Want the short of it?
This entire series is a poor man's "Hunger Games." This is a series of movies based on a young adult series. It features a strong female lead. It takes place in a dystopian future. There is a power struggle in this world created after whatever destroyed the world, and the strong female lead is the key to salvation. It all sounds familiar. The problem I have with these "Divergent" movies is they never took the time to really explain their story. I get that the people created different ruling factions to govern the new world, and that people got to choose what faction they wanted and could be guided by a test. If somebody took the test and saw that they had traits in all the factions, that would deem them divergent. There is some jumble about the government not being able to control Divergents, but why are Divergents really threats? Because the bad guys needed a motivation. I have talked about how this franchise was built on a poor foundation, and it is. Everything is so poorly explained that I have to go on the internet and read up on some notes before I watch these movies. I never had to do that watching "The Hunger Games" or "Harry Potter" or "Lord of the Rings" because those movies did a good job of showing the audience the stakes, telling a good story and something that was easy to follow. "Divergent" and "Insurgent" make very little sense, and so does "Allegiant."
Some people may claim otherwise, but Shailene Woodley and Theo James are bad actors. In Shailene's case, she has always been a bad actor. I only know James from these movies, and he's not a good actor. Your results may vary but when they try to proclaim any kind of emotion on the spectrum, I cringe or giggle. I have given these two twerps three movies to convince me that anything they are doing in this movie matters, or that I should be invested in this story. But I continue not to be. I am blown away that weird, poorly-created story can make such great actors like Octavia Spencer, Naomi Watts, Maggie Q, Zoe Kravitz and Jeff Daniels look like amateurs. But when you are working from a script this silly, how can you make the page believable? You may also disagree with this, but what made "The Hunger Games" good to watch is because Jennifer Lawrence created a profound conviction in her character. I believed everything she did, I don't believe anything that Woodley has done over the course of these movies. There is a moment early in the movie when Tris, Woodley's character, watches one of her friends get killed. There is barely any emotion to scene at all. Llama's could have done a better job.
The only new thing we learn in these movies is that the idea of these power factions and these "Divergents" were a freaking experiment. The most basic gimmick they could come up with. This is really what these movies have been building up to? Just finding out that "Divergents" pretty much came out of a test tube? That is quite underwhelming. While nothing original happens in "The Hunger Games," the writing style and the creative choices made created something that felt fresh, even if it really wasn't. Everything is so basic in "Allegiant" that it feels like a movie you'd see on the SyFy channel.
Sadly, we have one more chapter in this series of movies. Ugh. I'd ask who goes to see these, but then I'd wonder about "Twilight" too.
If you are already on-board with this series, then you've probably already seen this. So, if there is anybody wondering about this series, I'd warn you off. You've seen better. Trust me.
FINAL GRADE: D-