The Divergent Series: Allegiant

"OK"

The Divergent Series: Allegiant Review


After the more thrilling Insurgent, this saga reverts to the talky style of the original Divergent movie, constantly explaining this post-apocalyptic world's convoluted mythology before indulging in whizzy action that has little to do with the story or characters. It's a strange step back for a franchise that has such a strong cast and high production values. And this movie also feels frustratingly incomplete, because it's only based on the first half of Veronica Roth's third and final novel (a fourth film, Ascendant, is due next year).

When we last saw our hero Tris (Shailene Woodley), she and her hunky boyfriend Four (Theo James) had overthrown the nasty Erudite leaders to create a "factionless" society in Chicago under new leader Evelyn (Naomi Watts), Four's mother. But Evelyn's willingness to indulge in military excesses causes a rift with the more peace-loving leader Johanna (Octavia Spencer), sparking a civil war. Bored with this, Tris and Four free Tris' brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) from death row and escape over the walls out of Chicago along with cohorts Peter and Christina (Miles Teller and Zoe Kravitz). Fleeing into the fringe, they encounter a peaceful, futuristic community called the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, run by David (Jeff Daniels). There they learn new facts about their past, but they're unable to ignore the unravelling situation in Chicago.

As in the first film, this script is over-packed with long conversations about the society's complicated set-up, and the Bureau has its own set of issues. Some of this information provides welcome context to the earlier films, but the screenwriters also hold back a lot of key details for next time, so this episode is oddly inconclusive. And that also makes it feel dull and contrived, especially since it leaves the characters' motivations so badly muddled. There's also the problem that these movies continually steal ideas and imagery from other films (this time it's Mad Max and The Truman Show).

So while director Robert Schwentke does a great job adding suspicion and intrigue in every scene, he never quite makes anything that happens feel organic. It all looks very cool, even if the militaristic violence is over-hyped. Meanwhile, the actors add plenty of interest, anchored by Woodley's nicely textured performance as the strong but overwhelmed Tris. James and Elgort are little more than eye candy this time around, and Teller's Peter is still unnecessarily slippery. And veterans Daniels and Watts play with their characters' shadowy politics. The remaining hope is that these people and the series' bizarre premise develop a hint of personal resonance in the final chapter.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for The Divergent Series: Allegiant



The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 121 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th March 2016

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate, Red Wagon Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Pouya Shahbazian,

Starring: as Tris, as Four, as Christina, as Peter, as Evelyn, as Caleb Prior, as Edgar, as Tori, as David, Bill Skarsgård as Matthew, Nadia Hilker as Nita, Keiynan Lonsdale as Uriah, Courtney Hope as Anna, Joseph David-Jones as Hollis, Autumn Dial as Groupie Babe #1, Hannah Alligood as Crush Girl #2

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