Allegiant is the third instalment of the Divergent trilogy, of which I have seen only the first film once when it was released two years ago. I never saw the second film despite really enjoying Divergent. No problem though, because Shawn was seeing Allegiant with me and he had only seen Insurgent, the second one, (Editor: This is already getting confusing isn’t it?) so we could catch each other up in the ten minutes before the movie.
Before I get into reviewing Allegiant, I thought I’d offer you our summaries of the other films, starting with Divergent;
“The world gets sorted into groups and Tris chooses the fear group and meets Four. And then… I guess a bunch of fights happen and Kate Winslet’s character dies.”
“No,” Shawn corrects me, “Kate Winslet’s character doesn’t die.”
Shawn then goes on to summarize what he remembers from Insurgent;
“Not-Jennifer Lawrence and that other one run around a bit. People don’t seem to like them and Kate Winslet is always in a bad mood. Not sure why exactly, I didn’t really pay attention at the time. They want to hide from her but then decide not to for some reason. I’m fairly certain I’ve seen this all before, though it may have just been The Hunger Games.”
We both agreed after this rundown that we could not have made it clearer than that.
Shawn and I sit down with more ice creams than we can handle because on a whim we decided to upgrade our combos before realizing that the promoters were giving out ice creams for free. I only got melted chocolate on my dress twice and Shawn ate the ice creams before they melted because it didn’t seem to occur to him that he could just not take them.
I found out later that the ice creams were effectively studio bribes. They were probably given out in excess so that you stayed planted in your cinema seat despite the inescapable urge to yolo out of there as you spent the entire 121 minutes trying not to get chocolate stains on your clothes.
As the film began, we are introduced to Tris and Four in a bleak cave amongst the entire city’s population. I wonder if Tris’ brother is in the prison cage voluntarily because he’s one of the good guys, right? (“Oh, wait,” Shawn says, “Kate Winslet’s character is dead.”)
Ten minutes into the movie Shawn comments on how great the extras’ acting is but I’m too distracted by the shaky camera to know if he is being ironic (Ed: I was definitely being ironic).
I don’t want to be unkind; maybe I would have really enjoyed the film if I had understood the plot. So, I will leave the review to Shawn and just take you on a journey of how I experienced Allegiant as someone who has no recollection of the first two movies.
Allegiant didn’t have a plot, but was rather a 121 minute enigma in which the audience had to figure out what they were seeing, who the bad guys were, and why they should care. I love logic puzzles so you can imagine my frustration at trying to figure out this visual puzzle where logic was not involved whatsoever.
It just seemed like everybody was out to get them but actually help them, but – just kidding – actually wanted to kill them. Or did they? I couldn’t figure out who I was meant to be relating with until well into the movie the director said to Tris, “I’m sure you have a lot of questions,” and I was like, “I sure as hell do”. This was 15 minutes before I put my head in my hands and audibly said, “I don’t know what’s happening”.
There were three locations Tris and Four could reside in and they were all rubbish. Also, I only figured out what “The Fringe” was a third of the way through the movie (it was the giant red earthy place) so that may have set me back a bit. Look, honestly I kept getting this movie mixed up with The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials because I’m pretty sure the production teams used the same green-screen.
At the climax of the movie I found myself leaning over and asking Shawn, “What is the allegiant?” to which he responded, “The other guys?” but he didn’t sound convinced. Actually, at the end of the movie Tris summarises what I can only guess is the entire trilogy plotline to the city, which would have been wildly useful at the beginning of the film. Maybe that would have helped me catch on to what an allegiant is? I’m still not sure. Is it an ally? In case you were wondering, I didn’t figure out who the bad guys were, so even if it does mean “ally”, I still couldn’t tell you what the allegiant is.
Before I leave you, here is Shawn’s promised review of the film:
“You might enjoy this film if you’ve seen the other ones. If not, you’ll likely find it confusing. I didn’t much care for it, mostly because I was waiting for Kate Winslet to show up the whole time… but she didn’t… because she died in the last one. The ice creams were great though.”
In conclusion, if you found this review confusing, you understand how I felt throughout the entire movie. Welcome on board.