Some film series get better with each outing. The stars get more comfortable in their roles, and the scripts are increasingly refined. Unfortunately, “The Divergent Series” has been doing the exact opposite, with “Allegiant” being virtually unwatchable.
What a mess this series has become. After poorly trying to channel elements of the matrix in the previous episode, “Allegiant” now fully jumps the shark by constantly trying to one-up itself with plot twists and betrayals. It only takes about 15 minutes into this two hour film for the audience to abandon its connection with all of the main characters. If this humanity’s last best chance, perhaps it’s better if the species just dies out?
This is the first in the series to not be released in 3D, an odd choice considering two things: First, a number of the shots, especially those involving flying CGI, seem to be purposely designed for 3D. They have that same, cheap shadow-box look seen in cheap post converted 3D movies. Secondly, studios will often post-convert a film to 3D if they expect it to perform poorly in an effort to increase box off numbers. It seems for once the studio anticipated the cost of post conversion to be more than the potential boost in ticket sales? (ouch!)
In addition to a plethora of odd directing choices (including some jarringly bad Deep Focus shots), the script feels like it was written by committee of middle schoolers. There are such winners as “This hole looks radioactive, or at least it was in the past 100 years”, spoken by a character standing in a dead, wasteland with bubbling, caustic red pools of mud. Or the phrase “Gadzooks!” shouted by an unseen character. (Miles Teller?) Perhaps that dialogue is fitting considering the characters in that scene are encased in “plasma globes” reminiscent of the full body condoms seen in The Naked Gun, which are then stuck to the outside of military airships. (If only we were making this up!)
Credit should be given the to all of the cast who do their best to play this ridiculous material as straight as possible. They remain fully committed to this story line that now revolves around the “Bureau of Genetic Wellness” who have a couple centuries of experience manipulating genetics, are able to identify both “damaged” and “pure” DNA, but are oddly incapable of replicating what they consider to be “pure.” The only good thing about this film is it will give you plenty of things to rant about with your friends with afterwards.
The Divergent Series:Allegiant
A few lingering questions:
- What makes Tris so special? They say she’s the only “pure” but a number of the people at O’hare are also identified as pure?
- A character’s early memories are shown via “memory tabs.” Were these falsified memories? Based on later scenes, that young character was likely gassed and had no remaining memories.
- Two pilots get shot in the back during a mid-flight fight. One apparently comes back to life, but instead of stopping the ship from crashing, decides to leave the cockpit to join the fight??
- Do they keep memory tabs on -everyone- or just a handful of people they think might some day be relevant?
- What’s with the creepy voyeuristic overtones?