Even the followers of the novels of Veronica Roth had to be wondering what Tris Prior and her band of never-very-merry followers would find on the other side of that wall around Chicago in the latest installment of this dramatic action franchise.
And those who come to this third part unread of her YA work, such as me, well …
The Divergent Series: Allegiant, directed by Robert Schwentke from a screenplay by Noah Oppenheimer and Adam Cooper from Roth’s novel Allegiant looks and feels quite different from its predecessors. For one, Beatrice and her main gang — boyfriend Four, brother Caleb, troublemaker Peter and tough, loyal girl friends Christina and Tori — are older and presumably wiser, though still looking for power couple Tris and Four for much of the leadership of mind and body.
And the adults at the top of the power struggle that is this dystopian mess of a future are still bickering and fighting and doing not much more to prove their way is best for all factions.
So Tris and Four take ’em over the wall. Shailene Woodley and Theo James again play it serious to the hilt. Taciturn and powerful, she the undeniable alpha and he seemingly happy with his role of, too. Angel Elgort was better as her romantic love interest in The Fault in Our Stars but he makes the most of his nerdy brain brother role, and Miles Teller smarms his mouthy way again as Peter. Zoe Kravitz is a dynamo in a small package, and Maggie Q makes the most of her most dramatic scene. Truth be known, these actors are all getting a bit long in the tooth for these just-were-kids characters, me thinks, with part four to be delivered a year down the line?
Inside the walls, Naomi Watts reprises her moody role as now-she’s-attached, then-she’s-wasn’t mom to Four, and Octavia Spencer again is steady as thoughtful Johanna.
But it’s outside Chicago that’s the eye opener, with gadgets to amaze these young people, and a welcome that makes them feel so wonderful.
Except the differences aren’t what they seem at first, of course.
And that leader David, who’s taken Tris under his wing and knows all about them because of his marvelous technology? Let’s say Jeff Daniels is making a pretty good living these days playing characters a lot like this dude.
But Tris and Four, well, they are up for adventures in the outside world, or there wouldn’t be a franchise, now, would there?
The smallish Friday night crowd in the big Regal Cinemas theater in Syracuse’s Shoppingtown Mall seemed to still have an allegiance. It was all OK, but not quite up to the first two. And the cliff-hanger didn’t seem quite as high as that dang wall around Chicago.
Shailene Woodley or Jennifer Lawrence for you in these YA action movies, and why? What’s your favorite movie with a colon in the title, and why? What’s your favorite Jeff Daniels character, and why?