If you have seen the recent Maze Runner films, then The Divergent Series: Allegiant may seem a bit too familiar and certainly not the standout amongst the young adult novel adaptations of recent memory.
Trigger Warning(s): Blood and guns
Summary (with Commentary)
Janine is dead and so it has been revealed there is a world outside of Chicago. However, Evelyn (Naomi Watts) seeks to control Chicago and as former Erudite members stand trial, more so for answers and executions than justice, so comes her reign of terror. One which forbids people from seeking out these outsiders and begins to cause friction between Evelyn and Johanna (Octavia Spencer).
But as all this goes on, Tris (Shailene Woodley) finds herself too curious to follow these new regulations and with the help of Four (Theo James), Christina (Zoe Kravitz), and Tori (Maggie Q), they make for an escape. Leading them to a world ran by Director David (Jeff Daniels). Someone who makes Chicago out to be some grand experiment, of which he controls, and Tris as the key to human salvation. Something which Tris goes along with at first, for she wants to save everyone, but as she soon learns, there are sacrifices which must be made for the better good and sometimes those sacrifices require blood.
Things To Note
Peter (Miles Teller) continues to play a major role in the film and I still find it strange no one has killed him yet. I guess part 2 might be when he finally takes a bullet to the head.
To me, with this film being aware of their society repeating its past, it makes it honestly feel like I’m watching bits and pieces of the 1st or 2nd movie all over again. Right down to Tris dressing in a similar manner to Janine. Then, to make matters worse, while watching this it is hard to not get The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials flashbacks. For whether it is the scenery or the way the plot moves, it is like a lot of stuff are so similar that the two properties could crossover seamlessly.
The way the film is setup, you can tell from the beginning it was going to be made into a two-part movie. Something which perhaps I would have been fine with if it wasn’t for damn near every young adult novel stretching the last book into two movies. Though, to make matters worse, the ending for this movie is so anti-climatic that it leads you to believe that maybe it isn’t going to stretch things out and just go right into the ultimate finale.
If you are just coming into the series, I feel like this movie isn’t going to impress you at all. There isn’t much or any, character development, the action is mostly one-sided battles, and while Tris was at one time an interesting character, now it seems she has become like every other heroine in movies like this. Woodley seems dead in the eyes as if she is just getting through her contract so she can take some time to do movies she feels really matter and won’t end up broke in the process. Four remains just another well-built guy who has just enough issues so that he doesn’t seem like a total tool, or just someone to be the heroine’s love interest, and James too suffers from just giving you the type of performance you expect from a role like this.
On The Fence
I’m rather unsure who made a better, or maybe even worse, villain. Was it Janine, who made it seem like Kate Winslet being an Oscar winner was due to an excellent campaign instead of merit? Could it be Evelyn whose rise to power led her to fear anything and everything which could threaten it? Or perhaps was it David who presents, like the other two, another uninspired villain who doesn’t make you feel conflicted or anything because everything has to be black and white with no gray in between.
Final Thought(s): Skip It
Unless you are fully committed to this series and a huge fan of anyone involved, I honestly can’t push myself hard enough to come up for a reason to watch this. Between it seeming so much like other properties out there, being so boring that even the action scenes don’t really wake you up, and then having the dullest heroes and villains, it is hard to try to convince you this is worth seeing. Hence the “Skip It” label for this series for Woodley is slowly becoming like the Twilight series for Kristen Stewart. At least in my opinion.