NEW YORK (CNS) — The third time’s not a charm with “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” (Summit), a ponderous adaptation of the final book of the futuristic trilogy by Veronica Roth.
With no less than four screenwriters in tow, Robert Schwentke returns as director of this sequel to last year’s “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” picking up right where the story left off.
Viewers will recall that our heroine, Tris (Shailene Woodley), brought down the wicked faction system that divided families in post-apocalyptic Chicago. In doing so, she unearthed a big secret: The Windy City is a giant petri dish, a 200-year experiment in genetic engineering controlled by beings who live on the other side of the city wall.
Curiosity may kill the cat, but it won’t stop Tris and Four (Theo James), her mentor-lover, from venturing out into the forbidden zone as their city descends into anarchy and former leaders fight for control. Evelyn (Naomi Watts), Four’s mother, arranges show trials and public executions. She is countered by the saintly Johanna (Octavia Spencer), who preaches peace but is not afraid to use her weapon.
So over the Great Wall of China — make that Chicago — they go, Tris and Four along with an ally, Christina (Zoe Kravitz), and two former traitors: Tris’ brother, Caleb (Ansel Elgort), and the wily Peter (Miles Teller).
Our intrepid quintet traverses a radioactive wasteland before being plucked by spaceships and whisked off to a gleaming city on the site of O’Hare International Airport. (“What’s an airport?” Caleb asks.)
This is the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, where a charismatic leader, David (Jeff Daniels), has been overseeing the Chicago experiment, which (surprise!) isn’t going well. He is obsessed with Tris as she is the only person in the whole wide world with healthy genes, and therefore key to correcting the genetic mutations plaguing her fellow Chicagoans.
It’s all rather complicated, and silly, as the action ramps up and David’s true intentions emerge. The old ad slogan “It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature” comes to mind.
While “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” is not nearly as violent as its predecessors, it does contain several scenes which may be too intense for younger viewers.
Ardent fans will be delighted to learn this is not the end of the film series: Roth’s final novel has been divided in two, promising yet another sequel.
The film contains intense violence and action, brief rear female nudity, and some crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
McAleer is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Search for Irish roots adds depth to author’s Catholic identity
NEXT: Author gives strong, clear portrait of U.S. priest killed in Guatemala
Share this story