Directed by: Robert Schwentke – Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Octavia Spencer, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Naomi Watts
The third movie in the Divergent series lands, and unlike many of their tween contemporaries, they have resisted the temptation to start splitting the last couple of chapters into extra parts, thus dragging out the story more often than not at the expense of the quality of the movie.
However, that’s not to say you can just step into this with no prior knowledge of the other films. This has very much been shot soap opera style, with each movie directly cutting off before the beginning of the next one, and if you haven’t either read the books or seen the other two (Divergent and Insurgent) you will find yourself somewhat lost. Also if you haven’t seen the others, this review may not make much sense, but to give you a synopsis of what has gone before would take up more space than I’m allowed!
Picking up after the revelations at the end of Insurgent, where our main protagonist Tris (Woodley) learned the truth about their walled city, there is an uprising in Chicago and executions are rife. Tris, Four (James) and their allies determine to escape over the wall, and find out exactly what is on the other side. Hoping to find a better world, they instead discover that their enclosure is actually an experiment, and they have been watched all their lives. However, Tris begins working with the Director of the company responsible for this to try and help the people still trapped in the city. However with no-one who they seem to be, and people working to their own agendas, it will take strength, good judgment, and courage in order to do the right thing.
If you’ve seen the other two this will probably be a bit jolting, as it has a very different tone. Far more action-packed than previous offerings (with some very impressive explosions and fight scenes) it also looks very different, thanks to taking the action mostly out of the post-modern dystopia of Chicago. If you haven’t seen the others – well, that’s pretty moot…
All the cast are comfortable in their roles at this stage, so I can’t fault their performances, but they are let down at times by a rather stilted script. What grates, particularly, is that they keep banging home a message about equality. While this is important, an audience does not need it reiterated to them every few minutes. This is somewhat compensated for by some beautiful cinematography and sound editing though, and of course, the aforementioned action scenes. They have really upped the ante here, and the set pieces are some of the best parts of this movie.
Having seen the previous two (and therefore having a notion what was going on) I enjoyed this as a piece of light entertainment, but I wouldn’t want to nit-pick, as there are many flaws I could jump on. However, if you are looking for bubblegum for the eyes, and two hours of escapism, this should do the trick – once you watch the other two first.
In Cinemas Now!