Movie Review: Genetically engineered thriller, Allegiant, becomes predictable

Derek Hall

Looking onto the flickering theater screen one can only hope to be taken to the outer boundaries of imagination. “Allegiant”, the third movie installation of “The Divergent Series”, becomes a predictable miscalculation of plot and substance.

Allegian
Official movie poster Photo credit: Facebook

Like the factions trapped within the dystopian walls of old Chicago, this movie never goes beyond the same regulated format of generic Hollywood action thrillers. The movie has a “made for television” aesthetic that would serve better on the Syfy network rather than at the local movie theater.

Shailene Woodley plays the female protagonist, Tris, and within the first hour comes to learn via Jeff Daniels’s manipulating and creepy character, David, that she is “pure” in the eyes of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare.

Just like in “Dumb and Dumber,” Daniels plays second fiddle to the cast of characters under the direction of Robert Schwentke (Insurgent, Red). Daniels navigates a story line that skims the surface rather than digging into the idealistic and terrible nature of the series.

200 years of research have yielded a genetically induced civilization rampant with separation and anxiety of what is to come in the future.

After the divergent scale the wall and reach the “fringe,” destroyed by nuclear annihilation, Four asks, “What happened here?” The same could be said about the movie and its lack of continuity.

A former member of the Candor faction, Max, illuminates while drugged, “People are sheep, they need a shepherd to guide them and when they resist, they’re slaughtered.”

Will the movie-goer be truly convinced that Tris can be manipulated so easily by David, turning her back on her boyfriend Four and brother Caleb? Isn’t she the powerful heroine who knows a trap when she sees it?

The action in this movie is sub-par compared to other offerings within the genre and the special effects are not at all original.

Mentally controlled drones and virtual reality spying pods are the only things that prevent this movie from being a complete waste of time. The future of these devices seems likely given recent advances in technology.

Just as the drones can see around every corner, it was obvious what was coming next within each scene. Showing all of your cards in a poker game will inevitably reduce your earnings.

The theme surrounding the movie is relevant to our present day ordeals, factions of hatred, separation of classes and of course love and commitment. With Donald Trump on the minds of the masses, this movie foreshadows an impending doom that could occur if we are all separated by a wall.

This idea has been relevant since the dawn of civilization but this is a haphazard approach to telling that story.

“Allegient” is the type of movie that someone will watch once but not again. It is made for the pure fans of the book series, written by Veronica Roth, who have already bought into the program, all others will be slaughtered for being damaged.

While Daniels character David wants “to restore order” in the fringe by removing damaged people, he should start with restoring this damaged movie first.