The Divergent Series – Allegiant: Chapter One of Two-Part Finale Leaves Flat-Lines
Jeff DanielsMaggie Q...
Action & AdventureScience Fiction
It’s hard to imagine anyone outside of the Divergent film series fan-base enjoying the latest dystopian offering from the franchise – a franchise that has always been regarded to as the ‘ugly sister of the much more superior The Hunger Games. With the third instalment coming as the first film of the two-part finale, Allegiant struggles to maintain interest in its now tattered and worn-out apocalyptic world.
Having defeated Erudite leader, Janine (Winslet), and put an end to the personality-based faction system, the film brings us back into a post-apocalyptic Chicago where the story’s heroine Tris (Woodley) is once again faced with tyrant in the form of new leader, Evelyn (Watts), who, as it happens, is about to bring civil war to their doorstep.
Not wanting to stick around for the show, Tris, along with her lover, Four (James), her brother, Caleb (Elgort), loyal friend Christina (Kravitz) and longtime frenemy, Peter (Teller), decide to flee the city and head towards the wasteland that lies beyond the giant concrete wall. Following a relatively quick and adrenaline-filled escape, the group soon begins making their way across the toxic dessert of Fringe – a Mad Max-inspired badland minus the thrills or visual extravagance – before finally ending up at the Bureau of Genetic Walfare; a high-tech compound run by the shifty official, David (Daniels) who of course, has a peculiar interest in Tris – but can he be trusted?
As is the case with other young-adult novels that have managed to find their way onto the silver screen, the latest adaptation of Veronica Roth’s series has been split into two cash-grabbing parts, with of course, very little reason or logic to spread one film’s worth of material over two. Spreading itself thin, the story – which stands as the weakest so far in the series – feels muddled, repetitive and unfulfilling as it tries to keep the momentum going by distracting us with a handful of somewhat satisfying visual effects. Taking itself way too seriously, Allegiant boasts an impressive array of interesting and curious sci-fi ideas – the surveillance system overlooking Chicago is particularly intriguing – however, it seems to be lost for ways in how to build on them.
Woodley returns to offer another amiable performance as the feisty young action heroine, though she – along with her equally likeable cast – isn’t given enough to elevate the film from flat-lining.