The Divergent Series: Allegiant

The release of Allegiant marks the beginning of the end of an era. For some, 2008-2016 may be remember as The Obama Years, but others will remember these years as being ruled by female protagonists who lept from YA novels to the big screen. Trilogies of books were made into series multi million budget full length features films that have defined a generation. Publishers and studios can no longer pretend that desires of young girls and women to see themselves writ large is affordable to ignore. Allegiant is the last of these and thankfully, it is the best of Divergent films.

Allegiant succeeds in so many ways because it no longer focuses on the personality free Tris and instead, pulls in bigger themes of living long enough to see your hero become the villain, eugenics, and forgiveness. The action scenes are thrilling and, thanks to finally leaving the walls around Chicago, we are treated to some very cool,futuristic sci-fi.

When Tris and the crew first arrive, they are treated to a digital lesson catching them up on everything that happened to the war torn Earth before their sequester began. They’re treated as celebrities, Tris especially. They’re stunned by the new tech and as we learn more about this Utopian Chicago, the more the something smells rotten. In scenes that strongly recall stories of Stolen Generations, and for reasons unexplained (save for propaganda of providing better lives) they steal the children of people living in the wasteland, erase their memories, and raise them back at the base. As the crew begins to learn they’ve traded one set of inequalities for another, Tris falls deeper into their ideals, and things at home continue to devolve into civil war.

If only the series had started here, I would have had higher expectations for the following installments. The first two films suffered from lack of substance, while this one is bursting at the seams with new ideas and age old philosophical arguments.  Messy, but vastly more engaging than its predecessors, Allegiant (part one, btw) finally adds some fuel to this sleepy series and finally makes me care about what will happen in Allegiant Part 2.

Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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