Checked out Allegiant, the third in the teen distopian series of movies based on the Divergent trilogy of novels. This is the third of four movies so, yes, they broke book 3 into two movies but apparently realized people are rightly annoyed by that practice so they didn’t call it Allegient Part 1 with Part 2 coming next year (the fourth movie will be called Ascendant).
Allegiant was a pretty lousy book with only one redeeming quality that the movie kind of weirdly mentions in passing: it explains that which a lot of film critics hate about the first two movies (that someone in this world’s fiction can ONLY be friendly, daring, smart, honest, etc). It’s a reasonably good sci-fi explanation. Other than that, it’s a bad, poorly written whatever of a limp conclusion to a decent enough story. This movie version tossed out a lot of the book (yay?) and tells its own variation on 2/3rds of the book… but that doesn’t make any of it good (boo).
I was alright with the first two movies in the series but this one is just bad. It’s poorly written with sometimes terrible dialog, very sluggish and weirdly paced, and the actors are sometimes phoning it (I’m looking at your Jeff Daniels, could you be more bored? And Shaileen Woodley looks like she’s over the series). There are also some legitimately corny or goofy looking visual effects or decisions – things that just look dumb. Not saying it was bad FX work, but just odd looking stuff that someone should have pointed out looks silly (like our heroes taking a ride on the outside of some aircraft, coated in a glowing energy field, in kind of a have sitting position over nothing).
One good thing about the movie is that it legit looks really good. They spent some money on some really quality visual FX. But that doesn’t stop someone seeing one of these new impressively designed locations and saying “Gadzooks”. Gadzooks? Someone in a 2016 movie used the word gadzooks. Maybe it was meant to be ironic… if so, it was a very bad line reading.
This is a deathly boring film. It’s occasionally poorly acted, occasionally poorly written, and has some occasionally ok action mixed with “wtf” poorly put together action scenes. This series is going to limp to a mediocre finish line, especially if the next movie takes the remaining third of the book and stretches that out to yet another 2 1/4 hour movie (gadzooks!).
Score: 58

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