Allegiant Review

The third Divergent movie moves beyond the walls of Chicago, but ultimately goes nowhere.

Allegiant is a snoozefest. Like, literally - I fell asleep twice during the movie. Fortunately I'd waited until it came out on DVD, so I could rewind and catch up on what I'd missed (which wasn't much). It’s a real shame for a franchise that started off strong with 2014’s Divergent.

The third film picks up right after Insurgent, the series’ last shaky outing. With their carefully-created world-of-factions wrecked and all the main antagonists defeated, Allegiant finds itself in the tough spot of having to reinvent itself in mid-stream. The characters quickly embark on a mission to find out what lies beyond the city walls, but alas - all they find is Exposition Land, a dreary place of speechifying and world setup.

The ballooning cast of characters gets short shrift as well. Christina (Zoe Kravitz), Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Tori (Magige Q) are barely more than cameos. There are a few scenes between Evelyn (Naomi Watts) and Johanna (Octavia Spencer) as they build up new factions amid the ruins of the old, but that whole storyline feels more like a side-show. Tris (Shailene Woodley) sleepwalks her way through most of the movie, barely registering any emotion. The chemistry with Four (Theo James) couldn’t ignite a pile of wood doused in gasoline. Miles Teller’s Peter is allowed to tag along for idiotic reasons (seriously — how many times will they let him betray them before they get the message??), but I can’t really blame the writers for keeping him there. He’s the only character with even a spark of personality.

The whole plot was silly, but the finale in particular reached epic levels of absurdity. There were a few decent action set pieces, like the moment where they climb the wall, but ultimately nothing to write home about.

Tris and Christina

What I will give the movie props for, though, is having a fistful of female characters of varying ages and ethnicities. That’s pretty darn remarkable in the action/sci-fi genre. Tris was kind of lame in this movie, but that was mostly because the plot went nowhere. The first two movies definitely established her Self-Rescuing Princess cred, and maybe the finale will claw its way out of the hole it’s in.

But given that Lionsgate is targeting it for a TV-only release and some of the main actors may not be on board? I won’t be holding my breath.

Ratings

  • Princess Power: 4 Stars
  • Overall: 1 Stars
  • Bechdel Test: Pass

Learn about my Ratings System.

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