Movie Review: The Divergent Series: Allegiant

By: Shanna Sweitzer

Faction before blood: a principle that this dystopian world lives by.

The movie adaption of The Divergent Series, originally a young adult book written by Veronica Roth, follows a teenage girl discovering who she is in a society that does nothing but label you.

Thought to have been the only remaining city left after being destroyed by war, the city of Chicago was enclosed by a wall where the population was divided into factions that define each person as one thing: Erudite, Candor, Abnegation, Amity, or Dauntless. However, when one person fits into many factions, they are called Divergent.

This was the case for Beatrice (Tris) Prior, formerly from Abnegation. After taking the faction test to see what faction she would fit in, she realized that she was different. Unfortunately, Divergents are seen as a threat to society solely because they can’t be defined. Therefore, Tris has had to go through multiple journeys and question who she really trusts as she faces her worst fears and stays hidden in a world where she is better off dead.

Courtesy of Lionsgate
Courtesy of Lionsgate

Back in 2014, the first movie titled Divergent, directed by Neil Burger, was released. Many viewers gave this movie great ratings and reviews. After the success of the film, the sequel, Insurgent, was released in March of 2015 with a new director, Robert Schwentke. However, high expectations were definitely let down. The second movie couldn’t even be compared to the first. It was focused more on visual effects than anything else. While it did look cool, it made the movie extremely unrealistic.

Nevertheless, because I’m so fond of the actors, I went to go see the third movie, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, on Friday, March 19, 2016.

Shailene Woodley, who plays the main protagonist, Tris Prior, stepped up her game with this movie. After a stunning performance in the first movie and an undesirable performance in the second, she came out stronger in the third. In the beginning, viewers see a little bit of a relaxed Tris after the previous traumatic experiences. She is more at peace, but still anxious to see what was on the other side of the wall. Tris even learns to forgive her brother after he had betrayed her. However, even Woodley seems to have strayed from her character. She seems almost less interested and less passionate about telling the stories. As for the story, it has become extremely complex that it has trouble explaining itself.

Tobias Eaton, more commonly known as Four, was again played by British actor Theo James. His character has so much depth, and it was amazing seeing James explore another side of Four. Being abused as a child and turning to the Dauntless faction, Four has become a tough man. Not even needing a stunt double, Four knows how to handle a gun and knock someone out with just a punch better than anyone, even if it is against ten armored men. James delivered more than expected with a flawless performance. James’ stellar acting should definitely be in a movie of his own. While he needs no help defending himself, Four struggles to show his feelings except to Tris.This creates a great love story between the two. Their true connection was tested in this movie though, and it was interesting to see how Woodley and James would handle it.

The new antagonist to test that relationship was Jeff Daniel’s character of David. David’s leadership role provides complications with Tris and Four. Tris finds herself questioning what to believe about the people who take her in and tell her she’s vital to the world’s future. Daniel played David with great depth and just enough suspicion to have you questioning his intentions yourself.

Fortunately, Caleb Prior, played by Ansel Elgort, really redeemed himself in this third movie. After providing no help at all and actually making things worse in Insurgent, he assisted Tris and her intentions fully in the third movie. Elgort portrayed Caleb’s character with great development.

Additionally, while being the traitor that you love to hate and hate to love, Miles Teller’s portrayal of Peter was amazing. Peter offers comic relief to the film with his narcissistic and crude comments that gave the whole audience a laugh.

Zoë Kravitz reprised her role as Tris’ friend, Christina, who provides comfort and protection. Their bond does not go unnoticed. Woodley and Kravitz’s portrayal of their character’s relationship was very relatable, where viewers could consider Christina as a best friend of their own.

Aside from the acting performances, the filmography was decent. They went just as overboard with this movie compared to the second. A lot of it didn’t make sense nordid it  fit into the scenes. On the flipside, the score composed by Joseph Trapanese was noticeably superior and gave an exciting feel to the movie with bass bumps during intense scenes.

All in all, The Divergent Series: Allegiant was an admirable film. I rate it about an 7/10, it being hard to top the first movie. The final installment The Divergent Series: Ascendant will be released on June 9, 2016.