Why Allegiant failed to meet this book lover’s expectations
We’ve been waiting all this time to see what’s beyond the wall, and I’ll tell you plain and simple what’s beyond it: two hours of cut scenes with little explanation, a frustratingly hardheaded protagonist, puddles of radioactive waste that sort of look like cherry Jell-O before you refrigerate it, creepy surveillance systems that seem pretty stalkerish, and a lackluster ending.
As usual, Tris Prior is trying to save the world, and we love her for that. She’s made a serious transformation from the “Stiff” she was at the start of the series to Dauntless she’s become—plus her longer haircut in this film is killing it.
The only problem is her unwavering trust in others and herself when—sorry, feminists—she should really just listen to her boyfriend, Four aka Tobias Eaton. Just like in Insurgent, Tris does what she thinks is right, completely ignoring Four’s judgments and advice even though he has proven time and time again to be incredibly levelheaded on top of those chiseled good looks.
Tris, Four, and a few others make their way on the other side of the wall following the reveal of a message that there is life outside their city of Chicago at the end of Insurgent. The scene in which they scale the wall is meant to be incredibly intense, but comes off as laughable thanks to cheesy explosions and the so clearly green-screen shot action of the group running up the wall with the help of grappling hooks and rope retracting-harnesses.
They made a scene of Tris and Four scaling a hundred-something foot Ferris wheel in the first film look so realistic I felt nauseous in my seat, but the CGI effects of Allegiant made me embarrassed for the actors who surely felt the same at the premieres.
After scaling down a cliff and making a small trek through a radioactive wasteland made of red jelly-like substances, the group is met by members of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare and are each flown in incredibly cheesy jelly pods to the BGW.
Upon their arrival, they’re greeted like celebrities and learn that children and adults have spent their lives watching as life unfolds in Chicago for Tris and the others through high-tech surveillance systems. Kinda shady or ridiculously shady?
The ever-increasing dubiousness that surrounds the BGW causes riffs between Tris and Four as it is also divulged that her ‘divergence’ actually means that she is pure, and that everyone else, Four included, is damaged. David, the director of the BGW, requires Tris’ purity to convince The Council to save Chicago from the war brewing between Evelyn and Johanna for power, or so he says.
Tris believes every word David tells her, while Four tries to be the voice of reason about who the BGW truly are. She is sucked into believing that all the ‘work’ the BGW is doing on behalf of the Chicago experiment is good and for the betterment of the people, while Four has serious doubts. It’s hard to believe in your hero when she’s the most gullible protagonist possible.
More than anything, this film’s worst quality was the insane amount of cut scenes with little to no explanation of where we were moving to or what we were doing there. We want details! It’s frustrating to go from a 500-something page book to a two-hour film in which you feel like you’ve run a mile after it was over due to the back and forth style of direction you experienced.
I was originally upset that they’d tried to cram the entire book into one film, as this isn’t called Allegiant Part One but after some googling I’ve found that there will be a fourth movie to end the series called Ascendant. I can only hope that it is better than this one was considering the end was painfully dull. Where was the cliffhanger?
The film’s most redeeming quality, however, would be Four’s fight scenes. The quick, hand-to-hand combat is way more engaging than anything else in this film, plus Four isn’t so bad to look at.