Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Jeff Daniels, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Maggie Q, Jonny Weston, Bill Skarsgard, Keiynan Lonsdale, Daniel Dae Kim, Ray Stevenson, Mekhi Pfifer, Ashley Judd
Directed By: Robert Schwentke
I have a love/hate relationship with the Divergent series. I read the first two books, and saw the first two movies. The first movie and the first book aren’t so far off from each other, so I ended up thoroughly enjoying Divergent. However, Insurgent the movie is a horrible bastardization of the novel, and as an adaptation, it failed. I actually did not read the third novel, because I felt like I would enjoy the film more if I had no idea what was in the book. I had invested myself in these characters, and I wanted to like them more than I did in Insurgent. I can’t ignore that the film franchise continues to ignore Uriah, who I know should have gone with Tris, but didn’t because in the film series he’s a minor character. It’s dumb.
Tris (Woodley) has just unlocked the secrets of the outside world, but Evelyn (Watts) would like to keep everyone inside Chicago. So, Tris and her gang breakout anyway, and find there is civilization, led by David (Daniels), who seems welcoming at first. Four (James) believes he’s up to something, and sets out to prove it. Meanwhile, a war is brewing in Chicago.
Not knowing much about the Allegiant book, I was able to just sit back and evaluate the film for itself. It’s still disappointing. It’s still poorly written. Tris and Four have almost no chemistry in this film, yet the entire franchise rests on their shoulders. They’re written in a way where they’re off doing different things, so there aren’t a bunch of moments between them to anchor the film. The visual effects suck in this film. The budget was clearly slashed.
The entire film rests on Peter following through with his task, which he is doing. We are shown that David controls everything, and I guess he decided to sacrifice Peter too? But then he let Peter open the door and get out? That literally ruined everything. If David had just let Peter do his job, he could have quietly killed Peter later. Peter had no reason to not follow through, as he believed he was going to get everything he ever dreamed of for doing David’s bidding. It just felt like poor writing that David would try and eliminate Peter which was totally unnecessary, when Peter was doing his job perfectly.
The Divergent series will come to an end next year, and I have to say it will be a poorly mismanaged end. This franchise had so much potential, but they’ve squandered it in the sequels.
FINAL GRADE: C