Shailene Woodley is one of my favourite young actresses. Ever since she did that dramatic ‘crying-underwater’ scene in “The Descendents” she’s been someone to watch. And, while it was another “Hunger Games” wannabe – “Divergent” was a good story, well acted and with good visual effects.
Unfortunately the series has progressively gone downhill: “Insurgent” was poor but coherent; and now “Allegiant” is both poor and mind-numbing.
After the revelations at the end of “Insurgent” Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Christina (Zoë Kravitz), Peter (Miles Teller), Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Tori (Maggie Q) defy Chicago leader Evelyn (Naomi Watts) and make a dash for escape beyond the Chicago walls to find those living beyond in the alleged wilderness. There they meet ‘Pure’ leader David (the ever-busy Jeff Daniels) and his acolytes. According to David, Tris is key to the world’s recovery. But can he be trusted?
It is telling that every screenwriter in this series has been different, and this time Noah Oppenheim (from the similar “Maze Runner”) with Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (from “Exodus: God and Kings”) have the pen, but do little positive with it. Much of the dialog clunks onto the ground much like the leaden transports featured in the film. And some of the plot points are obvious beyond belief. No real spoilers here, but when one of the lead characters gets shot it was so blindingly obvious that it was about to happen that I audibly groaned with disbelief that the writers had so little respect for the audience.
As another example of bone-headed writing a nerve gas used in the film is so much heavier than air that it sits on the floor for minutes at a time. How will they ever escape in Chicago? (Erm – climb up to a second floor perhaps?). Presumably everyone was OK since they only got a small dose… so were just ‘a bit’ brain damaged?
The special effects are pretty ropey in places. Some of the green screen work (an early shot with Miles Teller in particular) is really poor. Just about nothing looks real.
The director is Robert Schwentke (“Insurgent”; “Flightplan”; “The Time Traveller’s Wife”) but this doesn’t extend his reputation (apart from presumably with the studios, since poor as it is it’ll no doubt still attract an audience).
Shailene Woodley does herself credit with the material she has and has chemistry with the hunk of the piece, Oxford-born Theo James. But she is far better than this stuff. Unfortunately, this series doesn’t end as a trilogy: she will be back again as Tris is “Ascendent” in 2017. But before then she has a starring role in Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden biopic, so hopefully can prove herself there.
Fad Rating: FF.