Australian Council on Children and the Media

Divergent series: Allegiant

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Not recommended under 14 due to violence and disturbing scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Divergent series: Allegiant
  • a review of Divergent series: Allegiant completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 18 April 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 14 Not recommended due to violence and disturbing themes
Children 14 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Divergent series: Allegiant
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Science fiction themes and violence
Length 120 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Divergent Series: Allegiant is the third instalment of the Divergent Series, following on from Insurgent. It begins with Factionless leader Evelyn (Naomi Watts) holding public trials for individuals from Erudite and Dauntless who have been deemed ‘traitors’. Caleb (Ansel Elgort), who is the brother of Tris (Shailene Woodley), is among those likely to be executed. The siblings set out with Four (Theo James) and several others to escape the walled city. Beyond the wall, they discover an area controlled by the Bureau of Genetic Welfare.

The Bureau’s leader David (Jeff Daniels) explains that the Faction-based society was merely a social experiment to determine whether individuals with ‘damaged genes’ could repair themselves without the need for genetic modification. They have been monitoring the city since the outset, and have multiple experimental cities set up around the world.

Although Tris is considered to be genetically ‘pure’ by the Bureau, the other Divergent escapees are found not to be. Over the course of the film, Tris gradually begins to realise that the Bureau does not have the best interests of Chicago citizens at heart.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Science fiction; genetic modification; power and authority; the total destruction of cities and communities; family and friendship

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There are many scenes of violence in the film, including:

  • A man is executed by close range gun-shot – the camera does not show this directly, but viewers see the body falling to the ground. No blood or injuries are shown.
  • There are many fight sequences where guns are used and individuals are shot (no blood is shown). There are also instances where physical fighting occurs involving punching and hitting, and moments where characters are stabbed with knives.
  • A man is shot in the chest after he falls down a staircase while fighting with another man – a brief glimpse of a wound is shown in this scene.
  • There are chase sequences with characters in armoured flight vehicles – missiles are fired between these aircrafts.
  • A woman is shot in the neck, and is seen to be dead. No blood is shown.
  • There are scenes where dead bodies are transported on stretchers – although no injuries are shown, viewers are informed that the deceased individuals were unarmed.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by the violent scenes described above

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • There are dystopian themes and descriptions of cities potentially being destroyed, thus ensuring the deaths of all of its citizens – e.g. ‘Chicago will be erased, everyone we know will die’.
  • Children have their memories erased when a mask with poisonous gas is held over their faces – this may disturb younger viewers.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the scenes and themes described above

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes and themes.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is limited nudity and sexual activity, including:

  • There is kissing throughout the film and a passionate embrace between Tris and Four.
  • There are scenes where characters are taking showers, and silhouettes of their body (e.g. the outline of a woman’s back) can be seen. There is also a scene where a woman’s naked back view can be partially seen although it is very dark, and it is difficult to make out more than an outline.

Use of substances

Children have their memories erased by a gas pumped through a mask that is forcefully held over their faces.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • ‘Shit’ and ‘ass’ are used several times

In a nutshell

The Divergent Series: Allegiant is the third film in the Divergent series, based on the popular series of books. It is a science fiction thriller targeting adolescents and young adults, and violent scenes and disturbing themes make it unsuitable for viewers under 14. Younger teens and tweens who have read the books may find the film more intense and disturbing.

The film emphasises the importance of both bravery and judgement. Despite her courage and heroism, Tris falls prey to the lies of David and the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. She learns that people’s intentions are not always immediately evident, and that a certain degree of scepticism can be protective.

The film also highlights:

  • the strength which friendships and relationships may provide at difficult times
  • racism and discrimination, and the acceptance of diverse individuals
  • social rebellion, and the importance of standing up for one’s own beliefs

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