Allegiant Part 1 is an Insipid Sequel in an Anemic Series
The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part 1
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Screenplay by: Noah Oppenheim, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Stephen Chbosky
Based on Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Starring: Shailene Woodley,Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Ray Stevenson, Daniel Dae Kim, Bill Skarsgård, Octavia Spencer, Naomi Watts
Running time 121 minutes
Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity
After the overthrow of the five factions, the now faction less Chicago is descending into chaos. When the execution of the Erudite prisoners begins under the leadership of Evelyn Johnson-Eaton (Naomi Watts), Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley) and Tobias “Four” Eaton (Theo James) rescue Caleb Prior (Ansel Elgort). With the help of Christina (Zoë Kravitz), and the traitor turned alley Peter Hayes (Miles Teller), they head over the wall enclosing Chicago to discover what lies in the wastelands beyond. While they are outside the city, discovering the truth about the world in which they live the former Amity faction leader, Johanna Reyes (Octavia Spencer), forms a new faction, the Allegiant, to oppose and fight back against Evelyn. Meanwhile outside the wall Tris, Four, Caleb, Christina and Peter discover that Chicago is actually a 200-year long genetic experiment that may have finally born fruit. However, this harsh truth forces Tris and Four to confront the true leader of Chicago, David (Jeff Daniels) in an effort to save their home, and everyone that lives there.
Walking out of the theatre after watching Allegiant Part 1 I was not disappointed with the film, I did not hate it, but I definitely did not like it. It is no worse than the first two installments of The Divergent Series, Divergent and Insurgent, it is also no better. All three films are thoroughly mediocre, and unforgivably dull. Allegiant is not just lifeless, it is uninspired and completely uninteresting, and forgettable. Running a full two hours long there is not a single line of dialogue worth the ink it took to print the script, which is a significant problem as the film is almost entirely driven by dialogue. Given the ridiculous nature of the plot, it would take some spectacular dialogue, delivered by highly skilled actors under the guidance of a masterful director to sell it, and this film has none of those. What it does have, is a long runtime, a lot of green screen, wooden acting, and a nearly incomprehensible plot, and fifteen, maybe twenty, minutes of enjoyable action.
I do not doubt that fans of the book series will enjoy this film, and fans of the first two films will find this just as satisfying. I do not fault anyone that enjoys this, it is not an outright terrible film, it is bad, but so benign that at best it is a waste of time, at worst, a disappointing waste of money. If you want to watch this movie, I would urge you to wait for it to arrive on one of the multitude of streaming, and rental services that are available these days. With luck, you will be able to enjoy this film, prevent more money making it back to the studio responsible with flooding the market with these films, and hopefully encourage them to stop making them, or at least do a better job. The fans, and authors, of young adult dystopian fiction deserve a higher quality film.