The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1

Sufficiant

Funny story. I went to see Allegiant referring to it only as Allegiant. I came out of the theatre thinking “well, that wrapped everything up nicely”. A couple of days: “What the shit?! Part 1? Oh for fuck sake”.

I understand why Hollywood is trying to drag out franchises, I mean how else are studio heads supposed to sit on piles of gold like Scrooge McDuck whilst smoking a cigar and laughing at poor people?

However we, the consumer, are getting a bum deal. We are seeing a downward spiral in quality when it comes to these franchises. The Hobbit was 1 film too long, The Hunger Games was again one film too long.

The Divergent Series has decided to follow the Hollywood formula and by proxy this will be 1 film too long. Perhaps there is a great story left to tell (I haven’t read the books) but by the end of Allegiant part 1 I find it hard to believe.

Our heroes Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) seem to have settled. Early signs of order have started to sprout. Our antagonists plans haven’t been thwarted but have at least been exposed. There are a few open questions but none are obtuse enough for you to desire more.

This would be a satisfactory end to an average series if it really was the end.

As a kid I used to really enjoy painting by numbers. I was convinced my pictures were awesome and even though they probably looked OK they didn’t exude any real flair. Sill; I enjoyed them… until I found out I was colour blind. After which I took up less productive pursuits such as eating sweats and becoming a podgy little bastard.

This is very much how Allegiant feels. No not like a fat kid but like it was painted, or rather filmed, by numbers. Everything you’d expect from a teenage, sci-fi drama is present: a blossoming romance, emotional strain on said romance, friends who aren’t friends, slightly questionable CGI work, under-developed questions of equality and humanity, flying ships and cool sci-fi gadgets. Check. All present and correct.

Actually, the latter of the list was impressive considering the generic nature of the film. Most memorable was the personal drones carried by army folks. It’s a fascinating concept and got me thinking about the viability of this in the real world.

Surely with the ever-increasing accessibility of drones this has to be the future of warfare right? I mean warfare isn’t going away any time soon.

Outside of the innovative gadgetry Allegiant has some fantastic settings. The beautifully coloured wasteland outside of Chicago and the hyper modernity of the Bureau are both wonderful but it’s the village of tents in the fringe that blew me away. It’s a setting that wouldn’t look out of place in Star Wars or the best of sci-fi films.

So it’s a shame that this isn’t the best of sci-fi films because promising ideas and fantastic settings ultimately have to live alongside safe and predictable cinematic conventions that are painted well within the lines of what is acceptable.

The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:

+ Interesting settings
+ Some cool sci-fi concepts
+ Overall an acceptable watch


– Filming by numbers
– Some bad CGI
– There is going to be a Part 2

Stars_3

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