By Adam Ray Palmer
Today’s review is the third instalment in the Divergent Series. The franchise began in 2014 with Divergent, swiftly followed by Insurgent last year; and now we have 2016s Allegiant.
Allegiant marks the start of the blockbusters for 2016 with Shailene Woodley and Theo James both reprising their roles as the love-struck couple fighting for the divergents.
As we gear up for the finale, does this film wet our appetite? We have the details…
The third instalment in the dystopian Divergent Series continues the story of Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) in their quest to figure out the truth of the world around them. After the huge revelations of Insurgent, Allegiant picks up with Tris and the gang venturing beyond the boundaries of Chicago, to discover what else is left of humanity.
As the film begins, we join the starring duo canoodling at the top of an abandoned building. This scene, ironically, is a great metaphor for the next two hours. Allegiant is pretty much an empty shell of a film with a filler plot starring two Hollywood actors with very little chemistry.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant is the weakest link in the franchise by far. The screenwriters’ decision to cut up the last book into two films is ludicrous. It’s understandable for revenue and mimicking the likes of Harry Potter and the The Hunger Games but narratively, it was a grave error. This film is literally Luke-warm foreplay for a climatic ending to a series that has just dragged on.
Allegiant has copied the formula that The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 & 2 produced with the first part serving as an ‘all you need to know so you’re prepared for an explosive finale’ film. However, Mockingjay Part 1 actually had substance and an interesting story to tell with political and media messages being portrayed. There was very little action but the character development along with the increasing intensity was something to be admired. With Allegiant, there’s none of that. The film has tried to take mature route and gave us lots of information that is never fully explained. You end up zoning out and very rarely tuning back in.
To back the previous comments up, the most tedious part in this film is the introduction to new words describing groups of individuals. We have followed this ‘divergent’ plot line the whole way through this saga with Four and Tris being a part of the ‘divergents’; only now to realise that she is in fact ‘pure’ and Four is ‘damaged – what is this lunacy?! It seems to me the film is getting carried away and it just confuses matters, bearing in mind that the core audience for this franchise is young teens.
Everything seems weak with Allegiant. The narrative is poorly adapted and we can see everything happening before it inevitably does. For instance, there’s a utopian city that seems all perfect and everyone is happy but in reality, shock horror, it’s actually full of betrayal.
I even think the stars seem disengaged like they have better projects to be getting on with. Theo James looks constantly peeved throughout and Shailene is severely under-used. The whole series is pretty much about her but she is wasted. We are also treated to sequence with the starring pair in which she shows a case of naiveté that makes no sense whatsoever after everything she has gone through. It just seems the franchise is losing its balance – especially in the visual effects department. The CGI is laughable.
I understand it’s gearing us all up for an entertaining finale, but the only way to do that is getting us pumped using this instalment. To use Peter’s (Miles Teller) words, I’m definitely a ‘stiff’ – bored stiff!
Cineroom’s Rating: 2 Stars
The Divergent Series: Allegiant is currently showing worldwide in selected cinemas – certificate 12A