I have issues with Tris in this film. She's proven in the last two that she's smart and fearless and compassionate which is fantastic and yet when she comes across David she trusts him even though anyone with half a brain can tell he's either lying or hiding something. Even Four figures something's up. Four lost some of his humanness with his 'over the top righteous' attitude. I could have done without it. Despite all that, the main characters are still interesting. Caleb surprised me this time round and I liked him much better in this film but Peter did not - he's still an idiot. I'm really tired of Peter flip flopping sides every two seconds. It's the third movie...pick a side and stick with it. I will bet that come the final film Peter comes to the realization that he's made a huge mistake and then sacrifices himself. This will then justify his character to the audience. He's such a cliche! On the plus side, I really liked the new character of Mathew played by Bill Skarsgård.
As soon as the group landed at the bottom of the wall I recognized Bellwood Quarry in Atlanta, Georga which was also used in The Walking Dead tv series and the Hunger Games. That took me out of the scene a bit. The world outside of Chicago, with its toxic red landscape, red rain & red water had me scratching my head. Why red. If it was a nuclear blast that destroyed the cities the fallout wouldn't be red. Red rain has been happening for centuries, in the time of Homer and Alexander the Great and even as recently as the past few years in India and Africa. Red rain comes from microalgae or meteor impact dust in the air. This doesn't explain the apocalypse show in the film by any means as I'm concerned. That leaves us with many questions. One of which is how does the destruction of the planet's cities in the film related to genetics altering - the subject of the Chicago city experiment?** Someone please clarify the connection for me. I'm finding the science really flimsy here.
The walls around Chicago - the electrified fence plus the cloaking wall protecting the city - how do these walls protect the city from the toxic & contaminated environment outside? When the team gets to Bureau of Genetic Welfare they must detox before entering and at no point does the film (unless I missed it) mentioned a DOME around Chicago which clearly there must be (or the Bureau or Providence either (again unless I missed it).
When the group arrive at the Bureau they learn Chicago is the subject of an experiment. They learn of the Purity War and how the modification of human genes backfired (although they don't explain what exactly what the disastrous results are except that the genes were no longer pure and humans are mostly 'damaged'. Yet the citizens of the Bureau don't seem damaged in any way - physically or mentally. **If they're trying to say that because of gene modification humans destroyed the planet - well I'm not buying it - the science just doesn't add up.
So while at the Bureau, the group is tested for their purity (we assume this is why the wrist tattoos are different on each of them and later on David says at the others not full pure genetically like Tris). David wants to study her and find out how to replicate her genes. So is it to be assumed she's the only PURE gene person in the whole wide world (I find that really hard to believe)? David requires funding from the City of Providence to continue his gene studies. Providence is a privileged city and I can't understand how they chose who gets lives there vs the Fringes vs Chicago etc)? If it's based on gene purity? This needs to be clarified as its never explained.
Why does David want to kill Four? I don't understand the rational or the motivation as it doesn't impact his experiment unless Tris is convinced to go back with Four to Chicago but she's already decided to go to Providence with David. By killing Four he'll only alienate and piss off Tris so he woulnd't get his way....how can an adult not see that? This is why I think sometimes instead of finding a good reason for a characters actions, writers just want an easy way to make conflict which often doesn't make sense. I don't see why Four can't go back to Chicago either - in fact it makes it easier for David that way. Also David's genetic study science doesn't make sense - all anyone has to do is look at Animal Husbandry or Agricultural or even genetically modified plants to understand that David just needs to take samples of Tris' DNA and then go from there...I don't understand the man's rationale for doing things. And then there's the Bureau kidnaping of the Fringe kids to create a populace for the Bureau....are the Bureau soldiers unable to have kids of their own? Clarification someone please!!!
When Four asks Tris to go back to Chicago with him to end the war I'm left wondering why in the heck would they listen to him or any of the group now? He escaped/left/abandoned them. They've already riled up and if the trail at the opening of the film said anything is that many just want revenge not peace. It makes Four seem very hubristic. Even when Four is captured he wants Evelyn to end the violence but at that point it's already too late. They would never be able to get an entire city under control without some kind of major losses on either side.
The series starts with an interesting premise but despite cool tech, fun action scenes, mostly interesting characters the plot and the science part just doesn't cut it. I suspect the books do better justice to the science part - at least I hope they do and that Miss Roth did her homework to make it plausible). I guess I'll have to wait to see the final film to make a full assessment of the series but I can pretty much guess its direction it will do. Still go see it because you want to know what is outside those walls and by the end of the film you realize 'there's no place like home'!