I’m here to save you. Yesterday, Tom posted a first look at the Allegiant trailer. He didn’t know, so we can’t blame him. But Allegiant wasn’t just a bad book, it was so bad it ruined the previous two books. And there’s no way the movie can be any different. I won’t spoil it for you, because even I’m not that evil, but if you saw either/both of the first two Divergent movies, please jump after the break to read why you should absolutely, unequivocally avoid the third movie.
I read Divergent shortly before the first movie came out. Intrigued, I read the second book. It kept the story going and had hints of some interesting ideas, so I finished the trilogy even though some friends warned me not to read it. I should have listened, but I’m a completionist and needed to finish what I started.
I should have listened. I hope you will. Even if you’re a completionist, this is the exception to the rule.
Allegiant, the book, wasn’t just bad. It was so bad that it actually ruins the other two books. Part of what makes it a horrible book compared to the other two (complete change in characters’ emotions/drives, change in narrative structure) can be avoided in the movie. But the bigger part cannot–the story itself. Unless the third movie kept only the title and started from scratch, there is no saving this movie series.
I want you to engage in a thought exercise. Imagine Harry Potter book 7 just came out. You read the first six and adored them (well, except for book 5 because it’s a super long book about a secret study group and that’s pretty boring) and can’t wait to discover how the epic series will end. You have the book in your hand and you sit down to take this one last journey with Harry and crew. Within a few chapters your heart is broken because the book opens with Harry waking up in a robotic cocoon. It turns out that Harry is plugged into the Matrix and he’s just been awoken. All of his life was a dream induced by the Machines and now he must fight in a science fiction world against the oppressors without magic because magic isn’t real.
What I just described is infinitely better than Allegiant. But what is the same is that Allegiant utterly changes the fabric of the story in a completely destructive way. It makes it so that the first two books completely do not matter. None of it. Huge, significant events are trivial. Everything you knew from the first two-thirds of the story–worthless. And the world the story now takes place in is unoriginal, boring, and if you’d started with this book you never would have picked up the next.
Still, I will not spoil it. But I will warn you to avoid the movie completely. At least wait the weekend and then ask your friends who didn’t read this article. You’ll see I’m right. Stay home and imagine how you think the story ends. I guarantee you came up with something better.