The Divergent Series: Allegiant

  • The Divergent Series: Allegiant
  • Shailene Woodley, Jeff Daniels
  • Directed by Robert Schwentke
The Divergent Series: Allegiant; Review; 2016
Zoe Kravitz, Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, and Miles Teller in 'The Divergent Series: Allegiant.' Murray Close

That other YA-dystopia series about a young woman fighting bad guys phones in a penultimate chapter

If you're not mad as hell, so mad that you're not gonna take it anymore, then you damn well ought to be. The Divergent Series: Allegiant is another one of those cynical Hollywood cash grabs that takes the third book in bestselling juvie-lit trilogy (see Twilight and The Hunger Games) and stretches that last book into two movies so audiences are tricked into paying twice for egregiously padded piffle. Diligent Divergent readers probably know Veronica Roth's third book was hardly good enough for one movie. So the screenwriters actually invent stuff of their own. If only their stuff had a spark of life it might be forgivable, but Allegiant plods along like a franchise on its last legs. Who remembers where we left off last time in Insurgent? My point exactly — no one.

Shailene Woodley, who deserves better than working paycheck duty, is back as Tris or The One of whatever you want to call her. She hangs out in Dystopian Chicago where evil leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) has been replaced by evil Evelyn (Naomie Watts). Evelyn's plans for domination send Tris over the wall, along with her hunky love, Four (Theo James), her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort), her friend Christina (Zoe Kravitz) and Peter, so cleverly played by Miles Teller that we don't know who's side he's on. However, I should remind you that Evelyn is Four's mother and that a new villain pops up in the form of commander David (Jeff Daniels) who's a honcho at the Bureau of Genetic Welfare located on the grounds of Chicago's former O'Hare Airport.

Intrigued? Don't be. You thought maybe the old caste cast system that divided the city into five factions (Erudite, Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, Amity) died with Jeanine. Joke's on you. David's got his own system, which basically turns his new plan into the same old plan we had before with worse screenwriting, lousier acting, tortoise-pacing and way cheesier computer effects. Director Robert Schwentke and his trio of writers haven't given us a single reason to hang around for the last installment, due out next year and laughably called Ascendant — ironic, considering the only place the misbegotten series is going is down down down.

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