YA movie adaptations are thriving. Just last year we watched the conclusion to “The Hunger Games” series and the second “The Maze Runner” film was out to entertain. And now “The Divergent Series” is brandishing its third installment, one part of a two-part finale, “Allegiant.” But just because there are a lot of YA movie adaptations, doesn’t make them worthy of praise. “Allegiant” begins where its predecessor, “Insurgent,” left off. And while creative leeway is often a given with adaptations, “Allegiant” almost completely ignores its source material and instead makes the film an action-packed romp that tries to make sense of its barely there plot.

Tris Pryor (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are in the middle of chaos. The factions have been disposed of and new leaders–Johanna (Octavia Spencer) and Evelyn (Naomi Watts)–are on opposing sides and those who sided with the now dead Jeanine (Kate Winslet) are being accused of betrayal and killed. Tris’ brother, Caleb (Ansel Elgort) is one of them.

Tris, Four, along with Caleb, Peter (Miles Teller), and Christina (Zoë Kravitz) plan to escape the city after news that there is a world beyond the wall that surrounds Chicago. Arriving at what was once Chicago’s O’Hare airport, Tris meets David (Jeff Daniels) and finds out the truth about her mother and that she can possibly save everyone because her genes are “pure.” But none of them know the whole story, which puts everyone back home in more danger than they were already facing.

“The Divergent Series” was never astoundingly strong in terms of story or characters. There’s a sense of allure at first in the mystery, but the large part of the books (and by extension the movies) are contrived drama. After the secret as to what’s happened to the world is revealed, the story begins to devolve and struggles to make much sense. Maybe the filmmakers feel the same because the movie cannot be remotely compared to its source material. The majority of the film’s plot is altered and unrecognizable from its source material. “Allegiant” quickly turns itself into a purely action, race-against-the-clock film that tries to make sense of the ridiculous plot.

Having read the actual book, it’s disappointing that one of the main characters who joins Tris’ escape group, Uriah (Keiynan Lonsdale), is left behind and therefore, his role unfortunately diminished. This third installment of the four-part franchise is lackluster and easily the weakest of the three. The pacing is slow, he characters aren’t people you can root for, some of the events are just ridiculous, and the plot isn’t at all very competent. “Allegiant” combines nice set pieces and cool effects, but the action is generally bland and the plot even more so.

40%
40%
Dull

This third installment of the four-part franchise is lackluster and easily the weakest of the three so far. The characters aren't people you can root for, some of the events are a bit ridiculous, and the plot isn't at all very competent. "Allegiant" combines nice set pieces and cool effects but the action is generally bland and the plot even more so.

2star

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About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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