Allegiant is the third film in the Divergent series where, like with The Hunger Games, the final one of three books was divided into two when it came to the movies. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 suffered as a film, as a result, so how does this one fare?
This entry begins where Insurgent left off, as The Kids from Fame (aka The Not Very Magnificent Six) want to get to the other side of that wall to see what they can see, but Tris and Four have still got time for a bit of sexytime. On a numerical word-based similarity, our sextet comprise of Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Christina (Zoë Kravitz), Peter (Miles Teller), Tori (Maggie Q) and Caleb (Ansel Elgort), Tris’ brother.
Hitler, I mean, Janine is dead, and her co-conspirators are put on trial, after being given a truth drug. As it’s a 12-cert, they can’t shed a lot of blood, so when one is shot in the head, right in front of a baying mob, you’d expect the blood from said head to explode all over the audience… but no, there’s no blood, and the corpse just collapses to the ground.
Allegiant takes in the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, where our band of merry men and women begin by each taking a shower. Following Tris, when she’s asked to put her arm into a tube on the wall, hands up all of you who were thinking ‘Glory -hole’?
Amidst a post apocalyptic landscape, a lot of Virtual reality, some shooting practice, various people turning traitor, bossy female bosses and elements of George Orwell’s 1984, this film replaces a pastoral-style commune existence for a commune in a place that looks more futuristic. For reasons I’ll let you discover, Tris is the only one who, basically, can save the world. To that end, she meets with David (Jeff Bridges), director of the Bureau, but is he a good guy or a bad guy? Ooh, what do you think?
Elsewhere, Johanna (Octavia Spencer) waffles like the big soothsayer, and she declares that Allegiant is the new name for Amity, since Johanna and co have renamed it while there’s a new grumpy-bum taking Janine’s place. Meanwhile, Tris is seen, early on, climbing the outside of a derelict buidling, even though she still has weak-ass upper arms. That said, even though this takes place straight after Insurgent, it does look a bit like she’s spent some time in the gym, instead.
But given that I spent more time thinking about that than what was going on in the supposed plot, it says a lot about about the film, since what you get is a lot of running, punching and shooting, followed by more running, punching and shooting. It’s mostly our heroes who are doing the running, everyone with a weapon is doing the shooting, and Four is punching everyone and everything in sight. And that’s it for two hours solid.
Well, until around 1hr 50mins when there’s a cliffhanger and the end credits begin, and at least it gets a better break-point in the proceedings than Mockingjay Part 1 had.
Will they all make it? If not, who will buy the farm first? And when that happens, why don’t the others take any of the ammo or weaponry held by them? And why can’t it be (insert name of one I dislike the most).
Allegiant is like two hours of mad special effects with not much of a story behind it, and certainly not a story we haven’t heard of before – outside of The Divergent Series.
The story will be concluded with Ascendant. Like, the first three films, it was originally due for release in the Spring, but has been put back until the Summer, June 9th 2017, to be exact.
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and it does exactly what you’d expect for a modern film. It has a pristine, sharp picture and, while Insurgent was given a 3D Blu-ray release, this one hasn’t had that. Neither film needed the 3D treatment, and certainly weren’t filmed that way, but 3D is still a regular cash cow, these days. Perhaps we’ll get a 3D Quartet Blu-ray next autumn?
The audio is presented here in Dolby Atmos, plus a Dolby Digital 2.0 (Optimised for late night listening) option – whatever that means in the brackets, and it comes into its own when the leads are on the job, with some great split-surround FX.
The extras are mostly a standard practice of mixing in clips form the film amongst chat from the key cast and crew members. While producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher were here, director Robert Schwentke was not. I’d love to know whhy he’s directed films 2 and 3, but isn’t doing the finale, especially when it links in so tightly with this one:
- Allegiant: Book to Film (4:50): Talking about turning one book into two films. Apparently this was a challenge… surely it was easy to work out they could make a fortune?
- Battle in the Bullfrog (3:55): Four punching ten people in the face aboard the transportation ship known as the Bullfrog.
- Finding the future: effects and technology (10:31): Putting all the special effects into place including weaponry, drones and flying spaceships.
- Characters in conflict (5:58): Why some of them are at loggerheads with each other, including with Naomi Watts as new Prime Minister, Theresa May!
- The Next Chapter: Cast and Characters (7:36): Generally, who’s new in the cast.
- Building The Bureau (11:56): Trying to imagine what Chicago’s O’Hare Airport would look in 200 years time.
- Audio commentary: with producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher.
The main menu features clips from the film set against the theme. There are subtitles in English and chapters amount to 16, which is better than most releases out there, but I never say no to more. I personally prefer one approximately every five minutes.
One thing that should not happen is placing trailers BEFORE the main menu like the old days of rental video. This one gives us three trailers and an advert. Hence, I’m not naming any of them.
Running time: 111 minutes
Released: July 11th 2016
Studio: Entertainment One
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (ARRIRAW (3.4K) (6.5K), Anamorphic Hawk Scope, Anamorphic Master Scope)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Robert Schwentke
Producers: Nicole Barnette, Lucy Fisher, Pouya Shahbazian and Douglas Wick
Screenplay: Noah Oppenheim, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (based on the novel by Veronica Roth)
Music: Joseph Trapanese
Tris: Shailene Woodley
Four: Theo James
Evelyn: Naomi Watts
David: Jeff Daniels
Christina: Zoë Kravitz
Caleb: Ansel Elgort
Peter: Miles Teller
Uriah: Keiynan Lonsdale
Jack Kang: Daniel Dae Kim
Tori: Maggie Q
Matthew: Bill Skarsgård
Edgar: Jonny Weston
Nita: Nadia Hilker
Johanna: Octavia Spencer
Romit: Andy Bean
Marcus: Ray Stevenson
Max: Mekhi Phifer
Hollis: Joseph David-Jones
Natalie: Ashley Judd
Young David: Josh Duvendeck
Phillip: Xander Berkeley
Regina: Parisa Johnston
Sarah: Rebecca Pidgeon
Fringe Child: Billy 4 Johnston
Bureau Soldier: Michael Christopher Rodney
Fringe Father: Thomas Blake Jr
Jasper: Konrad Howard
Eulis: Theo Howard
Laura: Lucella Costa
Checkpoint Guard: Ben Levin
Factionless Guards: Nicky Javon McNeil and Kyle Clements
Council Member: Maria Howell
Zoe: Amy Parrish
Tom: Ken DuBois
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.