By Cynthia Ayala
The faction system has been demolished with the knowledge that there is life beyond the wall. But the old system kept the pace and no with Elaine in power, the world Tris knew, the peace she once sought is being shattered. The answer is outside the wall, and her and her team of friends must once again put everything on the line to save the world they once knew for a better future they hope for.
Stylistically it’s a good movie, the shots, the imagery and the tech within the film make it just a tad better than the previous; and while the tension is there, baked by an amazing cast, this movie a just too long and a little on the boring side to keep the audience entertained for a two hour film.
That isn’t true, and there is action, but the movie slows down a lot, letting some of the built up tension slip away to have the dialogue and inconsequential scenes bore the viewer. Again, on a directional front, it is a wonderful film, they way the visual effects artists
That isn’t to say that it’s a bad movie, it’s not, it certainly does give the audience something to think about when it comes to segregation, because at the end of the day, this is a story about destroying those barriers that tore families apart and kept people from uniting. It was a destructive soci9ety that reflects real life history. So in that respect it was well written. But it’s long. That is the biggest problem with the film, the way it tediously stretches out the story, adding in big name stars to expand the franchise. That is not always a good decision. Just look at The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, the best example of a film that was stretched out into TWO two and a half hour movies when it could have just been one film altogether. I’ll leave most of my reservations until I see Ascension, but as of right now, it is not looking good.
Then there is the dynamic between Shailene Woodley and Theo James. Both of them fit the parts they were given, but their chemistry sometimes lacks. It’s easier to believe that these two are friends, not lovers. Which is great, yay, they have chemistry, but not the kind of chemistry needed for this film. Could it have been worked around better? Probably, but I’ll give casting credit for casting two people who fit the characters. Woodley also does this thing when she acts where it’s not quite overacting but her face scrunches up as if she’s about to go into a panic attack. It’s not appealing on both a skill lever or an aesthetic one. Their romance was more believable when they were apart than together, which is a shame.
And Naomi Watts, honestly she is the biggest flaw in this movie and that’s not her fault. It felt as though the writers here didn’t know how to translate her motivation from the book to the film. Despite a great performance, her character felt all over the place. One moment her motivation is one thing and the next moment it’s another. Honestly the writers were not clear at all about what Evelyn wanted to gain from everything. Peace? Equality? Power? It was a mess.
I will say this though, Miles Teller was great, easily one of the best parts of the film. The character in the first novel wasn’t appealing at all, just a coward, and Teller does bring that to the screen, three movies later, but what he does that is very incredible is the fact that he makes this self-centered and self-serving character so appealing. He’s on the side that benefits him most. And the portrayal just makes the audience smile because while we may want to hate him, he’s just so damn charismatic that watching him on the screen is such a delight.
At the end though, the movie did make me more eager to read the novel, if only to get a clearer sense of where this film franchise is heading than anything else. Not the best sign for the film but a great sign for the novel.
Directed by Robert Schwentke
Genre | Length | Rating: Action, Adventure, Mystery | PG-13 | 2h 1 min
Distributed by Summit Entertainment