Like fine wine, the Divergent series has gotten slightly more tolerable with time having bored the pants off of millions in its previous two outings of head-scratching, generic YA guff. Robert Schwentke has returned to direct Allegiant, the third instalment of the franchise, with faction rebels Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) leading a small band of youthful heroes beyond Chicago’s wall in search of the truth.
Carrying a greater sense of compactness, Allegiant finally feels like this dullish young adult story has finally kicked itself into gear. It’s far from perfect, and certainly undeserving of living in the same realm as the far mightier The Hunger Games, but Schwentke’s latest attempt appears far more comfortable in its previously clunky shoes.
Whether it be the ludicrously fake looking transportable bubbles or the fact that it is appears to be a growing platform for a Tris-Four make-out session, this third showing of the Divergent four-parter still carries around a lot of face-palming fluff that could’ve easily been left on the cutting room floor. Yet this film, compared to the previous two, appears more coherent, and certainly more interesting.
Through boredom or a just a lack of giving two hoots, it’s been a difficult franchise to get my teeth into. Yet Allegiant – despite its issues, and there are plenty – felt, to my surprise, somewhat different. Hero to hero, lover to lover, rebel to rebel; conflicts, relationships and just sheer character dynamics were increasingly comprehendible and simply more enjoyable.
It would be a huge overstatement to say this latest instalment has lit the Divergent light in my overly large belly, but having finally managed to stomach a portion of the previously dissatisfying dystopian effort, this latest offering has managed to offer a little bit of hope ahead of next year’s final instalment.