Monday, 14 March 2016

The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Review)

The third movie in The Divergent Series was released in the UK last Thursday, ahead of the US Premiere. The films are based off the Divergent book trilogy but they have split the third book into 2 movies titled Allegiant and Ascendent.

Click here to watch the trailer.
The last film ends with Tris opening the message left by the founders and broadcasting it to the city of Chicago. It closes on a scene of the entire population running at the gates that barricade the city in.

This film opens with the same scene and the message being played again, only it continues. Cars come in and the gates close preventing citizens escaping thanks to the new leader, Evelyn Johnson-Eaton, deciding it isn't safe out there.

With the breakdown of the factions, it's assumed the ex-faction leaders will still rule but all does not go to Evelyn's plan. She ends up taking over the power spot Jeanine just departed. After watching from the sidelines during trials, Tris decides there must be something better. Not only does she refuse to stand alongside Evelyn but quickly, so does Johanna (leader of Amity). With Tris and Four hatching a plan to get out of there, a battle seems likely between Evelyn and the kindness leader too.

Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known in order to find a peaceful solution for their embroiled city.
Together with their close friends and family, they scale the electrified perimeter of Chicago and out-smart Evelyn's soldiers in the process. By venturing beyond the walled boundaries of Chicago,  they discover a radiation ravaged wilderness known as The Fringe, where rivers run blood red. But through the toxic deserts they find themselves in the shiny arms of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare.


 Here, Tris encounters David, who explains their entwined histories, while wandering through overdesigned surroundings which appear to have fallen through a 'Tomorrowland-sized hole in the time-space continuum'.

Once there, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. While Tris seems to be oblivious to the ongoings within the Bureau, Four is left to decipher David's underlying truth's and prevent the loss of everything and everyone he knows.

I think the first thing this movie gets so wrong, is Tris' hair. After Shailene Woodley refused to wear a wig for the last movie, a hair cutting scene was written in. This time, the movie picks up just minutes after the last finished but suddenly Tris' hair has grown in length.

My favourite scene was defintely the group scaling the walls. Not only was this high-power energy scene incredibly choreographed, but the acting was sublime. They all stuck their parts perfectly. Having said that there was a cringing moment when Tris leaps into Four's lap...it really wasn't needed as she could have easily climbed just as fast, if not faster separated.

The graphics in the toxic deserts are incredible. It's very believable and just how I had imagined from the books. I wondered how they would meet the others from the outside, and I surprisingly liked the little alteration. I think the capsules to keep them safe were interesting but I defintely liked the series of event after entering the complex. It was an unusual way and while all the others seems fine, Tris seems to find it incredibly painful. But perhaps that is the shock...? Unexplained plot hole.
I think there are a few inconsistencies which will hopefully be dealt with in the sequel. As Four was confused, I think the viewers were also on the same level of confusion. Divergent is splitting the last book into two parts as already said but which some people are calling this a 'sneaky trick' by not naming them Part 1 and Part 2. I actually love it! I think by re-naming the final film to Ascendent, it tells the audience exactly about how the film is going to be. Allegiant is about broken promises, while Ascendant is the rise of something greater than a human. 
One of my favourite things about the movie as a whole is its symmetry. The beginning and ending were both brought on the screens by 2 different people announcing two very different, but similarly important concepts: one from inside and one from outside. 

Overall, the first and last quarter were amazing. They were both highly action packed and entertaining. While the middle half was somewhat boring, it showed the struggle of entering an unknown universe and also the confusion between Tris' and Four's relationship. I do think these issues could have been developed further to make the story flow better because it did feel a little jumpy in places. 


PS. After watching the film, I now understand why all these cameras were needed to film the scenes. I loved watching the 2 worlds be merged and through Caleb, we get a glimpse at inside the walls. I think it must be remembered that the book is written based off of Tris and Four's point of views so if it wasn't for these cleverly written scenes we wouldn't know what was going on inside those walls.