The Divergent Series: Allegiant
starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Naomi Watts
screenplay by Noah Oppenheim and Adam Cooper & Bill Collage
directed by Robert Schwentke
by Walter Chaw Remember those gauzy, halcyon days of youth spent playing "imagination" with your buddies on the schoolyard? Starting nowhere, ending nowhere, structureless? Child-development gurus would say something about how formless mucking-about is the way we first begin to socialize. Dungeons & Dragons made it into something like a communal form of spontaneous storytelling while offering a degree of gameplay and structure. Now Allegiant--the third or fourth (who knows?) film in the Divergent series, based on the third- or fourth-generation YA spin-off trying to capitalize on the Hunger Games-cum-Twilight phenomenon of smushing sci-fi/fantasy together with tween angst--has arrived to make manifest the endless exposition of developmental social psychology. In this one, Tris (Shailene Woodley, with her constantly-surprised blankness) and Four (Theo James) find themselves in a dystopian Chicago, I think, except that later they're taken to a place I believe is also Chicago, or at least Future O'Hare, thus as the characters repeatedly referred to "going to" Chicago, I was never for a moment not confused. I even checked Wikipedia, which confirmed for me that O'Hare is in Chicago. It is. Over the last few movies, which I've seen but don't remember except as a confusion of several franchises identical in my mind, Tris and Four have apparently discovered they're pawns in a game--A GAME, I tell you--involving their genes. THEIR GENES. It's Aldous Huxley, don't you get it?