"Allegiant" Review

“Stop. Put your pencils down. Close your test book.” That’s what the teachers used to say to us at the end of a big test. All I needed to see was five minutes of Allegiant before I wanted to tell the screenwriters, check writers, studio execs, and anyone else who can get another Divergent Series movie created to “Stop! Put your pencils down. Don’t make another one of these!”

Tris (Shailene Woodley), her boyfriend Four (Theo James), best friend Christina (Zoe Kravitz), brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort), and flip flop peer Peter (Miles Teller) are ready to see what’s on the other side of the wall this time. So they venture out against the orders of Evelyn (Naomi Watts), who took over as Chicago’s leader after the last film, Insurgent. It takes the usual outfoxing to get to the wall, but thank goodness for the genius that is Tris. 

The problem (among many) with Allegiant is that it recycles themes from its previous films. As the world of Tris and her friends opens to a new and unknown world outside the wall of Chicago, we’re simply introduced to a new society that has separated people into categories: pure vs. damaged. The film does a terrible job of explaining why some people are damaged and other people are pure. I tried to pay attention, but it was a quite convoluted exposition monologue given by David (Jeff Daniels), the new leader of the new world. What was made clear, was that Tris holds the key to cracking into the pure human genome. Unfortunately, in this franchise, Tris is a poorly written heroine who seems to step up only after everyone around her has done the work needed to let her step on their backs. It’s a boring watch. 

The only intriguing part of Allegiant is its images. The environments and architecture are beautiful. The invented technology in the film is unique and gives a vision for our world’s future tech. It’s sad that it’s all used on a film with little story crammed into two hours of something we’ve seen before. In short, Tris and the gang have jumped out of the pot and into the fire. They have a new “villain” to take down with the same old issues to fix. 

Unless you’re a fanatic of the series, please save your money and don’t go to the theaters to see this film. The creators didn’t spend time putting something fresh and coherent together, and thus you shouldn’t spend your time and money viewing it. I’d fall asleep watching it on Netflix if I were you.

Rating: F

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.