ABOUT THE WRITER: Jordy Blair hails from sunny North Queensland and loves travelling – give her beach, snow, or anywhere in between and hopes to one day land a job where she gets paid to show the world to others
Allegiant, starring Shailene Woodley, Naomi Watts and Jeff Daniels, is the first part of the highly anticipated third installment of The Divergent Series and is likely to divide the opinions of its Allegiant fans. A repetitive story-line brings about a serious case of déjà vu from its action-packed prequel, Insurgent. The Divergent Series is the film adaption of the young adult science fiction novel trilogy by the same name and conveys the underlying message that the human race is its own worst enemy, constantly seeking dominance and control whilst destroying all in its path. Robert Schwentke, more famously known for films such as RED, Flightplan and The Time Traveller’s Wife, reprises his role as director in Allegiant but disappointingly, the film just misses the mark.
In the previous movie Insurgent, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her handsome but vertically challenged boyfriend, Four (Theo James) defeat Chicago’s power-hungry ruler, Jeanine (Kate Winslet) and discover that the factions into which their society has been so rigidly divided – Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent), Abnegation (the selfless), and Candor (the honest) – was merely an experiment created by a group of unidentified people living outside the city’s walls. In Allegiant, Four’s estranged mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts) has risen to power through enforcing the same dictatorship rule as her predecessor; Tris, Four, and their not-so-merry band of followers venture over the walls of Chicago to try to uncover the question, “What else is out there?” and ultimately bring peace to the city.
Once on the outside, the group is taken to the Bureau of Genetic Welfare where Tris is told by the Director, David (played by Jeff Daniels) that she is 100% divergent and “pure” while all her friends are “damaged” (including Four). David does his best to come between the love birds; he convinces Tris that he needs to study her genes to restore peace in Chicago and persuades her to travel to Providence to meet the Council. For all Tris’ intellect and after everything she has been through thus far, she is suspiciously trusting of David and poor Four is left behind… for a while. In a nutshell and as a slight spoiler alert, Four realises David is lying, Tris eventually realises David is lying and together (with the help of Christina and Caleb, and with no thanks to Peter,) they defeat David and save Chicago. Again.
Aside from a ridiculously good-looking cast and some semi-comical one-liners, Allegiant brings nothing new to the table – neither in storyline or effects. The film is 45% Star Wars, 45% The Hunger Games, 5% close-up camera angles of Shailene Woodley’s huge eyes and 5% of not enough of Theo James’ nudity. But in saying that, considering Star Wars was the highest grossing film of 2015 and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire featured in the Top Ten Box Office Opening Weekends of all time, one can only predict that Allegiant will also rake in the big bucks when it hits cinemas on Thursday, 14th April. Bring on The Divergent Series: Ascendant (the second part of instalment three).