Allegiant tells the story of Tris who must escape with Four, after the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, beyond the wall that encircles Chicago to finally discover the shocking truth of what lies behind it.
Let me just start of by saying this wasn’t the film that I was expecting to see after I’d read the books two years ago, just prior to the release of the initial film in the series, Divergent. You know that if a review starts off like this, the adaptation wasn’t a well received one.
The first in the series, Divergent, was a decent adaptation, following the familiar set up of the world as described in the novel and unable to escape its comparisons to blockbuster franchiseThe Hunger Games. Casting choices of Shailene Woodley as protagonist Tris was a mis-casting as her performance stiff and unemotional, barely showcasing a strength to carry the film. She’s hardly aided by the charisma Theo James provides as Four, even though he’s clearly the best thing of this film despite the supporting acting talent in both Naomi Watts and Jeff Bridges. Ansel Elgort, who plays Caleb her brother, was another poor choice as they seemed an odd pairing to play brother and sister. The only agreements to be made was that of Theo James as Four, Maggie Q as Tori, as well as Miles Teller as Peter, who was aptly able to carry the comedic elements of the film required of him. The new addition of Jeff Daniels as David was interesting but he was unable to give his full potential under a weak direction and poor script, looking progressively fed up with the film, almost mirroring the audiences feelings with the film also.
From the three out of four films released so far, Divergent clearly wins as each progression of the story becomes weaker as that feeling of something missing within the films construction becoming more of a prominent feature. Hopefully in the switch up of a director from Robert Schwentke to Lee Toland Krieger will provide an improvement to the series but I highly doubt this will be effective so late in the series.
One thing that baffled my friend and I, who accompanied me to the cinema, was the decision behind why they split the last book into two films. We thought the reasoning behind it might have been that it was following the example set up like many other young adult adaptations before it – whether it be Harry Potter, Twilight, or even the aforementioned The Hunger Games. But the thing is, is that Allegiant just didn’t need it. The film could’ve ended perfectly at this film without a follow up.
The special effects were especially fake, and you could tell how gimmicky it was, along with the lack of blood when someone was killed during the Naomi Watts lead trials. There doesn’t have to be an excessive amount but it at least has to be noticeable that someone has died and not just cut away when it got too hard to look at.
I don’t blame anyone who has given up hope on this and had no intention of seeing it as it was almost laughable because of how badly produce it was and how ridiculous the story had become. Nothing on the screen was ever motivated and hardly fits in with its previous two films.Allegiant is almost a complete deviation. It felt like a TV movie on the big screen.
One of the only positive lights I can see in the future of this series is that it will finally be over this time next year with Theo James hopefully using this as a platform to other films so he can better his career and Miles Teller is able say this was only a bump in the road so he can continue to give performances like that he did in that of Whiplash.
Even if you haven’t read the books, it was a disappointing cinema experience.