There’s a common theory that going into a movie with low expectations will help you appreciate it more and leave you pleasantly surprised. That’s certainly not the case for Allegiant.
The Divergent series had the potential to be the next Hunger Games. The first film boasted an amazing cast (except for the incredibly boring Theo James), had some impressive action sequences, and built an interesting world that left viewers wanting more. Sure it had an incredibly dull love story and a slew of YA cliches, but it was still a pretty decent effort with great franchise potential. However, the second film pretty much flushed that potential down the toilet with bad dialogue, an overload of subplots and a convoluted story. So at this point, why should we even bother reviewing Allegiant? Because we here at Nerd Bastards are gluttons for punishment.
Some time ago, I applied for a management position at Staples (I was broke, unemployed and needed to pay rent — sue me). Following my interview, I was asked to take what was known as a “personality test”. Computer generated, the assessment was mostly comprised of statements like “I often cry in public” and asked me to answer either True or False. I never got a call back for that job, which irked me to no end. My resume was loaded with experience, my interview had gone great and I had even worn my best To Boot NYs, so all that was left to disqualify me was that stupid box, which apparently decided through some kind of complex algorithm that I did not contain multitudes. The post-apocalyptic society in Divergent operates on the same basic principal, placing each of its members into one of five shoddily defined groups using a combination of that same character exam and the Project MKUltra tests conducted by the CIA in the late 50s and 60s. It’s a central conceit so lunkheaded, I honestly am struggling with fathoming it being based on a popular, pre-existing Young Adult text.