Books into movies… a trend that Hollywood is eating up these days. A simple adaptation to a story provides the time saver that most studios look for these days. Sometimes the adaptation is perfect, but often the case is the movie fails to live up to the majesty of the book. Today the Divergent series gets its third movie and provide fans the visual portrayal of the beloved “classic”. With a mixed card in terms of quality, one could only wonder what this installment had in store. So here we go with another Robbie K movie review.
The trailers declared this to be an action packed adventure not seen before in the series. To an extent they were right, but that doesn’t mean it was the most groundbreaking thing to ever grace the silver screen. Most action scenes were shallow bouts of poor gunplay as prop guns flashed blue lights that led to extras violently jerking before lying down to play dead. These scenes were not too impressive, and were short, boring bouts that held little suspense. The boredom was only momentarily alleviated when Four (Theo James) got his chance to shine with more physical combat that brought the edge I’d been waiting to see. Unfortunately these moment are few and far between. Some gadgets helped liven things up, especially the drones, but our director wasted their potential by cutting corners on the fight scenes, especially the war between the Allegiant and the Factionless (which was almost nonexistent).
Instead this movie’s focus was the drama, which Allegiant has plenty of. This movie is certainly a stereotypical tween movie with pouty teenagers standing in edgy clothing and being pissed off at the world. Tris (Shailene Woodley) faces a broad spectrum of psychological challenges from making amends with her brother to determining the truth with their new allies. Some of these relationships have a little bite and were intriguing to me, but others were very shallow pools that ended just as soon as it started. This movie was very rushed in my opinion, and skipped a lot of details that were necessary to match the suspense in the book. But to do that would take twice as long to match, so instead we get this hashed together mess. Of course younger audience members who aren’t obsessive of the book will be fine with all the cheap stunts.
As seems to be the case with many teen movies, the actors seem to be the focus for directors over the plot itself. Woodley once more reprises her role with gusto, catching the intense ire and determination of Tris. Unfortunately her show of emotion was lacking and she felt very one-dimensional to me compared to her book counterpart. Four wasn’t much better, but James had the scowl and smolder that many teenage heartthrobs enjoy. This reviewer appreciated the determination, honor, and justice James portrayed in the movie, but again the few times he tried to break that character it fell flat. Jeff Daniels as the infamous David was a nice touch, Daniels brought the foreboding sense of deceit the character. But like a lot of this movie he could have been used more than he was, perhaps something that we will see in the next installment. Fortunately Miles Teller managed to bring his charm to the movie again. His portrayal of Peter was spot on, with Teller capturing the arrogance, fickleness, and other seedy qualities of the character. In addition, he was a fantastic comedic relief to the film.
Outside of these qualities, there isn’t much Allegiant offers in terms of a film. This movie was very rushed for me and lacked in so many areas. While special effects and settings were very well designed, and the cities certainly unique in design, I feel they were not used to their full potential. With the action scenes a bore, the acting very one dimensional, and the dram over the top, there isn’t much to recommend for a theater visit. While this movie was better than Insurgent to me, Allegiant still was lacking in so many areas and only proves the series continues to go down hill. Reread the book for this one, or wait until it comes out to Redbox.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.5