Well- worn genes

SFX - - Reviews -

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.”

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