Movie Review: “Allegiant” – Entertaining But Repetitive

Written by Caitlin Cooper April 01, 2016


2014’s Divergent was such a great film. It was action-packed, and had a good story about the freedom to be who you want. Insurgent was good as well with Tris’ redemption arc, but introduced way more CGI into the story. When I saw the trailer for Allegiant, I admit I rolled my eyes because the trailer only showed off its reliance on CGI and some questionable dialogue. My initial reaction wasn’t wrong: the story is very concerned with introducing technology and has a very sci-fi feel that doesn’t seem to fit with the first two films, but the action scenes are good and some of the plot is too. But, mostly, I’m disappointed in the turn this series has taken.

Now that Janine (Kate Winslet) is dead, and Four’s mom, Evelyn (Naomi Watts), is in control of Chicago, the faction system has been abolished But instead of trying to build from the destruction Janine’s rules created, the people are out for blood and they still aren’t allowed to leave the city. So Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), and some friends break out of the city in search for something better. But what the come to learn is that Chicago and it’s factions were all a test to see if human lives could be saved after previous generations destroyed the world by controlling what personality traits babies were born with. The seemingly kind director isn’t what he seems, and Tris must figure out who she can trust outside the wall.

“Everyone is worth saving.”

I hate to say it, but Allegiant was a much weaker movie than Divergent, and even than Insurgent. The series seems to have lost its steam, and is instead not only relying upon introducing heavy CGI but also recycling the exact same story as told in the previous films in the franchise. Divergent‘s message was that you can’t categorize people because people are more complex than one personality trait, and labels on do harm. There was a leader who completely disagreed with that, and hated anyone who question the labels forced upon the people. The exact same thing happens in Allegiant, only it takes Tris a little longer to question the director, David (played by Jeff Daniels), than it did for her to question Janine. Even Tris at one point says the David is making the same mistakes as the leaders in Chicago and that pretty much sums up the biggest problem with this movie. There’s nothing new. So what’s the point of the story continuing? Tris is blinded by the fact that her mom supposedly supported the director, and that causes a rift between her and Four. The one plot-line that really stands out is Caleb’s (Ansel Elgort) redemption. In Insurgent (and even a bit in Divergent), Tris’ brother seems to side with the enemy’s view of how things should be. But, here, we see him realize that he was wrong, and he fights alongside his sister to preserve free will and the ability to be who you are. Other than that, honestly, it feels like not much happens in this movie. There’s some fighting, some talking, and a lot of ‘wow look at how cool and odd our technology is?’


I may have issues with the script, but Allegiant continues to have a strong cast. Woodley once again proves she can be at the forefront of a big film, and she plays the brave, imperfect Tris well. James gets some more screen time, and you see him bring more complexity to Four. Watts convincingly brings Evelyn from abrasive new leader to a woman humbled by her poor decisions. Elgort’s character is much more complex in this film, and the actor makes him come across as both repentant and caring which is a 180 from the character in the previous films. Zoe Kravitz as Christina is under-used in Allegiant, and I would’ve liked to see more of Octavia Spencer. Daniels does well as the villain because he presents a man who is completely convinced he’s justified in what he does.

“You want change without sacrifice, you want peace without struggle. The world doesn’t work that way.”

Allegiant is definitely a case of a sequel repeating the first movie(s) in a less effective way, and relies too much on the increasing CGI. That being said, the movie was entertaining for what it was, and thankfully Tris rebukes the idea that there are pure and non-pure people. I also liked Caleb’s redemption. And the acting was well-done, as I expected. But where can the story go from here? I’m not convinced another installment is necessary, but there will be one final Divergent movie. And if nothing else, I’ll probably see it in the hopes that the franchise will have a good finale.

My Rating: 6.5/10


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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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