Get ready for another trip to dystopian Chicago in this third Divergent movie, based on the book of the same name. It’s actually only the first half of Allegiant – like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, the final book has been chopped into two movies, with the final slice, Ascendant, to follow – so what we have here half a plot that is perked up with a few good action sequences.
Tris (Woodley), boyfriend Four (James) and pals have got rid of nasty leader Janine, but now Four’s mum (Watts) is in charge and not much of an improvement. Deciding that life outside the electrified city walls must be better, the gang head off, only to discover that what lies beyond is a polluted wasteland that looks like it was filmed on the set of Matt Damon’s The Martian. Hidden beyond that, however, is a futuristic city that is home to the Bureau Of Genetic Welfare. Run by David (Daniels, clearly deciding to give the game away early by looking sinister from the start), it oversees Chicago, weeding out the genetically ‘pure’ from the ‘damaged’. While Tris goes all dewey-eyed over David’s plans for the future, it’s up to Four to cotton on to the fact that it’s all an evil conspiracy.
With one of the most interesting concepts in Divergent – the idea people can be categorised as one thing, eg ‘dauntless’, ‘candour’ etc – dumped by the wayside, this becomes a straightforward them-and-us thriller that doesn’t give any of the leads enough to do. Woodley gets to strut around in heels and very chic dresses, James pouts and Watts looks a bit stressed while Ansel Elgort (as Caleb, Tris’s wussy brother) continues to annoy and Miles Teller (as Peter) provides the comic relief.
It would all be completely missable (eg, skip this and move on to part four) if it weren’t for a few cool little set pieces. The group’s escape – including flying hook action to scale the wall that Batman would be proud of – is well-paced, and a couple of futuristic ‘copter crashes look pretty cool. Otherwise, like many of the one-before-last instalments, this treads water and is best watched as an appetiser to the finale main course.
Is Divergent: Allegiant suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This is a 12A certificate film and does include fight sequences, characters being killed, etc. There are no extremely scary moments, however.