The third entry of a four-part saga, “Allegiant” — now available on DVD – moves the “Divergent” series into heady (and sometimes head-scratching) science fiction territory. Young future readers of classic sci-fi such as Arthur C. Clarke’s works might dip their toe into those waters after watching this film based on the young-adult novel by Veronica Roth.
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“Insurgent” further clarifies the political structure of the “Divergent” universe, features award-worthy set pieces in a run-down Chicago two centuries in the future and – like the original film – ultimately succeeds because Shailene Woodley is easy to root for as reluctant hero Tris Prior.
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“Divergent” plays with traditional dystopian sci-fi tropes and totalitarian government riffs in rather unsurprising ways, but it holds a viewer’s attention thanks to the immensely watchable Shailene Woodley and a beautifully grim post-apocalyptic Chicago cityscape. Avoiding the clichéd helicopter shot over water, the film opens with a shot of a dried-up Lake Michigan – a wonderful example of modern computer effects and a great scene-setter.
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