Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naomi Watts
Director: Robert Schwentke
Running Time: 121 mins
The Divergent Series: Allegiant is an American film and the third in the Divergent series. After bringing down Janine’s oppressive regime, Chicago is pushed onto the brink of civil war, whilst Tris, Four and others finally climb the wall and venture into the outside world.
I didn’t think much of the first two Divergent films at all, but they did have some moments of fun and/or intrigue from time to time. However, Allegiant, the third instalment, takes the series to a whole new low, by presenting a tedious and non-sensical story filled with poor performances, ugly visuals and disappointing directing.
There was pretty much nothing I liked about Allegiant, and I want to talk about what I really couldn’t bear most of all: the plot. Up to this point, the Divergent series has been superbly average. A rip-off of The Hunger Games it may be, but it’s still managed to provide the world with a few positives, mainly in the shape of Shailene Woodley, as well as a light, simple story arc that you can enjoy if you turn your brain right off.
In this film, however, everything suddenly becomes a lot more serious and unnecessarily complex. Whilst continuing the frustrating habit of using too much of its world’s vocabulary (which is still pretty difficult to grasp three films in), Allegiant never seems to want you to have any fun. There are a couple of action scenes, but they’re too far near the end, and pretty underwhelming anyway.
Instead, it’s basically two hours of trying to advance the series into something more meaningful than a simple young adult sci-fi, like The Hunger Games did very successfully, but it simply comes off as a drab, poorly-written mess. Attempting to introduce political notions about genetic modification and impoverished nations (but failing significantly), there’s nothing in Allegiant to grab onto and enjoy, because it just takes itself too seriously, but doesn’t provide the dramatic heft needed for that vibe to work out.
There are a heap of other problems here too, namely with the performances. Kate Winslet managed to get out whilst she still could, but the remaining actors here all echo exactly what I felt like watching this film: bored out of their minds. Even Shailene Woodley, whose Hollywood career was really kicked into action by this series, looks fed up, rarely cracking a smile and mumbling her gibberish dialogue throughout.
Just like Divergent and Insurgent, there are a lot of A-list actors in here, including Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Jeff Daniels and Miles Teller, but none of them give a performance that looks like they care about what’s going on. It’s not their fault that this is such a dull story to have to act out, but I’m just pointing out that they don’t do much to really improve it even one bit.
Finally, I want to talk about the visuals in Allegiant. The first two films have had a very drab and boring colour palette, consisting mainly of grey backdrops, grey outfits, and grey greyness (apart from some scenes in Insurgent which deserve credit), but the third film’s attempts to rectify it backfire horribly.
If you’re a grey fan, there’s no need to worry, because there’s still a lot of dull imagery here, but what’s most painful to look at is the horrible reddish-purpley landscape outside the walls of Chicago. Made worse by heaps of ugly CGI, I was really turned off this film by the atrocious-looking landscape, and it made the film, which I was already not enjoying at all, that little bit more unpleasant, so overall, I’m giving Allegiant a 3.9.