THE DIVERGENT SERIES : ALLEGIANT
Well- worn genes
released OUT NOW! 12A | 121 minutes
Director Robert Schwentke
Cast Shailene Woodley, Theo James,
Miles Teller, Naomi Watts, Ansel Elgort
The films adapted from Veronica Roth’s Divergent novels have so far proved to be competent versions of the stories of Tris ( Shailene Woodley), Four ( Theo James) and the rest of the gang in a dystopian future Chicago divided into factions by different human traits. And so it proves for Allegiant, the first of two offerings spawned from the third book in the YA trilogy, which peels back yet another layer of the narrative onion here as Tris discovers what was really behind her home city and its divided people.
As with Mockingjay Part 1, it suffers a little from needing to spin the wheels to draw out the climax for the next film, but maintains the action level with Four’s dive into what the Bureau of Genetic Welfare is really all about.
This of course means that themes of eugenics, ethical dilemmas and the concept of trying to unite people instead of splitting them are hit hard again, while our heroes hold to their usual modes: Tris the heroic decision- maker, Four the thoughtful soldier type, Caleb ( Ansel Elgort) the nervy worry wart and Peter ( Miles Teller) the total shit, always looking out for himself and delivering snarky laughs along the way.
Director Robert Schwentke lets the expanding plot up the ante, but some of this world’s bigger faults are also magnified: not all of the setpieces work, and the big climactic plot feels repetitive, especially when it comes to a leader making bad choices. Still, Allegiant is diverting enough and while the continuing changes may not please all fans of the books, it solidly lays the groundwork for the finale. James White
According to Theo James, some of the cast entertained themselves between takes by having head- butting competitions. Ouch.
“Have you seen my pen? Can’t find it anywhere.”