Monday, April 4, 2016

The Divergent Series Allegiant Review: Lackluster start to Divergent Finale

It seems like only yesterday that movie world was introduced to The Divergent Series. Based on the popular Young Adult novel series, Divergent has been hitting the spring season for two consecutive years.  However it seems our time in this sci-fi series is coming to a close with the latest installment: Allegiant. While the film is titled after the final book to the series, this third installment is in fact not the last film in the franchise as (like most of its kind) Allegiant has been split into two parts. Objections  aside the fact remains that we have one more trip in the world of Divergent before the end. So does Allegiant gear moviegoers up for the end, or does this installment lose steam for The Divergent Series?

Taking place after Insurgent, Allegiant continues the story of Trice (Shailene Woodley) and the rest of the inhabitants of Chicago. With the mystery of divergent solved, Trice is joined by Four (Theo James), Caleb (Ansel Egort), Peter (Miles Teller) and Cristina (Zoe Kravitz) to see what lies behind the wall that has enclosed Chicago for over 200 years. What the group discovers is a futuristic civilization led by a man named David (Jeff Daniels) who sole purpose is to cure  the world from society's past mistake. However not everything is what it seems in the Utopian society as soon Trice and her friends discover David's true intentions and what he has planned for Chicago.

I will be the first to admit of not being a fan of this franchise's story. While it does have its merits, the story to The Divergent Series has had  mediocre execution which has hindered it from truly standing out from more popular YA films. I could have only hoped that Allegiant would not fall under this problem; but only to find myself greatly disappointed. Allegiant shows the flaw behind this series as most of the concepts behind this story are more of the same thing from its predecessor. The group of young heroes leave a society that has been broken into different groups, only to find themselves into the same situation when they enter the new city. Rather than the building on the concepts started in Divergent, the plot to Allegiant just rehashes in old elements-and not in a good way. It did not help matters that plot points, such as David being evil, were beyond obvious and not handled in a way that made them effective. The story to this film added nothing to the series and was just a lackluster movie plot.

The cast to this film was not much better. The ensemble to The Divergent Series has had its share of problems as it has been one led by boring characters, and this problem is intensified in Allegiant. Trice was rather directionless in this film to the point where even Miss Woodley's performance (which I have liked in the past) could not save this character from having nonsensical motivation. Four on the other hand was in rare form in this film as his “Gary Stu” mentality made the hero untouchable; not to mention generic. Because of these issues the chemistry between Trice and Four came off as forced, and that is saying something given their “riveting” connection in the previous movies. This lack of character certainly did not help the likes of supporting cast as the group was rather ineffective. While the likes of Miles Teller, Ansel Egort, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer and Jeff Daniels do the best they can with their roles, these supporting characters did not have a grand presence to make this ensemble an effective.

If there is one thing I can commend The Divergent Series for it would be its sense of design, and Allegiant managed to live to this technical factors. The film featured a creative design that did gave the film a outlandish look. The design to the film was complimented by the movie's effects; though this element did have its shortcomings. There were certain aspects to the effects in the movie that just came off as distracting and cheap; though fortunately these moments were not excessive. Rounding out Allegiant's technical factors was the music and action. Both these elements were not awe inspiring but they were effective by capturing the world of Divergent.

I cannot say Allegiant made me a fan of this series. True the movie's technical elements were effective but it was not enough to save the movie from its lackluster execution of both story and characters. In the end Allegiant only shows the flaw of the franchise and it does not make this Film Adventurer excited to see just how the story of Trice comes to an end.

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