this Pure blood human. It’s no surprise that the deception runs deep and the group races back to Chicago to save the lives of thousands.
Intrigued or confused?
It really doesn’t matter. The events just string together with minimal purpose and 100% predictability. Tris is as cardboard as ever with James’ Four being the true protagonist worthy of our time. Humans are manipulating humans and like The Hunger Games, the new leader is as bad or worse than the one just disposed from office.
Genetic manipulation, prejudice and class warfare play out with bland backdrops. Teller provides the comic relief of a C-list star as Hollywood continues to sell the actor as next superstar. The script offers nothing for actors to chew on and deliver as we never really care about who lives or who dies (Sorry Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q)
Ascendant is the final film, set for next year, so the plot holes and silly concepts can be cleaned up and brushed on their way in time for another teen franchise to arrive. Allegiant is a disaster for director Robert Schwentke (Red, R.I.P.D.) and the studio didn’t ask him back, hiring Lee Toland Krieger (The Age of Adaline) for the finale.
Overall Allegiant receives a generous 2 stars out of 5 stars
I’m probably being too kind, but I still enjoy James on screen, there is a cool concept of personal drones used by tactical foot soldiers and the speech at the end at least was solid.