Allegiant (2016)

  • Time: 121 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Mystery
  • Director: Robert Schwentke
  • Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naomi Watts, Jeff Daniels


After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.


  • The latest, and mercifully penultimate, installment of The Divergent series, Allegiant won’t certainly entice viewers who are unfamiliar with Veronica Roth’s bestselling YA novels on which the films are based. Given the green light in the wake of The Hunger Games’ blockbuster success, Divergent has always felt like a poor man’s Games and its heroine, Tris Prior, just about the dullest ever created, even setting aside comparisons to the far more dynamic protagonist of The Hunger Games.

    Allegiant is serviceable fare that may be better enjoyed when viewed as a comedy interrupted by some good action scenes and inhabited by a group of toned and tattooed teenagers furrowing their brows and flexing their muscles amidst semi-serious eugenistic prattle. Certainly there are enough plot holes to chuckle at, and several of the film’s supporting players, particularly Miles Teller, attract one’s attention and gratitude because of their ability to recognise and embrace how downright ridiculous the series has become.

    The film takes place in the wake of the factions’ collapse and the death of the dictatorial Jeanine (Kate Winslet). Allegedly factionless resistance leader Evelyn (Naomi Watts) hasn’t exactly brought about the promised peace. Her citizens are braying for the flood of Jeanine’s followers, including Tris’ brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort), and the massive concrete wall separating this dystopian version of Chicago from the outside world is still unopened and now armed with an electrified fence. Naturally, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her gang – brother Caleb, love interest and Evelyn’s son Four (Theo James), best friend Christina (Zoë Kravitz), and the ever untrustworthy but always there Peter (Teller) – make a break for it, running vertically up the wall, dodging Evelyn’s henchmen, arriving on the other side to discover a landscape resembling a Martian desert, and realising there’s a second wall, which leads them to being welcomed by the populace of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare.

    At last, Tris et al learn that Chicago and its factions were actually one big laboratory experiment, and that they have been under constant observation. As the Bureau’s leader David (perhaps named as a nod to David Koresh, the notorious leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect) played by Jeff Daniels explains: Chicago was walled in, populated with genetically “damaged” inhabitants who were separated into factions to establish peace, with the end goal for the human genome to heal itself. All this because the government screwed up when they began manipulating human DNA to eradicate unwanted traits; their genetically modified citizens rose up in protest. Somehow Tris not only believes this claptrap, but defends David’s intentions to the wary Four, who suspects there may be more to David and the Bureau than meets the eye.

    It’s best not to put too much effort into the details of the story. Instead, why not muse upon how considerate the dangerous red mist is to creep around our main characters, who must live to be in the final installment, whilst quickly decimating all the nameless, expendable Chicagoans. Or how the CGI can be both remarkably pronounced (is there a frame of this film that wasn’t shot against a green screen?) and fairly inventive (the hiccuping magnified pixelations of the goings-on when viewed via the surveillance pod). Or how much more blonde and bronzed Woodley appears. Or how Woodley’s expression runs the gamut from blank to blank with tears.

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  • It is that time of the year again. Suddenly, March has become a hot month for movies, where films try to take advantage of the lackluster movies that came out during the early parts of the year to turn their decent movie into a cash cow.

    The Divergent Series has done well enough of a job where it isn’t as abysmal as tween movies such as The Fifth Wave, but haven’t captivated enough fans as The Hunger Games and Twilight sagas. No biggie, right? Both those series are done, so now this film will stand alone as a strong series in itself.
    Err, not quite.

    With Tris and her friends exposing the secrets of the last film, they decide to go beyond the wall in hopes of finding something new, all while their home,now faction less, is being fought for control. The group eventually finds a more scientifically advanced group of soldiers, who take them to a city where they realize that the events taken place recently has been watched by them all.

    Embraced as heroes, Tris gets to meet the director known as “David (Jeff Daniels),” who wants to work with Tris and study her genes to see what makes her perfect and not “damaged.”

    That’s where Allegiant remained original from the previous Divergent movies. Suddenly, instead of the faction division, we learned that people are actually classified as damaged or pure. What is upsetting is that we learn this early in the film, but Tris takes the entire movie in order to play catch up.

    The relationship between Tris and Four is as eyerolling and facepalmingly bad as ever. Yes, you will hear the L word, and their dialogue is as grotesque as the conversations teens would have with their first love.

    Miles Teller as the double crosser of the tweens is the most enjoyable to watch but after a while, its bothersome to see someone constantly betray people and get away with it so easily. Other than Teller, the supporting cast is getting another paycheck, with Zoë Kravitz on the Allegiant posters, but hardly in the film.

    But who is to blame for the writing? Veronica Roth? The screenwriters? The chicken or the egg? Allegiant gives us a bait and switch, taking Jeanine out with David, and then passing them off as the same villain: someone willing to use mind control for their selfish motives.

    Passing it off as a first part of a movie wasn’t deserved here, with the ending not leaving us on much of a cliffhanger, but rather alluding to a future war. You know, because we haven’t seen that before.

    Its a shame that Shailene Woodley went from The Descendants to this, and her character’s lack of focus and clarity (God, does Tris not have any intuition whatsoever?) is the same expression as audience members will have: simultaneously delusional and realizing they were too optimistic for the franchise.

    To say the Theo James is a highlight is a shocker, but most of the action scenes revolves around him. If it weren’t for the dramatically increased size of CGI, the action would have been sufficient, but with the action kept to a minimum and the movie being more “plot driven,” Allegiant can be now hailed as the weakest first part of a two part tween movie ever (unless The Fifth Wave has anything to say about it).

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