With a world beyond the wall revealed to the inhabitants of Chicago, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are prepared to find out what lies in the world beyond their home. Four’s mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts), has other ideas. Now that she’s seized control of the factions, she wants the gates closed to keep everybody inside. A small group, led by Tris and Four, escape the city and find themselves in an irradiated land. Just as they think they’re really is nothing left on the other side of the wall, they’re rescued and brought before David (Jeff Daniels), a scientist hoping to heal the world. Things don’t seem right though, and while Tris tries to bring change through David, the factions inside Chicago begin an escalating war that may destroy the home that Four and Tris once loved.
It’s important to note that Allegiant is actually the first part of two films covering the final book of The Divergent Series. I say this because it was not something I was entirely aware of going in, but was happy to find that there’s nothing that makes Allegiant feel unfinished. If everything stopped here, it would be a satisfying conclusion. There’s no build-up that is left unfulfilled here.
Fans of the series will find one of the stronger parts with Allegiant. There’s no need to work through the backstory of characters and this film doesn’t have the kind of lagging story that Insurgent had. Things move along quickly, maybe even too quickly at times, but there’s very few moments that will leave you wanting more. Things move so briskly that you won’t notice the 2 hour running time has passed by.
Woodley and James continue the solid performances they have delivered in every previous film in the series, while Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller, as Caleb and Peter respectively, get a little bit more attention. Peter is still up to his slightly humorous but evil ways while Caleb manages to find something he’s good at instead of just being left to cower in terror the entire film. The only disappointing part is Zoë Kravitz as Christina, a character who has proven she’s a badass but still can’t manage to get any screen time. It’s a waste of a great character, even more when you think about what a great female character she is.
Where things are headed is actually the least impressive part of the film. There’s no surprises to be found and the film seems to try and distract from the obvious twists by jamming in action sequences at just the right times. It looks great for the most part, but when you know what’s coming whether you’ve read the books or not, it’s not always as exciting as it could be.
Nothing will stop the fans who have enjoyed the series so far, but this probably won’t be converting any new fans to the series. Splitting it into two parts always feels like a cash grab, but Allegiant is certainly a film that can stand on its own while also building up anticipation for the final film.