Score: 2 out of 5 stars
This is film review 13
Like a chart your boss shows you to let you know how stocks and sales are going, ‘The Divergent Series’ has taken a roller coaster ride so far. It started off low with ‘Divergent’, a poorly shot pisser-of-a-film that made my blood boil inside. Then the series surprisingly gave me hope for its future with last year’s semi-blockbuster ‘Insurgent’. Sadly the series is going downhill with ‘Allegiant’, and even though this movie is not as headache-inducing as the first film in the series, it feels like a bore.
Much like the last two films and other YA-adaptations that have come before it (Ex: ‘The Hunger Games’), ‘Allegiant’ has political and social commentary in a post-apocalyptic future where people are divided into factions; Erudite (a faction of intelligence), Amity (a faction of peace), Abnegation (a faction of giving), Dauntless (a faction of bravery), and Candor (a faction of honesty); in case you didn’t know or haven’t seen ‘Divergent’, think of it as the Hogwarts houses in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. Now we are past that, and the Divergents (factionless people) have now escaped the wrath and capture of former leader Jeanine; not only that, but she is now dead and Evelyn (Naomi Watts) has now taken over. Evelyn started off as Four’s mother and now has become a vengeful woman going power-hungry with the intent to rid Chicago of all Jeanine’s crew.
While this terrifying thing is happening, Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Peter (Miles Teller), Christina (Zoe Kravitz), Caleb (Ansel Elgort), and Tori (Maggie Q) are trying to escape more soldiers by attempting to break out of the wall which separates Chicago from the rest of the world in a rather suspenseful, yet awesome wall-climbing sequence. Once they reach the other side, they see that the world is nothing but a red and deserted wasteland where invisible barriers exist. Additionally, the water, including the rain, is blood-red. Unfortunately, from my eyes, the entire landscape made me feel like I was watching a movie that was released on the SyFy channel, even the flying machines gave me that impression. Hell, the entire landscape’s effects made the effects of that planet in last year’s ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot look better in comparison (Can’t believe I just said that).
There are some effects that are quite impressive, such as the holographic walls for example. That being said, the film is overshadowed by overlong meeting and training sequences that have some action, but not enough to keep your blood pumping. The TV spots for ‘Allegiant’ made me expect a thrill-ride that was a cut above ‘Insurgent,’ what I got was disappointment; even two kids behind me seemed to be enjoying what they were doing instead of paying attention to the film, judging by the noises they were making.
As a whole, ‘Allegiant’ isn’t a terrible waste-of-time like ‘Fantastic Four’ (also starring Teller), it has its moments that saves it from being one of the worst films of the year; I enjoyed Teller’s quips (despite not thinking he is a great actor), making Peter a likable character; he does come off as complex with his motives like the first film. Naomi Watts is fantastic as Evelyn; Watts can portray a sort-of villainous character really well, and I respect her more as an actress because of the roles she is taking. Jeff Daniels also does a great job playing the main villain, and he impresses me even more (Seriously, if a guy can play a bumbling idiot in a comedy, and a serious man in a drama, that deserves extra acting points.). As for Woodley and James, they do alright; James did as usual, but Woodley needed to put more emotional heft in her performance like she did in ‘Insurgent’. As for Elgort, he looked like a stoned zombie when trying to give a performance.
What will happen to ‘The Divergent Series’ in the future? No one knows, but if Summit Entertainment finishes the franchise, I hope it rises above ‘Divergent’ and ‘Insurgent’.