PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Review - Matt Mungle
**In theaters March 18th 2016**
Synopsis: After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four beyond the wall that encircles Chicago to finally discover the shocking truth of what lies behind it.
Review: In the world of dystopian film franchises DIVERGENT seems to be the one series most people are adamant about. You either really love them or truly hate them. They are certainly not as popular as MAZE RUNNER and HUNGER GAMES so the need to split the final act into two films is just arrogant. The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1 is fun visually but the thin script and non-engaging dialogue make it hard to get behind.
Jeanine is now gone but the atmosphere inside the walled Chicago is still volatile. Death trials. dissension, and a lack of leadership have made things go from bad to worse. Tris (Shailene Woodley) has decided enough is enough and flees the city along with Four (Theo James), Peter (Miles Teller), Christina (Zoë Kravitz), and Caleb (Ansel Elgort). They are in search of answers. What they find is more questions in the form of a unified city and its charismatic leader, David (Jeff Daniels). He has been watching Tris and her friends since birth and the people of this new area revere them as legendary heroes. But of course not all is what it seems.
The world that this film creates is stunning to see on the big screen. The effects and imagery draws the eye in and submerges you in a futuristic society that is unrecognizable. The gadgets and vehicles are technologically advanced and fit the surroundings. The film immediately sets up the mood and tension of those left in Chicago. For a brief moment you are encouraged about what is to unfold over the next two hours. But then people start talking and the plot gets lost in its self. It is then you realize that the only thing this has going for it is a pretty face; or two.
Tris no doubt get's a lot of screen time in this one. We get to see her torn between her love for Four and her deep desire to get answers from David. Woodley brings a lot of depth to Tris and without it this movie would be even more ridiculous. The scenes later on between her and Daniels are the most solid. But too many holes are left unfilled and we end up not really caring about his motives and the "full picture". Perhaps they are trying to set things up for part two but why bother. They should have tried to make one solid thick film to end it instead ff trying to draw it out. That now leaves the need for too many failed attempts at witty humor and character interaction.
Four is probably the best character to watch. He is a tough, focused, no nonsense guy. He doesn't allow emotion or favoritism to cloud his judgment. Peter is the comic relief and Teller is always able to bring that cocky arrogant swagger to a role. You certainly can't trust him but you want to hang out with him regardless.
As far as movies go these characters are all likable and dynamic. The issue is in the things the actors are asked to say and do. They are all talented young people so the fault is not in their ability. No one can honestly deliver lines of lackluster dialogue in a way that is riveting or believable. For this installment Noah Oppenheim was brought in to help with the screenplay. We know he has skills for what he did with the first Maze Runner screenplay. So the obvious fault is in the source material. The books were not solid enough to transfer to the big screen. The franchise started when this YA genre was exploding and someone figured anything would work. Now all these years later they are discovering what can stand up and what can't. This one just can't.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1 is rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity. To be honest there is nothing in this one that would be a surprise for those who have seen the past franchise flicks. The violence and themes are the strongest concern for parents. Even the nudity isn't really nudity. You just happen to know they aren't wearing clothes without every seeing anything. Plus it is not in a sexual moment but more of a Silkwood shower moment. I give it 2 out of 5 gas masks. To be honest I would like to get a hit of that stuff so I can forget all about this flick.