It’s a shame that many popular young adult film series’ finales are adapted into two separate films these days—the result is usually an unevenly distributed plot, which only makes the finale of an epic storyline fall flat. Unfortunately for Divergent fans, the third film of the series—Allegiant—falls into that very trap. At one point, protagonist Tris—played by Shailene Woodley—boasts to the council of The Bureau of Genetic Warfare that they keep making the “same mistakes.” It’s a startling coincidence, actually, since director Robert Schwentke and his fellow filmmakers seem to be having the same exact problem.
Allegiant’s preceding film Insurgent ended with the downfall of Kate Winslet’s dictatorial character, Jeanine, and the citizens of a futuristic Chicago ready to cross the wall that divides them from the rest of the post-apocalyptic world. In Allegiant, however, it seems like the characters forgot all of what has happened, as they allow a new tyrannical leader to rise: Evelyn. Portrayed by Naomi Watts, Evelyn forbids anyone to go to the other side.
Naturally, this doesn’t stop Tris and her strong-willed boyfriend Four—played by Theo James—from going over the walls with their friends Christina—played by Zoë Kravitz—and Tori—played by Maggie Q. Tris’ brother Caleb—played by Ansel Elgort—and their “frenemy” Peter—played by Miles Teller—accompany the four to the other side.
What ensues after this rebellion is an exploration of a new landscape and civilization that seems very anticlimactic based on the actors’ reactions and dialogue. Their response to encountering so many new things is underwhelming, making the film more unbelievable than it already is. For instance, their initial reactions to both a Mars-esque world and a high tech bunker are as simple and boring as, “Wow.”
That’s not to belittle some of the solid acting from the leading stars, however. Woodley and James shared a pleasant chemistry and had independent moments in which their characters showed determination and power. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t go for the rest of the character dynamics.
Teller’s character cracks out-of-place jokes as comic relief—jokes that are unoriginal and almost annoying. Jeff Daniels—who plays David—brings no spark to a very unoriginal character. As time goes on, the interest in all of the characters diminishes and all we’re left with are explanations of the plot and non-thrilling action.
The twists in the film were only anticipated by the audience and Four because Tris chooses to believe that this new society—the Bureau of Genetic Warfare—doesn’t have any flaws, regardless of the fact that they’re the ones that created the chaotic and divided city in the first place in order to create a pure genetic race.
The problem with Allegiant stems from the struggle to split Veronica Roth’s novel into two adequate and entertaining parts. This has been a trend among popular franchises ever since the last of the Harry Potter films were made. But because Allegiant was clumped into this group, the audience is left with as many questions coming out as they had going into the movie.
The characters’ dialogue was mainly based on exposition and the conflicts were quite similar to the other films, such as the issue between Johanna’s—played by Octavia Spencer—allegiant group and Evelyn’s faction-less group. Overall, nothing felt accomplished. Sure, we may know more about this world, but it feels as if one of the two hours could have taken care of this story.
Maybe the final film will be better and the questions as to what will happen to Tris, Chicago and the rest of the world will become clearer. But for now, Allegiant stands as a disappointing lull amongst the Divergent films.