The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Jeff Daniels, Miles Teller, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Keiynan Lonsdale, Daniel Dae Kim, Maggie Q, Bill Skarsgård | Screenwriter: Noah Oppenheim, Adam Cooper & Bill Collage | Director: Robert Schwentke
Warning: Adults over the age of 55 and pregnant women are strongly advised to not see The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1 in theaters, for fear of slipping into a coma from tiresome cliches, one-dimensional characters and their predictable actions.
No, really. Ambien could learn a thing or twelve from this film.
Allegiant is terrible. Truly and absolutely. Although if you enjoy films with a lot of running, yelling, wall scaling, explosions, (extreme!) staring and a hackneyed plot that accommodates all these things, then this overhyped underwhelming YA adaptation was made specifically for you, my friend.
Where The Hunger Games succeeded in creating a captivating core of characters and heightened the tension between districts with each installment, The Divergent movies lack any semblance of form and function. Even the Maze Runner franchise is able to draw out a decent amount of sympathy for their characters, despite them dying off every 20, 30 minutes. If there’s anything that can be surmised from these films adapted from Veronica Roth‘s novels, it’s that the Divergent series has likely ushered the end of the long-tired Young Adult dystopian genre.
From what can be gathered, things didn’t turn up roses after Insurgent: In exposing the Erudite conspiracy and ousting Jeanine (Kate Winslet) from power, Tris, Four, Caleb, and Miles Teller (whatever his character’s name is) opened up the gates that encircle their dilapidated city, in hopes of seeking out other humans who survived the calamity that surrounds Chicago. In the time that has passed, a civil war has brewed after the new guard led by Evelyn (Naomi Watts) has become exactly like the old guard, killing whoever challenges them and keeping the Windy City locked down. Conveniently, the four leads escape, still determined to discover what’s out there. Of course it’s worse than they realized, explosions, genetics, relationship drama, blah blah blah…
There is so much talent involved in this series, the resulting product should be a vastly more enjoyable theater experience. Instead, everyone is literally and figuratively shuffling about in a wasteland of pallid plots and convoluted exposition. Turns out the entire purpose of Chicago being contained wasn’t to ensure humanity’s survival but to keep tabs on potential super-humans who destroyed the country decades ago – when the government decided to fuck around with human genes. Quite the change in the overall arc. It would be acceptable if the storyline itself wasn’t so paper thin and backed by performances that are amazingly dull. It isn’t entirely the fault of the actors; if the narrative is so unconvincing for audiences, imagine how they attempted to piece a working film together.
By the time Allegiant’s climax is reached, everyone is practically winded from contending with the unnecessarily complicated plot. The actors, the director and most damning, the moviegoers. There also is such a thing as too much CG – ask Michael Bay. The sudden infusion of gleaming, unblemished structures within an ultra sterilized environment, replete with future craft and bleeding edge tech compensates for what feels like a half-written script that was written by a committee of guys hopped up on No-Doze.
To quote the Bard (had to be done), it’s full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
Allegiant - Part 1
Nope. Just a whole barrel of nope. How a film can be so droll and uninspiring when it involves an obscene amount of future weapons and action sequences is beyond me. It truly is an indictment on studios whose business model involves draining all the joy out of relatively beloved literary series for the sake of raking in a few hundred million more at the box office. What makes Allegiant – Part 1 so shamefully unimpressive is its utter lack of heart. Although the film will probably make its money back and then some, it’ll definitely be one of those movies that begins to fade from memory as soon as one leaves the screening. Forgettable and mediocre.