Shailene Woodley in The Divergent Series: Allegiant
Last year Insurgent was one of the stupidest, most boring movies I saw. This year, Allegiant is sure to be one of the stupidest, most boring movies I see. It is infuriating to sit through a sequel that makes all the same mistakes as its predecessor, but that is exactly what happens with Allegiant. Like Insurgent, it’s boring as f*ck, an entire half hour too long, and is the stupidest story under the sun. The only difference between Insurgent and Allegiant on a story level is that where Insurgent is like a horrible episode of Quantum Leap, Allegiant is terrible rip-off of The Truman Show.
Shailene Woodley once again stars as Tris, the most unlikeable heroine in all of YA dystopia-dom, and Theo James returns as her hunky lover, Four. The movie picks up where Insurgent left off, with the Factionless taking over post-apocalyptic Chicago after Kate Winslet died. Four’s mom (Naomi Watts) is in charge and quickly begins executing people during a series of kangaroo court trials, which sets off another civil war and literally no one cares what is happening.
Tris, Four, and their twat friends decide to leave Chicago to see what’s on the other side of the wall that keeps them in the city, which turns out to be a whole bunch of nothing. The world is a radioactive wasteland, which is fitting as watching this movie feels like slowly wasting away in a toxic desert—interminable, and with the potential to spontaneously cause your eyes to bleed. Everyone looks varying degrees of miserable to be there, and if it weren’t for Miles Teller—who is not trying AT ALL, but is so naturally charismatic on screen he’s compelling anyway—this would be utterly unwatchable.
It turns out that Chicago with its faction-caste system is just an experiment designed by a bunch of assholes meant to see if the human genome can heal itself after generations of genetic fiddling. Everyone in the “real” world lives in either Mad Max Lite Land, or sets borrowed from Star Trek, and Jeff Daniels plays the chief asshole in charge. You know he’s the bad guy because he hangs out in a room that looks like an Apple store and he buttons his shirt all the way up to the collar even though he isn’t wearing a tie.
Because it’s impossible for a story like this to exist without the heroine being the most special, remarkable person ever, we learn that Jeff Daniels and the creepy future people have been watching the experiment in Chicago like it’s a long-running reality show. This means that everywhere she goes people gape in awe and whisper about how amazing Tris is. Creepy future people have clearly never seen a good movie because Tris is an objectively horrible protagonist.
The kids decide to go back to Chicago because the Apple store of the future is lame. Once back in the city they have to try and stop Naomi Watts from releasing a memory gas on the city, because Allegiant is secretly the world’s worst episode of the 1966 Batman TV show. There isn’t nearly enough story to fill the 120-minute run time, so the big action finale is mostly just Tris and Four staring longingly at each other.
And this is just part one. They divided the final book in two, so there’s an entire other movie yet to be made in this series, which is a living nightmare. Like Insurgent before it, Allegiant is a bad movie indifferently made, and no one who is in it tries do anything other than collect their paycheck. There’s no joy in Allegiant and watching it feels like studying for a test you’re being forced to take. It’s a chore for everyone involved.