Sunday, June 26, 2016

With 'Allegiant', 'The Divergent Series' Just Keeps Getting Worse

Hey, what do you know, I actually found the time to watch The Divergent Series: Allegiant, a 2016 movie that I had no interest of watching in the first place.  Last year’s Insurgent didn’t do well in hyping this movie.  And in turn, Allegiant did nothing to make next year’s Ascendant, the final installment of the series (Allegiant was originally intended to be titled Allegiant Part 1 – as stretching the last book into two parts is what’s usual of these YA novel film adaptations – but the studio decided to just simply title this movie Allegiant and make “Allegiant Part 2” into Ascendant), intriguing.

In fact, this franchise is getting worse with each new installment.  If Insurgent was mediocre but watchable, Ascendant was just painfully bland.  There were stretches of this movie that my mind just blanked out.  I kid you not.  The narrative is just too dull that entire scenes passed before my eyes without my mind processing to understand what had happened.  And I was just too apathetic to care that I missed chunks of the plot.
That’s why I can’t really give a concrete plot synopsis of this movie.  But let me try giving you what I comprehend what the entire movie is about: Tris (Shailene Woodley) and friends journey beyond the walls of Chicago, where they encounter the Bureau of Genetic Warfare (I snickered when this name was revealed), a cloaked city outside Chicago that has technologies way more advanced than they’ve ever known and is led by a man named David (Jeff Daniels).  There, they learn that the society that developed in Chicago is basically a eugenics experiment conducted by the Bureau.  They eventually grow aware of David’s Machiavellian manipulations, and decide to go back to Chicago to stop the civil war that has erupted.  The movie ends with a foreshadowing of an upcoming clash between the people of Chicago and the Bureau.

And that’s all what I cab really take from this movie – just its general plot points.  But if ever I’m asked to discuss details or specific scenes of the movie, I’ll probably fail recalling them.

But I do remember fairly liking Miles Teller’s character, Peter Hayes, just as I did in Insurgent.  There’s something interesting about his semi-sociopathic, self-preserving personality.  I also remember getting pissed when Maggie Q’s character, Tori Wu, got killed in the first act.  These two are the only characters I have some care for in this franchise.
All in all, Allegiant is a fleeting, forgettable, boring movie that has no significant redeeming factors.  Its unintentional awfulness can’t be even made fun of.  It just takes itself so seriously.  There’s an effort to be thought-provoking, but everything about it falls desperately flat.  Also, Tris and Four’s P.D.A.’s are annoying.

I’m expecting next year’s Ascendant to be an utter trainwreck.   

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