HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Allegiant (Divergent Series)
HTS Overall Score:83
For a little catch up, we have our review of Divergent - Blu-ray Review and Insurgent 3D - Blu-ray Review here to brush up on what happened before.
It seems that MAYBE the habit of splitting a final chapter in a series into two parts is about to come to an end. After the tepid response from audiences over the very obviously mediocre “The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2”. “Allegiant” pretty much put the nail in the coffin, though, as it took a book that had ZERO need to be split into two parts and did just that with fairly disastrous box office results. Even in the special features we have several of the powers that be mention the pitfalls of splitting a novel into a part 1 and a part 2, many of which were realized in “Allegiant”. Especially after losing millions and millions of dollars to the point that the final chapter in the series had to have its budget sliced in half just to be able to come to the big screen.
“Allegiant” is a rather tiring and bland film that seems to be treading water, just acting as filler until the main conflict happens in the final film. That and it manages to relate VERY little to the actual novel. As my wife put it, “there’s a pinch of the book in there somewhere”. The same old characters are back and they’re doing the same thing over and over again. Tris (Shailene Woodley) is the titular hero, and hunky Four (Theo James) is her muscular lap dog, scowling around the place while kicking butt when necessary. Peter is once again trusted for short periods of time and then ends up betraying everyone (surprise surprise!) and Caleb is still the bumbling brother with the pouting lips. However, this time there’s just not a whole lot for them to DO.
Last time we left off, Jeanine (Kate Winslet) has been killed by Four’s mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts), and the factions have pretty much been destroyed. The big reveal from the hidden box has alerted the people that they are an experiment by the rest of humanity and they are waiting for them outside the wall. But for some reason Evelyn is not about to let them out. They always say that rebellion never eliminates the problem when suffering from a dictator. Usually you just end up replacing one ruler for another, and that’s exactly what happens here. Evelyn puts her foot down and begins her rule with an iron fist, executing all of Jeanine’s minions one by one as the mob screams for blood.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=74585[/img]Understanding that isolation is not the key, Triss, Four, Caleb and Peter (Miles Teller) escape over the wall and into the waiting arms of humanity. The other side of the wall is a bit different than Chicago, as the place has been protected for years. The outside world is full of nuclear holocaust and advanced technology beyond their wildest imaginations. As with most of these tales, everything starts out ok, but soon Tris and the rest start to realize there is a darker side to these humans outside the wall. Allegiances are formed, but soon broken once it becomes clear that the elitist humans without their factions have been controlling everything from the get go, and causing every bit of this pain that they have been suffering.
“Allegiant” struggles very mightily, but still manages to slip further and further down the quality chain as every film progresses. This time we have huge logic gaps as Evelyn decides to go all dictator on the rest of the classes, even starting a civil war against Johanna (Octavia Spencer), who just wants peace and equality. Feeling a bit like “Maze Runner” our heroes have to wind their way past the wall only to find out that they are no longer prisoners of Chicago, but prisoners of those outside the wall. Jeff Daniels as David is the duplicitous bad guy who pretty much sleep walks his way through the performance. It honestly felt like he was there just to pick up a quick paycheck and then dose in his trailer while the rest of the actors did their jobs. The repetitive nature of the film doesn’t help much either, as it pulls out all the dystopian tropes and parades them around in what seems to be a holding pattern till you realize that’s EXACTLY what it is. A holding pattern until we get to the final fight against the evil minions of darkness….err, the people who were supposedly trying to save them and create hope at the end of the 2nd film.
Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=74593[/img]Shot with Arri Alexa cameras and given a stellar looking encode, “Allegiant” manages to be the best looking movie of the franchise to date (even if that is just barely, by fixing several banding issues that cropped up in the first two encodes). Colors tend to stay very similar to the rest of the series at first, with slate blue and grey color grading that gives the city of Chicago a very sterile and bleak look. However, once Tris and Four get outside the walls and we see the rest of the world the colors start to change. The fringe area around the walls is laden with toxic red waste that gives the world a rather orange tone, but the city of Providence and the rest of the homes of the “Pure” has a shiny “Ipad” white look that is both futuristic and clinical at the same time. Detail is amazing, with every line and crease on the actor’s faces visible to all and the CGI monstrosities that make up the entire area look intimately detailed to boot. Blacks are deep and inky, and seem to show NO banding like 1080p Blu-ray is prone to. I wouldn't say that the difference between the 1080 and the 4K encode are night and day, but the uptick in color saturation and clarity makes for an impressive disc. Especially considering how fantastic the Blu-ray itself looked. I would honestly have to say that if I could give a 4.25/5 I would, but the encode is way too gorgeous for a 4/5 rating, so a 4.5/5 will have to do.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=74601[/img]Since Lionsgate put the Atmos track on BOTH the 4K disc as well as the standalone Blu-ray release, the audio score for the 4K UltraHD disc will carry the same rating due to being identical. Like its predecessor, the Atmos experience is visceral and jaw dropping, allowing us to be immersed right into the center of Tris’s post-apocalyptic world. Dialog is strong and clear, devoid of any abnormalities and balanced well with the rest of the aggressive track. Surrounds draw the listener in with all sorts of nuanced sounds emanating from all directions. The drones whine and hum as they around the soundscape, sniffing and hunting out their targets and engaging all of the heights and surrounds with their activity. LFE is merciless and unrelenting, pounding away with deep wallops of bass that shake the ground at every corner. To put it simply, “Allegiant” has a Dolby Atmos track and 7.1 TrueHD counterpart that manages to be every bit as impressive, if not more than, the video encode.
• Audio Commentary with Producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher
• Six Featurettes:
- Allegiant: Book to Film
- Battle in the Bullfrog: The Stunts and Choreography Behind This Thrilling Sequence
- Finding the Future: Effects & Technology
- Characters in Conflict: The Motivations Behind the Film's Antagonists
- The Next Chapter: Cast & Characters
- Building the Bureau
The “Divergent” franchise has never been the greatest of the young adult series, but it was, and has always been, rather entertaining. Unfortunately we are witness to the simple fact that most final books do NOT need to be separated into a part 1 and a part 2. Too much is stretched and pushed to setup for the final conclusion (which appears to be an offensive action on the “Pure” if the book is even remotely being followed at this point, which it seems to not be), and the movie just limps along until it’s inevitable conclusion. Audio and video are great, with the major reason to get the 4K UltarHD disc being the increased resolution in the video department (the audio track is the same across both releases) and for those with the equipment it is worth it. Being the weakest of the series I have to say that may not sway too many people into buying the disc, but it is worth a rental, especially if you already enjoy the previous entries into the "Divergent" world.
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), English DD 2.0, Spanish DD 5.1
Runtime: 120 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: July 12th, 2016
Buy Allegiant (Divergent Series) On Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy Allegiant (Divergent Series) On 4K UltraHD Blu-ray at Amazon
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