The Divergent Series: Allegiant 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
For those of us that were alive in the 80’s or earlier, we’re used to getting attached to a series or franchise and then never seeing it again. That was before studios took petitions, social media and international box office returns into consideration when deciding whether or not to continue on with a franchise. If The Divergent Series had been released 20 years earlier, there would have been only one film and it would have been instantly forgotten. But as it is, we now have three films, each one managing to match or surpass the previous film’s mediocrity.
After INSURGENT, our heroes found themselves with the knowledge that there might be life beyond the wall that was built around Chicago. We pick up in ALLEGIANT with mother of the year Evelyn (Naomi Watts, looking irritated that Kate Winslet left her alone in this franchise) being strongly against going outside of the wall and Tris (Woodley), being adamant about seeing what’s out there. Predictably, Tris and Four (James) put a team together and climb over the wall, only to encounter a group of survivors led by David (Jeff Daniels). David explains to them that Chicago was an experiment and Tris is proof that hundreds of years of genetic experiments can be fixed. Of course, not everything is what it seems.
So now we have Chicago, where the first two movies took place, and a base of sorts outside of the city and everything else is considered “the fringe”. It’s unclear if these are the only living people in the world or if there are similar bases around the planet. We know “the council” lives in Providence, but that’s just about it. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter because all Tris and Four care about is each other because if you recall, they represent everything you hate about teenagers in love.
It was funny that this chapter introduced the idea of “pure” and “damaged” people, presumably in an effort to create a greater divide between the dumb adults ruling the world and the brilliant, young kids that know everything. It’s yet another example of how this series toys with deeper themes, only to abandon them for some juvenile, self-serving purpose. We even had an entire scene where Four learns that the new group of survivors are kidnapping kids born on the fringe and then wiping their memories. Does anyone do anything about it? No, because that would distract from Four and Tris’s relationship problems. It’s better to ignore the kidnapping and desecration of an entire group of people and focus more on Tris looking longingly at Four’s tattoos.
As I mentioned in my other reviews of the Divergent films, I’m amazed at how no one involved can hide the “why am I here” look on their face. Even Shailene Woodley, who has made a fortune off these films, is seemingly questioning why they’re continuing to get made. And then there’s Miles Teller, who you just have to feel bad for since he signed on before he proved himself and now he’s stuck with them for at least another film.
This is the third of a four film series, so the pain won’t be over until next year, but if you’ve stuck around this long, I assume you’re in it for the long haul. Clearly, middle aged males are not the target audience for The Divergent series, and maybe I’m missing something since I haven’t read the books. But even if I were a teenager, I’d like to think I’d demand more from any young adult series.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: The common theme with these early 4K releases is that CGI heavy films don’t always look the best on the new format. This is true for ALLEGIANT as well because the film looks fantastic in the scenes in Chicago, which are mostly indoors and lack much CGI, but there’s some lacking when they go to the fringe or any setting where the actors are obviously standing in front of a green screen. I noticed this during every scene where Tris was in David’s office. David’s office is surrounded in glass, with a reddish-orange sky on the outside and when the actors moved in front of the background, there were some issues with the way the camera moved. I might be nitpicking a bit, because overall I thought the video quality was pretty nice, but not perfect.
Audio: The Dolby Atmos track might be the highlight of the set and it showed off during the “aerial” battles, specifically when Tris stole David’s ship. It wasn’t so much an isolation of any speaker, but rather all of the speakers bustled at once, creating a very immersive experience. Overall, the audio was very good.
There are no 4K exclusive special features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film.
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