By Jack Dignan
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA fuck. This wasn't good. I knew going into this film that I wasn't going to like it, but goddamn, I was still let down by it. The first Divergent film, I will admit, isn't terrible. It's not by any means good, although I did think that on initial viewing, but it's not as bad as it could've been. It was soon followed up by Insurgent, which I presumed would be this franchise's low point. It was the middle chapter, so there's no way this series could get any worse, right? Wrong. Oh so very wrong. Insurgent, which I hate with a passion, actually looks like an alright film in comparison to whatever the hell I watched last night. This one was just incomprehensibly bad.
Allegiant begins where Insurgent left off, with Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) leading the people of Chicago to freedom beyond the wall..... until Evelyn (Naomi Watts) decides it's best for nobody to leave, traps them in and starts to control them, because who needed a follow through with the cliffhanger ending of the last one anyway? Tris and Four have had enough, leading a team beyond the wall where they discover what the world is really like. That's.... that's all I've got, really. I honestly don't think this film had a plot until the last ten minutes, and even then the plot makes no sense.
I don't really know where to begin with this movie, so all I'll say is that nothing can prepare you for how truly terrible it is. I've seen some pretty damn awful young adult movies in the last few years, but I don't think I've seen any as lazy, poorly scripted and just plain frustrating to watch as this one. It may be called Allegiant, but it's only half of Allegiant. The filmmakers thought putting the words "part 1" in the title would be a bad move. Little did they realise, it just makes me want to watch the next one even less.
There's a reason this is the shortest film in the franchise thus far, and that's because there's nothing left in this story for them to tell. The writers clearly had no idea what they were doing because every ten minutes or so a random, out of the blue moment occurs that wasn't the least bit foreshadowed and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. The plot attempts to stuff so many things in that it doesn't end up stuffing anything in, resulting in a film that's impossible to follow, and even people who've read and loved the books can agree with that. I have not, nor do I intent to, especially after these last two god-awful excuses for a bag of cash, which the producers clearly didn't get as the film made half of what the last one did when it came out in America last month.
Allegiant has an absolutely fantastic cast, I will give it that, but you can tell they're all just here for the money. Theo James is just about the only person here trying, but he just simply isn't that good of an actor, his lines stale and overly dramatised. Plus, when the action goes down, he looks like a puppet. It's hilarious. I don't even think Miles Teller read the script for this movie, but I'm so glad he didn't as he's easily the best thing about this film. He clearly doesn't give a shit about the movie, making sarcastic comments left, right and centre. I do feel bad for the guy, though, as he's a much better actor than this. He needs to be doing more things like Whiplash and The Spectacular Now, not more things like this.
As the film goes on, it just gradually gets stranger and stranger and stranger, featuring weird floating wombs, gooey perverted showers, CGI that's worse than the animation in some 2D animated movies, drug trip inducing gas and a bazillion plot holes. There is a moment, I kid you not, where Tris says to Jeff Daniels' character that she's going to steal his ship. Daniels doesn't do anything about it, he just watches her leave, walks to a screen and tells security to go get her, then get's surprised when she escapes. Dude..... You watched her take that thing and didn't do jack shit. It's moments like this that make the film a painfully frustrating experience.
Allegiant truly is a one of a kind experience, but for all the wrong reasons. Fantastic Four is no longer the worst film Miles Teller has done, Allegiant can now claim that. There are so many better ways I could've spent my time, but to be honest, I'm glad I saw this movie. It gives me another film to add to my 'worst of 2016' list at the end of the year, which it most certainly will be making. Also, if you do insist on seeing this movie (for unknown reasons), do not go alone. That would just be a painful experience. Take a friend, make fun of it, and both endure the pain. It's not a film you're going to want to see on your own.
To sum up, Allegiant is a film I went into with low expectations, but still came out of it disappointed at how bad it truly was. It's a clichéd, uneventful, poorly written and frustratingly bad experience that makes me feel genuine sorrow for all that were involved.
0 1/2 Stars