“The Divergent Series: Allegiant” proves that the Young Adult literature movie train is quickly running out of steam.
“Allegiant” has a weak, confusing story that regurgitates elements from other “Divergent” films, or other YA film adaptations, and feed it to audiences because … why not?
This film picks up where the last film, “Insurgent,” leaves off. If you don’t remember where that was, well too bad, because this installment doesn’t offer to refresh our memories.
“The Divergent Series” started us off in a world with divisions and factions run by Jeanine (Kate Winslet). She is now dead and that world is gone, but divisions remain. As with any power vacuum, different groups and leaders are struggling for control, which leads to violent altercations.
In the middle of this dystopian coup d’état, Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Christina (Zoe Kravitz), Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter (Miles Teller) climb the wall — the same wall that has protected, or perhaps prevented, them from entering the outside world.
The ravaged surroundings are a mystery until they meet residents of another city and discover the truth about their home, their lives and the new world. However, they begin to wonder if what they are being told is really the truth. They also have to figure out how to save their hometown from a massacre, proving that teen life in the apocalypse is much tougher than trying to figure out what to wear for prom.
Most of the movie revolves around explaining the past 200 years of Earth history and this new world to Tris and the gang — and the audience. Needless to say, it’s a lot of talking, not all of it is made clear and some of it is glossed over.
Furthermore, a movie based around an apocalyptic history lesson isn’t always exciting. Sure, there are fights, things getting blown up and plenty of shooting. But a lot of time is spent just sitting around waiting for characters to act.
And at the end of the movie, all the waiting doesn’t even pay off, because guess what? There’s another movie coming.
The one redeeming factor of “Allegiant,” as with others in “The Divergent Series,” is its use of color. Previous films used color schemes to emphasize various factions, and although the factions are gone, there are still vibrant colors — mostly whites and black for the futuristic city, which is mesmerizing. A blood-like red is another color that is present in the barren, Mad Max-like wasteland that separates the two cities and shows just how bad the world has become.
Unfortunately, pretty colors can’t save a story that’s bland and incomplete. It’s more disappointing than anything because it feels like there is an interesting world being explored, but at least in film, it’s not being used to its full potential. “The Divergent Series” is a long ride on the YA lit train, and you better get off while you can because it’s got one more stop to go.