Divergent was criticized for being formulaic. Insurgent was criticized for being too reliant on CGI and simulations while telling no intriguing story. Now it is Allegiant’s turn to be scrutinized. But is it a let down like Insurgent was or has it improved on it?
The Divergent Series: Allegiant picks up right where the previous film left off with everyone headed towards the wall. However, it quickly turns out no one is allowed to leave Chicago until Evelyn (Naomi Watts) says so. She has become the new leader and she sets new rules. Meanwhile, Tris is reluctant to stand by her as she does not approve of her methods and she Four, Cristina, Peter and Caleb decide to explore what’s beyond the wall.
The director, Robert Schwentke, has listened to the criticism about Insurgent to some extent. He ameliorates upon the previous instalment and the end result is a surprisingly entertaining film—as long as you don’t dig deep into it. The visual effects and action sequences are well-realized and some are quite innovative and refreshing.
When it comes to character arcs, we have more or less the same people in beginning, and in the end, of the film. Some change and some don’t but overall, there is not much development. Tris is still the only girl who can save the world and Tobias/Four is still the person she’s in love with. Both Shailene Woodley and Theo James do a commendable job portraying their characters. Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer are both spectacular in their roles. Jeff Daniels comes in as David and is terrific as he is in everything. Miles Teller as Peter is the same hypocrite he was before, and remains that way by the end of the film, but he is good. What was really disappointing was Ansel Elgort’s horrible acting. I regret telling you this but all his talent somehow evaporated and he is expressionless here.
Allegiant leaves the viewer satisfied once he gets out of the theatre but also despondent to an extent. Having seriously diverged from the source material, the film leaves you wondering what will happen in the next one considering there is nothing left from the book for Ascendant. The announcement that Schwentke will be stepping down the director’s chair for, allegedly, being too tired of filming so much in a year is quite alarming.
All in all, The Divergent Series: Allegiant is an improvement over Insurgent. Nonetheless it falls into its own trap by trying too hard to be complex and ends up being an enjoyable but forgettable flick.
3.5 out of 5 stars