Film Review: The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Written By Tommy Tracy

Divergent poster

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a teenager holds the power to overthrow a government regime with a group of rebels at his/her (usually her) side in a post-apocalyptic world. You have? Just checking. Yes, this is exactly what we get in the newest Divergent film, Allegiant, or The Hunger Games: Part 9, as I’ve been calling it.

Divergent pic 1

We see Tris (Shailene Woodley), and her band of rebels, Four (Theo James) and Peter (douchebag supreme, Miles Teller), as they forge over the large wall that separates them and Chicago. There they meet Jeff Daniels’ antagonist (whose name was so forgettable), who claims he knows all about divergents and wants to help them. The problem? He’s basically telling them he’s evil and they go along with him.

And that’s the main problem with this film series. These characters are so dumb, they can’t truly think for themselves. The biggest idiot of the group is Tris, who is supposed to be a strong female lead, worthy of the role placed upon her, and an inspiration to young females. The problem is, she isn’t. Much like Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss and Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele (I’ll gladly bash her at every turn), these women go from strong, independent characters from well-written and intriguing novels, to whiny, self-indulgent idiots that do more harm to their source material than good.

I’ve got nothing against Divergent as a novel and completely understand it’s appeal to young readers. Much like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and Twilight, these novels can be great and deserve the fan base they have. However, what works on the page doesn’t always work well on screen, and that’s the problem with these latest installments. For instance, much like the previous installments, this deals with mind control and dictatorship. While this can be great on the page, it translates poorly to the screen because there’s no true story behind it. It is what it is, and if you don’t read the novels then you don’t truly get it. Unlike older adaptations such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings (and to some extent, comic book movies), Allegiant doesn’t expand on what the source had before it, expecting the audience to understand it without a true explanation. That’s poor filmmaking, all around.

Divergent pic 2

This film is garbage. If you’re a fan of the novels, that’s great. I’m sure they’re a fantastic read, but don’t waste your time and money on a poor adaptation that doesn’t do its franchise justice. The characters are moronic, the plot is convoluted and pointless, and the CGI is early 2000’s bad. Little did I know that we’re actually getting a fourth film (because money!), and as I left the theater I realized how little this series deserves it. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Twilight all earned their two-parters, telling intriguing stories and making their audiences yearn for a final film. This does not, and come next year I’ll probably forget all about this film.

Allegiant Final Grade: 1 out of 10

P.S. I’m not a fan of Twilight or Hunger Games. I’m just saying they earned the right to be split into two movies.