So I watched Allegiant…
This movie’s come out at quite an inopportune time. Everyone’s busy talking about Batman v Superman, and before that they were talking about Deadpool so really this movie’s gotten almost zero hype – then again I don’t interact with its intended fan base so who knows. Going into this film I wasn’t particularly excited. I hadn’t really enjoyed the previous two installments but I’m too far into the journey to pull out now.
Okay, basic plot: After Tris (Shailene Woodley) opened a mysterious box which shows that the inhabitants of Chicago are not the entirety of the surviving human population, many of Chicago’s residents are eager to explore the world beyond the walls of their city. Evelyn (Naomi Watts) – who is now a major leader in the city – is hesitant to allow anyone to go beyond the walls, fearing what lies beyond them. Tris along with Four (Theo James) and a few other friends rebel against Evelyn’s orders and abscond from the city. What they find beyond the walls provides several questions about their world but raises infinitely more.
I’ve all but given up on the Divergent series of films.By this I mean that I’ll continue to watch them until the eventual finale but I’m given up on trying to understand them. Allegiant tries to explain how a personality trait can be a fundamental enough issue to base different factions on and it actually does a good job at it. Only problem is that the explanation provided raises a horde of questions. The lack of logic in this film is like a hydra – every time you handle one question, two more rise up in its place.
The majority of movies have an inherent lack of logic to them, which we accept. We overlook the way heroes survive events where death is not just a possibility but an absolute certainty. We’ve come to terms with the fact that all bad guys are horrible shots and the protagonist will always be an ace marksman. These are plot holes and inaccuracies so commonplace that pointing them out is trivial and of no use. The problem is that this film is littered with errors in logic – it’s overflowing with them, in fact. These numerous, glaring errors stick out like pieces of glass in your eye and where you would normally blink and ignore a movie lie like our hero dodging 1 000 000 from trained soldiers, you’re now forced to think on it because your brain has nothing to occupy itself with. This movie doesn’t do enough good to make you forget about all the wrong it’s doing.
I have to applaud this film for its steadfast and non-negotiable stand against originality. It’s actually quite impressive how many films Allegiant blatantly steals from. We all know that its predecessors were borrowing heavily from Hunger Games and later on Maze Runner but this film completely raids The Maze Runner‘s bag of tricks. It even steals the visual style from Oblivion for good measure. Now if you haven’t seen any of those movies, you may leave the theatre impressed, praising the film’s style; but I have seen those movies and they are better versions of themselves than Allegiant is trying to be. Because the film steals so heavily from everything else, its exact plot can be worked out from the five minute mark. There are no surprises or thrills in this film – the people you think are going to be bad guys are bad guys, the people you think will redeem themselves, do so. I’ve watched Maze Runner, Hunger Games and Oblivion so there really was no point in me seeing this film.
I’ve criticised this film quite heavily but, truth be told, I enjoyed it more than Insurgent. It still made all the same mistakes but the mistakes were more enjoyable to watch – meaning, I actually managed to stay awake through the entire movie. I think the new screenwriters made a huge difference and the film felt lighter and easier to process. This could just be because the final book in the trilogy was split into two movies so there’s less subject matter to try to cram into the film.
I also enjoyed Shailene Woodley a lot more this time around. I still think Tris is too much of a damsel-in-distress and needs to be more proactive but Woodley’s portrayal is far more powerful in this installment. The inclusion of Jeff Daniels was also a master stroke. His character is (as are all the other characters in this film) not particularly well-written but Daniels puts in an entertaining and well measured performance. Miles Teller who I had found to be the shining star – acting wise – of the previous two installments is a bit stale in this film. Teller seems to be over the character and not really interested in the film as a whole.
Overall, Allegiant is probably my favourite film out of the Divergent Series but that really isn’t saying much. If you allow yourself to not completely care about this movie’s MANY glaring flaws and don’t try to attach any logic to it…I still wouldn’t recommend watching it. It’s average and only enjoyable because of the many elements it poaches from other (better) films. 6/10