Well, almost done.
As we learned with “Harry Potter,” and then with “Twilight,” and then with “The Hunger Games,” and now with “Divergent,” the rule is this: The last book in the series gets whacked in two, and then you’re given the precious gift of two movies where there’s barely enough narrative glue for one (“Deathly Hallows” largely excepted).
‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant’
DIRECTED BY: Robert Schwentke
STARRING: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naolmi Watts and Jeff Daniels
RATED: PG-13 GRADE: D
RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes
So here we are with “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” from the thin-to-begin-with Veronica Roth trilogy set in post-apocalyptic dystopian rathole Chicago, about the teen savior, Tris, her fella, Four, the horrible pukey future, the cliques, the insurrection, the running, the regrouping, the electrified wall, the wondering what lies beyond.
It’s a pretty dull picture, I must say, because it’s my duty to say it. And it’s a pretty dull picture, I must say, because something about its particular grade of dullness may cause memory loss.
Tris is once again portrayed by Shailene Woodley; Theo James has perfected his sullen glower along with his glowering sull as Four, who is so much more than a number to Tris. Kate Winslet’s evil tyrant got killed in the last one, so now we have Four’s mom, played once again by Naomi Watts, running the insurrection, but badly; she’s prone to hasty executions; she needs to rethink her approach. Jeff Daniels portrays the newest reassuring/weaselly authority figure, who runs the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, located in the building formerly known as the O’Hare airport. Seriously, it’s set in what used to be O’Hare, and seriously, it doesn’t look much worse in “Allegiant” than I’ve seen O’Hare look in the wee hours.
Director Robert Schwentke manages one solid action scene, involving wall-scaling and rappelling. The rest of the time we’re either stuck in a reddish toxic ooze, signifying various EPA violations, or else we’re in Providence, where all is clean and shiny and very “Logan’s Run“ny. Woodley’s starting to look a mite bored with this assignment, and comes off peevishly. The only wild card remains Miles Teller, stuck in supporting-underminer duty, but extracting a laugh or two simply by turning his boredom with the material into sly commentary conducted in the margins.
Warning: Each time a character says something like, “Someone’s coming for us!” or “We made it!” they won’t make it.
Postscript: My favorite character in “Allegiant” is the digital voice that says “autopilot engaged” when the autopilot of Jeff Daniels’ hovercraft is engaged. I like the voice because it is honest, and clearly she’s reviewing her own movie. The final final installment, “The Divergent Series: Ascendant,” arrives next March.