Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Jeff Daniels
Directed By: Robert Schwentke
Running Time: 121 minutes
Our Score: 1 out of 5 Stars
“The Divergent Series” has apparently been hitting the snooze alarm for the past six hours because there’s nothing new to report on this third nauseatingly bad movie. It also appears that Lionsgate loves burning through all that money it made from “The Hunger Games”, one of the few successful young adult dystopian future storylines. “Allegiant” does nothing new as it simply shuffles around different set pieces, and rehashes the same, poorly constructed arguments for individuality.
It doesn’t take long after the death of Jeanine (Kate Winslet, but she was sparred a brief cameo or stock footage in this, for her potential replacements to rise to the occasion and attempt their own cou d’état to take over the crumbling city of Chicago. Caught in the middle, once again, is Tris (Woodley) and Four (James). They’re ready to follow the advice of the anonymous talking head from the end of “Insurgent” and go outside the walls surrounding the city. But Four’s mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts) seems more focused on keeping everyone inside, sealing up the walls even further. She also seems enamored with publicly executing members of the old regime, rather than restructuring society.
Johanna (Octavia Spencer) is ready to declare Chicago her pet project as well, believing that peace can be achieved through forgiveness of members of the old regime. Of course she also has some firepower and disposable goons with weapons of her own to take on Evelyn. While the two women bicker over nothing (literally), Tris, Four, and others escape from Chicago. They begin to explore the world outside the walls, which looks like the remnants of a trailer park after a tornado, on Mars. Nuclear fallout is weird like that I guess. Of course, Tris and Four encounter the civilization outside their own civilization. And of course, there are no good guys there, just more big bad guys with nefarious deeds.
“Allegiant” has beaten me down. I no longer want to look for positives or find any positives to talk about. There are some, but it’d be futile consider it’s like attempting to compliment a corpse. I’m now even considering taking back positive things I’ve said about Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, and other up-and-coming actors. I can at least forgive veteran actors, Octavia Spencer, Jeff Daniels, and Naomi Watts, because I can see that, “Did my check clear yet,” look in their eyes throughout.
Tris no longer seems like a heroine, but instead a hollow pawn inconsequently bumping into people, things, and plot devices. Then there’s Four, who seems like he’s a 30 pack away from giving Tris a black eye as he attempts to control and grab every person he comes in contact with. Miles Teller is in this movie. Mainly as a character that spouts off Kindergarten insults and sarcastic humor, but no one told him the script and serious line reading in this movie is already comedy relief enough.
What’s worse than everything I’ve said so far is that the movie has yet to stop with exposition. “Allegiant” is way more fascinated with introducing than it is concluding. The world outside Chicago needs explanation. The gadgets in this new world need detail and unnecessary character montage tutorials. The only thing lacking description is the key element to making this a somewhat worthwhile movie, the plot.
In the grand scheme of things, learning how to operate a new piece of military hardware should be much lower on the clarification totem pole. Especially when the new world we’re supposed to be learning about involves mass brainwashing, child abductions, and the crafting of a genetically pure human being. With two hours left in the franchise, I’m wondering if we’re going to have a logical conclusion to this cluttered mess or if it’ll be content with hitting the snooze button a few more time. It’s a safe bet for all of this to inevitably be trite.
I’m sure the fans of the books/movies will gobble it up and the people who watched the first movie and have already checked , will most likely be saving their money for “Batman V. Superman” next week. My apathy in this review matches my feelings towards this series. Both of the groups of people I just told you about will most likely not read this because they’ve already made up their mind. So let me talk to the few of you who have never seen these movies and may be interested in possibly starting this series. Don’t. Just don’t.