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Movie Night – ‘Allegiant’ considered in worst movies of year

By Bradley Griffith

Forget about it.  Save your time and your money and go see a movie that might be a little entertaining or even a smidge interesting or enjoyable.  The final installment of the “Divergent” trilogy is not that movie.

In a distant future the survivors of a nuclear holocaust live in what used to be Chicago.  Chicago is surrounded by walls that allow no one in, and no one out.  The people are divided into factions to best utilize their natural abilities.  This works well until one of the factions decides it wants to rule the other factions and chaos ensues.  At the end of “Insurgent” the factionless had taken over the city and deposed the dictator attempting to rule with an iron fist.

Tris (Shailene Woodley) is a divergent, someone whose attributes make her suitable for more than one faction.  Just before “Insurgent” ended she was able to open a message from the people who created their city.  It seems that Chicago, and all the people in it, are part of a grand experiment.  There is a world beyond the fence that is waiting for them.

As “Allegiant” begins Tris and her boyfriend, Four (Theo James), are planning to leave the city in search of a better version of humanity and a better life.  Four’s mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts) is the newly-elected leader of the city and is holding trials for those on the losing side of the battle.  Tris and Four break Caleb (Ansel Elgort) out of jail and with a few other like-minded individuals escape beyond the wall.

What they find is no Garden of Eden. Instead they find a vast wasteland where even the rain is rust-colored and toxic.  As the soldiers from Chicago attempt to hunt them down they are saved by soldiers from the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, an advanced city that rises out of the desolate landscape.

The Director (Jeff Daniels) of the Bureau believes that with Tris’ help as the only true divergent left alive they can engineer a better society by genetically modifying human genes to create the perfect person.  The Director believes this to be the only way to achieve a truly peaceful society.  But, as you have no doubt by now guessed, everything at the Bureau of Genetic Welfare is not what it seems.

If you haven’t seen “Divergent” and “Insurgent,” don’t bother with “Allegiant.”  Not just because you will have no idea what is happening, but also because you don’t want to waste your time watching the entire series.  The original movie was good, “Insurgent” was decent, and “Allegiant” is just plain awful.  Series are supposed to end with a bang, rather than the resounding thud that is “Allegiant.”

The story is not interesting, the action is lame, the special effects are not convincing, and the bad guy is not that bad.  The series is supposed to be a dystopian tale of disaster after a major war, but “Allegiant” is more science fiction than anything else.  There’s nothing wrong with good science fiction, but this movie falls flat in every respect.

“Allegiant” and, to a lesser extent, “Insurgent” have been big disappointments.  “Divergent” was good enough that it led you to believe it could compete with the “Hanger Games” series.  Sadly, the “Divergent” series cannot compare even to “The Maze Runner.”

Maybe I was expecting too much.  But the final installment of a series is supposed to be bigger, bolder, and better than the other films of the series.  Instead, “Allegiant” is a dud and one of the worst movies of the year.

Grade: D

Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity.