The Divergent series: Allegiant

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Based on The “Divergent” book series by Veronica Roth, “Allegiant” is the latest film adapted by Robert Schwentke, and stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Naomi Watts and a slew of young actors.

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Premise: After the earth-shattering revelations of INSURGENT, Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

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Review:  After Insurgent I was skeptical, I wasn’t exactly rushing to see this film but I was quickly engaged in the story. The cinematography was beautiful and a step up to the previous film. The pace was nice and easy, there isn’t much going on, but I was entertained. I did feel like some characters were mishandled some were done away so quickly and without much impact that I almost rolled my eyes. The big baddy in this one start off great but becomes very stereotypical that it feels like the actor gave up at some point, or the direction given hindered the character.

Allegiant is a step up from Insurgent but it’s not as good as Divergent. At least that’s what I think, what about you?

Insurgent

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Based on the second installment of the Divergent novels by Veronica Roth, the film was directed by Robert Schwentke and stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Milles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Naomi Watts & Octavia Spencer.

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Premise: Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart.

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Review: Divergent – the first book – was interesting but the first movie was even better, way better if you ask me. They managed to cast great actors and make a realistic futuristic movie. Despite having a different director Insurgent

looks familiar I easily slipped back into a world I was already familiar with. The movie is visually impressive, even though it looks a bit too CGI-ish for my taste, making the film not as grounded as Divergent was so at times it feels like watching a video game or an animated version of it. 

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The acting is OK, I mean it’s a good cast so what they bring to the table fits the story and the emotional journey these characters have been through. But – because of course there is one – Theo James’ (Four) age is seriously starting to show. I know he’s only 30 – and Teller is 28 – but in the first movie it didn’t seem as weird that he’s with Tris (Woodley) but next to 46 years old Naomi Watts, who looks 35, maybe forty, it’s really weird. They look like brothers and sisters at best, they could have aged Watts or cast someone else completely because how young was she when she had him? 12?
It will be even weirder to see her playing opposite Ray Stevenson (Marcus Eaton) – Four’s dad – who’ll look like a dirty old man next to her, which is probably why we’ll see very little of that.

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I wish these aspects of the film were the only ones I had a problem with but on top of all of that Insurgent lacks rhythm. It’s missing the slow, intense build up in which the tension and the action grows to an entertaining climax but it never doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong it is action-packed – kinda -, a rich adventure of a film but whenever the tension builds up it quickly dies down to go back up again at some point and that’s how it is throughout the movie. It comes and goes in waves but never rides on the high the previous action scenes gave you.

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Although, it’s faithful to the book Insurgent was a bit of a disappointment I expected better. It’s only slightly more entertaining than the book, they could have done better. 

What did you think?

Divergent | Review

In honor of Allegiant coming out this week in North America I will be looking back at the movies that came before. So I guess it’s a throwback Tuesday article. Based on Veronica Roth’s novel “Divergent” which was adapted to the silver screen by Neil Burger (Limitless, Billions). Divergent is studded with talented actors among which with have Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoe Kravitz, Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd, and many more.

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Premise: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late.

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Review: I first came across the Divergent series in between Pittacus Lore’s Lorien Legacies books. I remember reading book one (Divergent) and two (Insurgent) in a row because I was desperate for something to read. The first novel was interesting enough for me to read the second one but I didn’t fall in love with it, which probably explain why Allegiant – the book – as been collecting dust, untouched, on my bookshelf for years.

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For the first movie, they managed to cast great actors, which was mind-boggling for me at the time, and they made a realistic futuristic film. Watching the movie, I noticed all the bits and pieces that were missing from the book but I didn’t really care. Divergent grounded, had real indie sensibilities, and was entertaining as hell.

I loved every beat, Shailene Woodley carried that film beautifully both on the emotional front and the action scenes. She was believable and took us on great journey with Tris. The rest of the cast did a good job even though some characters were a bit stereotypical and one note but overall it’s good.

Divergent was definitely not movie of the year in 2014 but it’s fun and has re-watchable value at least that’s what I think, what about you guys?