Unless the purpose of a film is to demean the audience, I suggest that you leave this movie for angst ridden teenagers wrestling to find meaning in life.
I swear to you, I really didn’t want to do it. It appeared by any definition to be brutally sophomoric, so how could I find any justification for seeing it? And yet there I was, sitting like an idiot in a movie theater with three other people watching Allegiant. And surprise, surprise, it exceeded every one of my expectations.
The movie goes nowhere from beginning to end, and it takes a long time to get there. (It officially lasts 2 hours). A small group of heroes led by Tris (Shailene Woodley) escapes a futuristic version of Chicago to see if life exists outside the walls. The urban landscape of the United States looks like the aftermath following the explosion of numerous Japanese nuclear facilities, and the only hope comes from the discovery of a small city known as Providence. Unfortunately, it is run by the syrupy David (Jeff Daniels) and the expected help is not on the way.
Actually, I could give away the plot, as I don’t think any of you would care. Suffice it to say that Peter (Miles Teller, playing the most vacillating good guy/bad guy to hit the screen in years) teams up with Daniels to try to unleash a toxin on Chicago that will cause everyone to lose their memory. Quite honestly, I was hoping that the gas would erupt in the theater so that I could forget paying to watch this ridiculous cinematic absurdity.
I really should simply stop my review here, but I have to mention that Naomi Watts risks losing her great career by playing Evelyn, the confused leader of the victorious forces in Chicago. Octavia Spencer plays Johanna Reyes, the leader of the opposing forces challenging Ms. Watts, but she does little more than briefly appear as a rebel with no piss and less vinegar.
Nonetheless, there is one great thing about the film, namely the spectacularly awful performance by Theo James as Four. He reminds you in every scene of a throwback version to a male Brigitte Bardo, and his sole contribution to the movie is to beat the hell out of opponents while occasionally giving tepid kisses to Tris, the love of his life.
If I had been Ms. Woodley, I would have simply told Four to take a hike and then ask the audience to leave the theater with her.