FILM REVIEW: THE DIVERGENT SERIESALLEGIANT

The Divergent Series: Allegiant is the third movie in this franchise, following on from 2014’s Divergent and 2015’s Insurgent. Most of the main cast of the previous two films has returned for this third film in the series of four, with Shailene Woodley (Tris Prior), Theo divergentJames (Four), Zoë Kravitz (Christina) and Miles Teller (Peter) all returning for this one. Naomi Watts (Four’s mother Evelyn) and Octavia Spencer (Amity’s leader Johanna) also return in this movie, following on from their appearances in Insurgent. The only major new character in this film is Jeff Daniel’s David, a bureaucrat in charge of the Chicago Experiment.

In this third film in The Divergent Series, our heroes from within The Chicago Experiment decide it’s time to see what’s on the outside of the giant wall dividing them (inside Chicago) from the post-apocalyptic wasteland (the rest of the world). What they find, aside from radioactivity and toxins everywhere, is a highly-advanced top end of society, living in small pockets of green utopian cities, whose sole purpose is to save the human race, and a large bottom end of society living on the fringes and barely surviving in the wastes, completely spurned by those at the top end of what’s left of the human race. Our heroes find themselves trapped between these 2 groups, with the fate of their friends and their home in the Chicago Experiment at risk.

I quite enjoyed the first film Divergent – it seemed a pretty obvious clone of The Hunger Games, but the makeup of the society within The Chicago Experiment with their 5 ‘factions’ and how they related to each other made that movie interesting. The second film, Insurgent, built on the first, and the drama and character development I felt sustained that film. Allegiant, though, is nowhere near the quality of the first two. The plot is terrible and very simplistic, and not well executed. All the actors put in a host of poor performances – even the leads, Woodley and James, who have been strong in the previous two films, put in shockers here. None of the characters develop in any significant way. Miles Teller’s character, Peter, in particular, essentially went through the same machinations for the third film in a row – ‘I’ll be your friend/Now I’ll betray you/Now I’m stuffed!’ Surely for Peter, you’d have thought he’d have figured out by now that this pattern of behaviour was not successful for him! This shows poor writing, in my opinion – maybe the writers figure we’d forget he did the exact same thing in the previous two films?! And no film should have its main villain as a bureaucrat desperate to keep his job. It’s not very frightening. Jeff Daniels’ David was a terrible character, and came nowhere near the menace nor cold logical nastiness shown from Kate Winslet’s Jeanine in the first two films.

This film was very poor. One for the true believers only.

1.5 stars + 0.5 star loading for a film series I’m invested in = 2 stars

Reviewed by David Emms

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