Length: 120 Minutes
Main Cast: Shailene Woodley
Production Company: Red Wagon Entertainment
Directed By: Robert Schwentke
Written By Nelson Cumming
I woke up this morning with an optimistic attitude. I was going to see the live action version “The Jungle Book” because I like the animated version of it as a child. I made the mistake of arriving at the movie theatre 10 minutes before it started. That was because “The Jungle Book” sold out. So my next thought was “How about seeing The Boss as it has one of the most talented females comedians of recent times: Melissa McCarthy” That was also sold out. The only movie that was not sold out was “Allegiant” and that is the one I went to.
After seeing “Allegiant” I learnt a life lesson the hard way: If you know there is high demand for a movie, arrive 30-40 minutes before it starts. That way I can avoid seeing a crappy movie in the event a potentially good movie sells out. Allegiant reminded me of “The Island” directed by Michael Bay and even that was better. If a Michael “The Godfather of Young Teenage Exploitation Films That Destroys The Attention Span” Bay is making a better film about eugenics and genetic purity than you are. You have problems. Severe problems.
This film has a dystopic feel to it (which is good), from places like the darkly confined areas of the slums of Chicago to the bright orange wastelands reminiscent of Mars and a sky high metropolis you would find the best and most highly advanced human beings written from a science fiction novella. Tris and Four escape with their friends from a war-torn Chicago to find the Bureau of Genetic Warfare who operate in a large city. It is soon revealed that their intentions are to separate, destroy and rebuild society with genetically “pure” human beings. Tris, Four and their friends have to prevent this from happening to their people
This movie is dumb on many levels. From the below-average CGI, The inconsistent script, the wooden acting from the young actors, the complete lack of chemistry between Tris and Four and the repetitive action scenes made “Allegiant” so boring to watch. The most horrible crime is the acting by far. I could tell Theo James (Four) was there just cash a paycheck. Absolutely zero effort from him and his performance was so wooden and forced. Because of this, I did not care about the love relationship between the Shailene Woodley and Theo James characters. That is bad if the relationship we should care most about doesn’t work.
The other main problem is the action sequences. Not only were they repetitive but they were generic and uninteresting to begin with. They were just basic action scenes with shootings. Despite this, there was a cool scene when Theo James’ character is trying out these floating disc tracking systems that detect hidden enemies. If only it was used to its full potential during actual combat sequences it may have been half-decent. When there were 25-30 minutes of the movie left I looked around the room and only saw blank and bored faces. I also had a blank and bored face.
There were two good things about “Allegiant”. By “good” I mean competent and not great. The visuals of the wasteland areas outside of Chicago was convincing and so was Jeff Daniels performance. Daniels is pretty much the guy that narrates the whole story so his talent is pretty much wasted. At least for a couple of moments he got me interested in his pure hemogenic vision of society. But the movie is not challenging about our humanness beyond the fact that “eugenics is bad, we must stop it”. Don’t get me wrong, I believe eugenics is a bad thing but that theme is so overused in movies that I don’t really care seeing it anymore.
I (now happily) admit that I have not read the original books nor have I seen the first two movies “Divergent” and “Insurgent”. I now know for certain you do not need to read the books or see the other movies to know when a film is bad. People are apparently upset that “Allegiant” does not follow the book. I can tell you that it is the tip of the iceberg in terms of its problems. Sixteen years ago when “Battlefield Earth” was released the last thing anyone was complaining about was the fact that movie only covered half of L. Ron Hubbard’s book. “Allegiant” has too many movie errors to ignore and next year a third and final sequel will be released called “Ascendent” God help me. *