Thanks to the success of the over hyped Twilight series it kicked off a trend of a variety of young adult novels. When Divergent hit the big screen in 2014 it became yet another popular adaptation at the box office officially kicking off the cinematic franchise. With the first two films becoming successful it comes as no surprise that once again they decided to split the final book Allegiant into two films. Could this latest chapter take the series to the next level it needs or was the split just another studio cash grab?
The Divergent Series: Allegiant follows Tris who must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago after the revelations in Insurgent. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. With films like this you know that the same cast is returning along with a few new additions to the story including Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Jeff Daniels, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Daniel Dae Kim, Maggie Q, Bill Skarsgard, Ray Stevenson, Mekhi Phifer, and Ashley Judd. The beginning of this film feels like they may be trying to do something different this time around taking them to a new locale and expanding the story to a bigger playing field. This does offer up some interesting new visuals to the story, but little else.
Once they get over the wall you initially feel like you are in for something new and cool, but then the rest of the movie slows to a halt and moves at almost a snail’s pace for the majority of the time. They have plenty of twists and turns throughout the film, but they are handled in such a generic way that you see them all coming way before anything happens whether you have read the book or not. What few action moments are in the film are decent enough with mostly Theo James hand to hand fight sequences being the best of the film. The rest of the action is fine, but there is just a lack of urgency missing overall throughout the entire film. Despite the danger coming they just never seem to feel the need to hurry up. There are some story elements that make little sense as well in regards to details and in relation to the final moments of the film. Without spoiling anything it just felt like everything went from an impossible chance of stopping what was happening to the easiest and simple solution ever. This in turn made the entire film feel like they were never in any real danger in the first place.
Fans of the book series will likely still enjoy the film because it isn’t a bad movie, it just has nothing happening and due to it being split feels incomplete and like many of the others offers up little to the story that feels like it moved anything forward. The ending is abrupt and instead of feeling like the end to yet another chapter is just a bad cut in the middle of the story. This could have possibly been helped with some well-placed music to drive the final moment home, but instead it just feels flat and incomplete. Some will argue that of course it is incomplete because it is leading into the final chapter and while that is true it shouldn’t leave you feeling confused and in a state of “was that it?” Hopefully the final chapter will bring it full circle and make this one feel more complete but only time will tell.