By Heinrich Domingo
Allegiant suffers from the typical problem of film sequels, the novelty is over and the story lost its quips and surprises. Plus, it is a third installation in a four-part movie adaptation making it a mere bridge between the grand opening and a dramatic ending.
Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) continue their journey in their dystopian world. This time, they decided to explore what lies beyond the wall. They found out that their community is actually an experiment of the government that aims to solve the problem of “damaged genes.” From here, the two characters realized that they have to start again a revolution that would free their homeland from the experimenting bureau.
Divergent book series is apt for a movie adaptation because of its action-packed, ecstatic, and never resting plot. In the world of Tris and Four, to rest is to die. For millennial fans with short attention span, such story is perfect. The novel series is also beautiful for how it balances resistance with conservatism. Written by a devout Christian, Divergent stories weigh in on up to what extent humans seek for emancipation. Notions of freedom, justice, and free will are sufficiently discussed in the book series. Hence, it was a surprise to see major changes in Allegiant’s plot.
It seems that Allegiant suffered badly from an effort to extend an already thin layer of storyline. Due to the production’s decision to release the third novel as a two-part film, screenwriters have to think of a gimmick to hold the fans’ anticipation. This intention resulted in a story that totally lost Roth’s interesting philosophies and insights.
The film’s visual effects were not so outstanding either. For a story that revels on futuristic weapons and dystopian technology, visual effects could at least have entertained the viewing crowd.
Watching Allegiant is far from the excitement-filled experience when Divergent came out. Except for Miles Teller (playing Peter Hayes), the cast gave mediocre performances. Their boring acting added to the list of predictable elements of the movie.
In totality, the movie’s storyline is well weaved and can be considered as quite decent. Yet, looking into its novel version, the film has the potential to be exciting, entertaining, and new. Allegiant can claim that being a sequel is a valid excuse for performing low. It can even cite that it is difficult to pull off a brilliant film that stands in between the opening and finale. No matter what excuses the filmmakers might use, the audience will still remember the movie as nothing but failed film.