Movie Review: The Divergent Series, Allegiant Part 1.... Milking a Franchise

Allegiant Part I
is a good action adventure film about a post apocalyptic world which is divided into five factions based on virtues, but enough already with this franchise. This film squeaks by on special effects and fine acting, but the plot is hanging on by its chinny chin chin. Robert Schwentke directs with a pistol like fervor which fades due to the luke warm writing by Noah Oppenheim and Adam Cooper.

Shailene Woodley stars as Tris who is in love with Four played by Theo James. Four has a body that could defend anyone anytime and is always a treat to watch. But after this band of protestors escapes Chicago to find out what is beyond this walled city, disillusionment sets in. Naomi Watts (King Kong) is Four's mother whom he flees. Her part is too small as her presence is riveting. Miles Teller (Whiplash) as Peter lights up the screen whenever he appears.

Tris is dynamic as the leader of the Divergents. She is certainly pretty to look at if not a bit bland at times. The urge to shake her overtook me as she stares wide eyed believing the con of Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber) as David. Her lover Four is not naïve and realizes once the band of protestors climbs over the wall, they have gone from the kettle to the frying pan.

The daunting challenge to climb the wall around Chicago which is a devastated by war with factions within is a great beginning. One can only think of the Wall Donald Trump is threatening to build between the US and Mexico. This Wall is huge and surrounded by barbed wire with an electrical current that can kill if touched. Terror travels with this band of people looking for a better life beyond this Wall.

The special effects used to climb the Wall are a bit reminiscent of Jennifer Lawrence's bow and arrow in The Hunger Games. In fact this film has been dubbed by its critics "The Poor Man's Hunger Games." But it does have its own identity which wanes as the film proceeds.

To climb this wall actual arrows are shot into it to attach rope for them to use to climb. This beginning of the film works, but it is downhill from here. Once over the Wall these good folk are confronted with a new evil and must fight for their lives once more. The special effects are stunning while the giant airplanes resemble beetles or cockroaches with mechanical legs. While the special effects are impressive at the onset, they cannot save the lack of storyline. Again it's the writing folks that is weak. And Lord knows what they will try to invent in the next installment Perhaps living happily forever after should be considered by the writers and put this franchise to bed. See Allegiant Part One if you have nothing better to do, but don't expect the magic of The Hunger Games but don't be surprised at similarities