Divergent: Allegiant Part 1
By: John Delia, Jr.
Third in the series of Veronica Roth’s novels, Divergent: Allegiant Part 1 hits the screen this weekend taking the battle outside the walls of Chicago. Using some exciting CGI, the film continues to impress as the rebels find themselves at bay with the government. Directed at the mid-teen to mid-twenties crowd, the film should hit home even though it leaves a lot to be explained for the next chapter. If you have seen the prequels then it will make a lot of sense, but I recommend either you read the books or rent the first two films Divergent and Insurgent before you attempt to see this chapter.
The factions have withered and we find Evelyn (Naomi Watts) of Factionless and Johanna (Octavia Spencer) of Amity in charge of the “administration” leading to a new adventure beyond Chicago. Their first objective is the decision whether to execute prisoners or forgive their sins against the leaders. Included in the captives, Caleb is being held on criminal charges. Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are still trying to figure a way to free Caleb (Ansel Elgort) when violence breaks out all over the city.
As the film proceeds, we find Tris and Four teaming with Christina (Zoe Kravitz), now freed Caleb, Peter (Miles Teller) and Tori (Maggie Q) as they begin a new adventure beyond the walls of Chicago. Director Robert Schwentke expands on the script by giving his viewers a look at what’s behind the barrier. Schwentke provides a lot of detail using special computer graphics and nicely growing the storyline in this new world. Here he delves a little too deep; however, slowing the action and working his way to an acceptable ending that will hopefully be accelerated in Allegiant Part 2.
The acting here has improved somewhat from the other two parts showing what age will do in the perfection of one’s art. Making their characters more malleable, Schwentke produces a more likeable Tris and a no-nonsense Four. Maybe it’s just the freedom they get in this episode of Divergent, but I really think that Woodley grew in the role of Tris because of her dramatic work in The Fault in Our Stars and James as Four with his action work in the Underworld series.
As previously mentioned, the computer graphics are astounding in Divergent: Allegiant Part 1. The outside world becomes a new playground and the sets show a view of the new world to come. The special effects war scenes are nicely done and combined with apt make-up, costumes and props, the viewer gets a chance to see what writer Veronica Roth envisioned. Add to this a good upbeat musical score and it should make for good box office numbers.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part 1 has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some partial nudity. Please be sure pre-teens are accompanied by an adult as the violence looks very real.
FINAL GRADE: I give this a B- for its well-paced storyline and futuristic special effects.