The Divergent Series: Allegiant | DVD review – Shailene Woodley’s sci-fi heroine runs into a muddle

Theo James Shailene Woodley The Divergent Series: Allegiant
Theo James and Shailene Woodley in The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Image credit: Murray Close)

Shailene Woodley’s feisty heroine finally discovers what's been going on in the sci-fi series, but the filmmakers seem to be making things up as they go along.

Theo James Shailene Woodley The Divergent Series: Allegiant


The penultimate episode in The Divergent Series of dystopian sci-fi adventures based on young adult novelist Veronica Roth’s bestselling books, Allegiant sees Shailene Woodley’s feisty heroine Tris finally discover what has been going on in walled-in, faction-ruled, post-apocalyptic Chicago. The storytelling, however, is so muddled it gives the impression the filmmakers are simply making things up as they go along.

Yet some things do work. There's an exciting burst of action when Tris and her allies, including her lover Four (Theo James), brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and the slippery Peter (Miles Teller, as snarky as ever), break out of the city and into a toxic wasteland, but the story slows when the group lands in a high-tech compound run by Jeff Daniels’ blandly affable – but all too obviously devious – bureaucrat.

Unfortunately, Daniels is saddled with reams of bum-numbing exposition. His revelations aren’t just boring; they undermine the logic of the series’ previous two episodes and render Woodley’s messiah-like heroine less interesting. Towards the end, director Robert Schwentke does try to whip up some race-against-time suspense involving a memory dissolving nerve gas, but the action is so lacklustre and confusing that only the most allegiant of fans will remember to turn up for Ascendant, scheduled to bring the series to its resolution next summer.


Certificate 12. Runtime 120 mins. Director Robert Schwentke

Allegiant is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download, courtesy of Entertainment One. The Divergent Series Triple Pack includes DIVERGENT, INSURGENT and ALLEGIANT plus new special features.

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.