As temperatures continue to rise, settling into more spring-like like conditions, winter appears to be over, at least for the time being. And now with January and February 2016, securely in our rear-view mirror, the quality of films at the theater should increase steadily. That ought to have many jumping for joy considering the two winter months provided us with Dirty Grandpa, Ride Along 2, and The Forest. Now, in what could easily be described as the year’s first blockbuster, The Divergent Series: Allegiant –Part 1, hit theaters.
Allegiant –Part 1 is the latest film in the Divergent series based on the popular books by Veronica Roth. The newest entry picks up soon after the conclusion of the second film. All of the factions are now working together after the destruction of the previous regime. The self-appointed leaders of the new sect are holding “trials” for those accused of perpetrating heinous crimes while being loyal to Jeanine. Tris’s brother, Caleb, is one of those awaiting trial. However, before he meets his judge, jury, and eventual executioner, Tris, Four and gang rescue Caleb.
Following the daring escape, the group continues on their ill-conceived mission that includes scaling the towering wall that encompasses their unrecognizable city of Chicago. Once over the mammoth barrier, they encounter a group of mysterious people, in a deserted and destroyed land, who, at first look appear to be caring and benevolent. Unfortunately, for Tris, Four and Caleb, looks are often deceiving, as is the case with their new acquaintances.
While the first two films in the series are from Tris’s point of view, the third entry shifts dramatically, with the tale revolving primarily around Four. While it is a bit jarring at first, due to being such an obvious change, it does work nicely. Four is a much more interesting character than Tris and it was nice to see him get to be more than just the guy Tris turns to when she gets in a jam. However, things start to go downhill after that pretty fast.
For starters, as the film progresses, the plot attempts to incorporate several other storylines, that it becomes so messy and convoluted. Seeing the two previous films isn’t likely to help making sense of this muddled chaos of a plot. Unfortunately, that’s not the biggest flaw. The most noticeable problem is the absurd and total change in the character Tris. In the first two films, she’s this intelligent character able to pick up on things, but that’s not the case at all here.