Allegiant, Penultimate Movie in Divergent Series, Disappoints
by Soleil Devonish on Friday, April 29th, 2016
It’s the beginning of the end for the Divergent movie series, and trust me, Allegiant, the penultimate installment, takes that to heart. Released on March 18th, Allegiant received extremely negative reviews worldwide. With criticisms of Allegiant’s dullness and unoriginality it’s already pretty clear moviegoers will not hold their breaths for Ascendent, the final film in the series.
Adapted from Veronica Roth’s book trilogy of the same name, the Divergent movie franchise was introduced to the public in March of 2014. Allegiant picks up right where its predecessor, Insurgent, left off: protagonist Tris and her friends journey beyond the wall that encloses futuristic Chicago to search for a solution to end the war between the ruling factions. A new character played by Jeff Daniels, is introduced and subsequently creates new conflict amidst the already apparent anarchy. Sounds exciting, right? Not so much. To recap: here comes yet another movie about a girl who fights an oppressive government, meets a hot love interest, and somehow manages to live up to all of society’s beauty standards in the midst of the chaos. We’ve seen this whole story before, and quite frankly, I think we’re getting tired of it.
Even if the plot was original, Allegiant has so many other flaws that indicate the franchise’s holding on by a mere thread. While the Divergent series has pushed actors like Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Ansel Elgort further into the mainstream, their popularity could not hide the cast’s stiff acting job. And what the actors didn’t ruin with their dullness, the special effects team did ruin with their cheesiness. Tris leaves the outer walls of Chicago to discover what’s supposed to be a Mars-like wasteland, but unfortunately looks more like a green screen effect gone wrong. Additionally, with an abrupt ending and unclear plot points, viewers are left with more questions than answers. Sadly, in the midst of this bad acting and tacky effects, Roth’s strong statement about government is disastrously marred in the crossfire.
Despite its high budget, Allegiant manages to miss all the marks for an intriguing action blockbuster. With a score of 12% on Rotten Tomatoes, it has become crystal clear that Allegiant was a major disappointment for fans and for the Divergent franchise. Since its opening in March, the movie has raked in about $64 million domestically, and this underperformance prompted budget cuts for its concluding movie Ascendant.
I think it’s clear: the moviegoers are tired of watching rebellious teens in dystopian societies. The audience’s main problem with Allegiant is that it’s far too repetitive to be interesting. We’ve seen the oppressive government, the rebellious teenagers, and the same love story time and time again. With the Divergent series’ inability to live up to the hype of other blockbuster franchises like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, it’s apparent the only direction the series is going is downwards. At the end of the day, the Divergent series does not measure up.
Milton students were not enthusiastic about the movie either. Rebecca Bower (III) says that “where there was action, it seemed like the same old stuff from the first and second movies. I was never on the edge of my seat.” Rebecca isn’t alone in her disappointment; Allegiant tarnished former Divergent fans’ impressions of the series. Cecilia Guan (III) says,“I loved the story Veronica Roth had built up: the faction system, loyalties, etc. However, it just didn’t translate to the big screen for me.” As more and more movies are released, more and more fans find themselves walking away from the series that they previously adored.
Maybe this blockbuster flop wasn’t all bad. Hollywood will hopefully take this cue to stop producing movies about futuristic dystopias. And, in regards for the Divergent movie series, moviegoers should just consider staying home for the next one.
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