With Janine dead and her followers facing trial and execution, the people of Chicago are divided as to whether these punishments are too harsh. When Tris has her treacherous but remorseful brother broken out of the cells, they and a few allies manage to leave Chicago to face whatever lies beyond. Discovering a nearby city, Tris learns that she is a ‘pure’ human with no genetically modified DNA. She is told that she has the ability to save humanity but could this seemingly perfect new life be too good to be true?
The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016) – Director: Robert Schwentke
Running Length: 121 mins
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels
Genre: Science Fiction, Drama, Romance
The third instalment of the ‘Divergent’ series sees Tris and co finally leaving the confines of Chicago to face the outside world and whatever challenges come their way. Although it is good that the core group remain resolute allies, it would be nice (and perhaps more believable) if one or two new members were recruited into the inner circle making for a different dynamic to what has already been seen twice before.
The beginning of the movie is brilliantly put together; the show trials and executions are truly divisive and with one character in particular, despite them ‘deserving’ their death sentence and otherwise being defiant, the flashes of fear behind the eyes at the last brings a welcome depth of performance. This genuine touch of humanity (both good and bad) and true depiction of what happens when a mob is given any form of power is rarely seen in other teen movies. But after this promising start. once the gang escape Chicago, the action goes downhill and the plot becomes a much more disappointingly predictable affair.
Sadly, ‘Allegiant’ has struggled to maintain the pace set by the previous two movies (‘Divergent’ and ‘Insurgent’), perhaps this is due to Veronica Roth’s third book (also entitled ‘Allegiant’) being inevitably split in two (something that doesn’t always work – Twilight, Hunger Games – we’re looking at you!). Hopefully the final movie, ‘Ascendent’ will be the action packed movie ‘Allegiant’ should have been but as with formerly mentioned movies have proven, this approach usually means that both parts of the finale suffer from either a lack of, or abundance of death, destruction and mayhem.
IS ‘ALLEGIANT’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
The early scenes of the movie focus on sentences and punishments being dished out to the followers of the evil Janine who had many innocent people killed under her regime. When prisoners are brought out, the mob surrounds them and jeer loudly, shouting things such as ‘are you ready to die?’. Each one is injected with a truth serum, this makes them shudder and although they do not cry out in pain, they are clearly in a lot of discomfort. The injections are shown in close up twice where a long needle is pushed into the neck. One of the killings is quite graphic in that the character is seen standing with his back to his executioner, the camera cuts away as the shot is heard and then immediately cuts back as the body falls to the floor. No blood is seen as the crowds stand in front of the camera but as this character has just expressed his wish to live, this could be very unsettling for kids, especially as the killers show no compassion for their victim.
Some characters walk around a deserted wasteland, there are red pools and rivers which are described as being radioactive and look like blood. The rain also looks like this and at one point, a character walks through the rain and it appears that they are covered in blood.
A character is willingly showered in a thick, watery gel like substance. They do not know what it is and look at it suspiciously. Suddenly, the gel sticks to their body, including their face; due to this being unexpected, the character becomes afraid and gasps but for several seconds, they are unable to move or breathe and their face is fixed into an open-mouthed fearful expression.
In a couple of scenes, dozens of children are kidnapped, they scream and beg not to be taken. At one point, the camera focuses on one particular character and a man suddenly appears in shot to grab them. This unexpected appearance is likely to jump-scare and, as the man has his teeth bared menacingly, the fear factor is extended for a few extra seconds.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
This disappointing second sequel to ‘Divergent’ had such a strong opening that its rapid slide downward once the gang get to the clinically boring futuristic city betrays a lack in consistent tone. Does it want to be futuristic perfection or dirty dystopian realism? This jarring of styles makes it difficult to relate the two together. Due to some strong and disturbing violence and grown up themes, we feel that ‘Allegiant’ is not suitable for kids aged under 12.
Violence: 5/5 (a man is violently and suddenly headbutted, he cries out in shock and pain and falls back, holding his nose. A man is punched hard in the face, the camera is from the man’s point of view and shows their attackers fist being pulled back and come hurtling towards them)
Emotional Distress: 2/5 (Some characters who fight in a war are not soldiers and, when facing their enemy appear afraid making the audience sympathise with them and therefore, when any are killed it has an emotional effect that is unusual in this kind of movie)
Fear Factor: 2/5 (there is some tension when Tris and her small group of friends attempt to escape from some people. It is unclear of whether they will actually get away and if they are stopped, they could be killed. This scene lasts for around four minutes)
Sexual Content: 2/5 (in more than one scene, characters remove their clothes and their bare backs are shown, this is mostly in shadow and nothing graphic is shown. A male character passionately kisses a female character and says ‘I wish we were alone’)
Bad Language: 2/5 (infrequent moderate cursing)
Dialogue: 2/5 (a man is slapped hard by a woman and his past is brought up when she accuses him of ‘beating (his) own child)
Other notes: Deals with themes of a totalitarian state, seeing when something is too good to be true, trusting your own instincts, believing in those you love/care about, good intentions leading to bad decisions, mob mentality and questioning authority.
Words by Laura Record