The Divergent Series: Allegiant — Part 1 is a huge improvement from the first two films of the series. Unfortunately, it’s the first part of a two-part finale based on the last book of Veronica Roth’s popular, dystopian series.
Do we always have to do book three as a two-part movie?
On the plus side, unlike most of this ilk — like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner — you really don’t need to see Divergent and Insurgent to like or enjoy it, and if you don’t see part two, this one is plenty satisfying.
Erudite leader Jeanine is dead and so is Four’s mother, and rebel leader Evelyn have begun trials for Jeanine’s followers. They’re executed mob style. Amity factor leader Joanna and her followers cannot suffer this type of justice, and they withdraw. That sets up a civil war.
As the plot progresses, Tris, Four and their friends and colleagues — who also want no part of the executions — leave. They want to see if life exists outside Chicago’s walls. Once in the badlands, they discover another city. Its leader David reveals unknown secrets about Chicago and why disasters like Chicago happened to humanity.
The original cast Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencerreturn. Added to the plot is Jeff Daniels (The Martian) as the new city’s leader David.
Insurgent director Robert Schwentke returns, but a new writing crew is brought in. Screenwriter Noah Oppenheim helped pen The Maze Runner, and his co-writers Adam Cooper and Bill Collage are responsible for the excellent The Transporter Refueled.
That probably explains why this one has more energy and focus than the first two.
They don’t exactly follow Roth’s novel, but who cares. The Divergent Series: Allegiant — Part 1 is the best dystopian movie to date.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant
Director: Robert Schwentke
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoe Kravitz, Maggie Q, Bill Skarsgard
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence. It’s playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and Queensgate 12, Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.