The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016)
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Octavia Spencer, Ansel Elgort, Zoë Kravitz, Naomi Watts
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Written by: Noah Oppenheim, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 2 hr. 1 min
The first Divergent movie was a serviceable teen dystopian fiction. A Hunger Games lite. An entertaining if somewhat forgettable couple of hours at the theater. It was so forgettable in fact, that when the sequel, Insurgent, came along a year later, I had little to no recollection of prior events to help me get through it. I didn’t have the same problem with The Hunger Games series, because those films were worth remembering. Insurgent was also a convoluted mess, loaded with soft dull PG-13 action violence, and some surprisingly weak visual effects.
So here we are with Allegiant, the continuing quest for box office gold – and it’s awful. It’s lead characters feel about as important as the fake looking sets. It’s narrative collapses under the weight of the ideas crammed into it. Is this film about Four (Theo James), Tris (Shailene Woodley) or its thin human race as a experiment plot line? Because you’d be hard pressed to decide. The chemistry between the two leads has all but gone, destroyed by a messy story that frequently doesn’t make any sense. Allegiant is what you get when the only motivating force pushing this into our theaters is money, and I suspect the only people who really care about this franchise are its producers.
For Allegiant to make any sense, you have to watch the first two installments (recently). If you have somehow managed to enjoy the series so far I think you’ll enjoy this. For those that were disappointed with Insurgent after seeing the promising first movie, I suggest you wait for the rental to satisfy your curiosity.
The visual effects are okay, but this film would be serviced decently enough with a HD rental at home.
Best Moments: << mild spoiler >>
I did enjoy the moments of action when Four or Tris used drones to help them maneuver through a difficult situation. Those skinny little hockey pucks were a neat idea, and the best moments in the movie occur when they are being deployed.