Allegiant: Anything but loyal
April 7, 2016
Filed under Arts & Entertainment
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The Chicago Tris Prior calls home is nearly unrecognizable. The thriving city of deep-dish slices and Cubs fans we know is in ruins, setting the tone for the dystopian crusade for individual choice that recurs in each film of the Divergent series. In “Allegiant” Tris and Tobias take up arms yet again to save their city. Likeable supporting characters, a good dose of humor, and a relevant theme are the only elements preventing Hollywood’s representation of the best selling book trilogy from falling into the category of disappointing sequels.
For avid readers, “Allegiant” is a meager portrayal of Veronica Roth’s trilogy, staying true to the plot so rarely that it should bear the title of a stand alone film. Except for a few key plot points and the familiar cast of characters, Hollywood completely rewrote the script to fit the description of action packed, high-tech special-effects flicks that overwhelm the blockbuster list. Outside the safety of the massive walls encircling Chicago, lies a futuristic world chocked full of flying ships, memory gas, and advanced weaponry that could have been xeroxed from “Hunger Games” or “Maze Runner.”
As typical of books turned movie, Hollywood found a way to strip away distinct elements that brought the book series to the top of the best seller list. This becomes even more evident through the identicality the movie has to both “Divergent” and “Insurgent.” It’s been done before, and it is impossible to imagine the franchise releasing yet another Divergent clone. Still, with a couple of snarky comments from bad boy Peter and the dorky naivety of Tris’s brother Caleb I found my laugh obnoxiously reverberating throughout the dark theatre. These recurring characters weren’t the only ones to boost the film. New appearances such as wall outsiders Nita and Matthew add depth to the story, their characters remain ambiguous until the closing scenes.
However, the strength of these characters highlight the predictable, surface level role of Tris Prior and the sub-par acting that accompanies it. Shailene Woodley under no circumstances can realistically handle an automatic gun and rebel attire. Even so, the resonating theme accompanied by high quality visual effects, will prevent you from leaving the theatre feeling as if you lost two hours of your life. An ode to individualism and the importance of accepting everyone as a unique person rings out to modern movements of equality. Tris accuses that society keeps making the same mistake: attempting to categorize people into groups. Today, the crusade to demolish the walls that have so long separated people into sub groups is more powerful than ever, and this relevance adds a much needed respectability to “Allegiant.”
Allegiant is more suitable for DVD or TV viewing in the future as we await the most likely predictable conclusion to the Divergent franchise.
Running time: 120 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity
Awards: $29,000,000 in box office opening weekend
Significant actors: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, and Ansel Elgort