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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 11, 2016

Allegiant Movie Review: Leave Your Brain At Home When You Watch This

JUST LIKE the “Harry Potter”, “Twilight” and “Hunger Games” franchise finales, the last book in the “Divergent” series based on the novels of Veronica Roth was also split into two episodes to get more money from its followers. Currently showing is “Allegiant”, then the last episode, “Ascendant”, will be shown next year.

A dystopian novel meant for young adults just like “Hunger Games”, the chief drawback of the “Divergent” series is it does not have someone like Jennifer Lawrence playing the lead role. Shailene Woodley as heroine Tris Prior has a weaker screen presence and simply lacks the charisma and depth of Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. Her leading man, Theo James, is even more successful in capturing the strength and authority of his swarthy character as Four.

In the first movie, “Divergent”, we are introduced to an apocalyptic world in Chicago where people are divided into various factions based on human virtues. Tris is discovered to be Divergent, meaning, she’s a misfit and she partners with Four when they discover there’s a plan to kill all Divergents.

In “Insurgent”, Tris and Four are on the run, hunted by Kate Winslet as Jeanine, the tyrannical leader of the Erudites. Tris tries to find out what really happened in the past and this episode ends with Jeanine being killed and Four meeting his mother, Naomi Watts as Evelyn.

In “Allegiant”, the wall that surrounds the Windy City of Chicago is finally opened after more than 200 years, but citizens are still prevented from going out to cut it off from the outside world. But Tris and Four are able to get out, along with Ansel Elgort as Caleb (Tris’ brother), friends Zoe Kravitz as Christina and Maggie Q as Tori (we love Maggie in the TV series “The Stalker” and feel sad that she has such a short role here), plus the treacherous Miles Teller as Peter. Beyond the confining walls, the earth is one red radioactive wasteland and even the rain is toxic red water so the more apt title for this movie is “Detergent”. And yes, there’s another kind of protective wall, an invisible force field.

We learn that the authorities before experimented on human DNA to get rid of unwanted human qualities like the murder gene. But this proved to be worthless and a now genetically modified population rises in rebellion so Chicago was fenced in to ensure peace in its damaged citizens. This raises so many questions that are left unanswered so the best thing for you to do when you watch this movie is just leave your brain at home. Just enjoy the futuristic visual gimmicks it offers, like flying plasma globes where the characters can ride and aircrafts that look like flying frogs.

Before, the strongest characters are Tris, Jeanine, Evelyn and Octavia Spencer as Johanna with whom Evelyn clashes. In “Allegiant”, they introduce a male villain, Jeff Daniels as David, a top bureaucrat who seems kind, obsessed with genetic purity, but is actually a delusional puppet master who has an agenda of his own in abducting children and erasing their memories through deadly orange gas.

Four writers were hired to write the script of this third movie in the franchise but what they come up with is muddled and ludicrous plotting told without much wit. At this point, viewers like us no longer care that much for any of the characters, not even for Tris. She is supposed to be the unique and special chosen one, but it turns out she’s not really that special since everyone has been genetically modified and she’s the only one who’s not.

The problem with Woodley is that as the heroine you should root for, she doesn’t even look all fired up. This effects-driven series definitely needs to offer more fireworks and more wow factor as a sci-fi action flick in its final installment next year to make it more viable at the box office.