There will be spoilers in here if you haven't read the book. I mean, also for the movie, but I'm assuming if you've read the book you know the basics. So read with caution.
You could tell the budget for this movie was upped, which was great for my vision of Amity. I loved seeing this faction in particular because of the vivid imagery from the book and the fact that this is the most colorful of all the factions being outside the city. This was also the start of what I thought was going to be an awesome movie. There was a ton of humor (Miles Teller pretty much carried the humor aspect of the entire movie, and I loved it. He is the perfect Peter) as well as some serious bits when the evil Dauntless first show up.
As we all know, Tris, Four, and Caleb escape and jump onto a train (at which point I seriously miss one of my favorite characters, Edward, a former Dauntless initiate who didn't make it in the movie. Uriah is my favorite and he's not there either, or he may show up briefly, but I wasn't totally sure it was supposed to be him in the movie) filled with factionless who fight them off.
It's at this point Evelyn enters the picture, and it's clear Four has trust issues, but Tris seems to be interested in what she has to say, which is totally backwards from the novel. I'm okay with some changes, so I was still interested in what was going on. Tris has nightmares here, and Shailene Woodley pretty much carries the movie from here on out. Her emotional struggle was real and believable, and her portrayal of someone suffering from PTSD after shooting a friend is excellent, though I wish her struggle to hold a gun in this movie would have stayed in the plot.
Which brings me to THE BOX.
So, in the book, Jeanine wants to capture Tris, test her, and kill her. Problem solved. Movie Jeanine (Kate Winslet) wants her alive because Tris is "the very special one" (direct quote) who can pass the sims to open this damn box. That she found at the Prior household in abnegation. No.
My guess is the producers/writers didn't feel like there was enough plot in the book to carry the movie alone, so they added in this aspect of the movie to amp up the action. I definitely did not think it was necessary, and it made the second half of the movie long and especially cheesy. I was also extremely disappointed with Winslet's portrayal, saying her lines SUPER. DRAMATICALLY. With gigantic pauses. No one talks like that in real life, and it definitely made me laugh at things that were not supposed to be funny. Fortunately, Woodley breaks her lines up and helps keep things on track.
It was at this point (about 35 minutes from the end) that I totally gave up on liking the whole movie. Four became much more "in love" with Tris, and I mean that only in the super dramatic, cheesy way. I missed the Four who was working on being kind and was sarcastic and snippy, and by the end of this movie, he was a sappy mess who couldn't even focus long enough to punch anyone. What I loved about their characters in the books were their abilities to remain level-headed throughout all of this and focus on feelings later.
When Tris finally gets the BOX open, it's the message from Edith Prior (which was not explained) that tells them they're an experiment, and as soon as there are enough Divergents, they can open the gate and rejoin the world. And then EVELYN kills Jeanine. Let's all take a moment to grieve that Tori didn't get to do that. That's like not letting Neville kill Nagini. COME ON.
It seemed to me like this movie sacrificed a lot of character development and behind-the-scenes set up for a lot of action and running. The thing I enjoyed about the books is the complex nature of the infiltration of the factions. The Dauntless are much more than fighters, and there's a whole process of them getting the information from Jeanine's system rather than Tris just beating the sims to get to it. I missed seeing that. I also miss quite a few of the characters, and I know that it's inevitable that some of them get dropped, but it's seeming like too many characters are now responsible for too many things to happen, and it's just not believable.
As far as movies go, this one was only so-so. The first definitely trumped it. Even though the budget was smaller and the story was still being set up, the characters were still given great identities and the plot wasn't so confusing. Now, it seems like viewers are supposed to believe this because REASONS and Jeanine says so, and it's not nearly as explained as it is in the book.
I'm not one to say IT'S NOT LIKE THE BOOK I HATE IT, but in this case, some critical things were missed, and I'm skeptical of the next ones.
Also, this movie felt really long. How on EARTH are they making Allegiant into two movies? Just a thought.
What did you think of the movie? Have you seen it yet? If not, what are you most/least looking forward to about it?