The Divergent series continues to fail to diverge from formula, trading as a poor man’s Oblivion this time around, and maintaining its diluted, snail’s pace path to a guaranteed anticlimax.Indeed, despite the books, which could have been bettered rather than ‘expanded’; despite the budget which provides epic scale but – in more sequences than it should – remarkably shoddy effects; and despite the continued appearance of named actors in supporting roles designed to lend ‘weight’ to the proceedings but unable to make up for the overwhelming limitations of the shiny young cast beneath them, Allegiant evades effectiveness.It remains determined to reach its ignominious end at all cost, misusing any quality elements it could have wielded with effect. It will likely end up as an example of the monotonous mundane – the poor man’s Hunger Games that it started as, now just an example of following the original flawed but still fitfully effective Young Adult franchise into soon-to-be forgotten oblivion, hot off the heals off a strangely familiar tale and result for the Maze Runner.
Uneventful direction and bland performances tear scenes apart – scenes where the tension should have just been ramped up after a faux execution; where in-fighting the night after the victory of the rebellion should have been made more eventful; where the dispatching of key characters who’ve been in all the films so far, should have been more emotional.
At times it was hard to distinguish between the plot to this, and to another unsuccessful bit of YA franchise-padding, Scorch Trials.
Allegiant is determined to be Prozac-numbed into the wastelands instead; the faintly more interesting third act taking to the skies in bubble-craft with Oblivion-lite visuals and score, whilst Shailene Woodley’s bland lead, and Theo James’s blander companion desperately pretend that this isn’t merely delay tactics to get to the conclusion of what could (and should) have been a trilogy.
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