Star Rating:

The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Actors: Theo James, Maggie Q

Release Date: Thursday 10th March 2016

Genre(s): Action, Sci-Fi

Running time: 121 minutes

Now that the Hunger Games franchise has come to an end, we're beginning to see other young adult adaptations peter out as well. There were a slue of these put through about three or four years ago, with only a few making it through to a second and third film. Allegiant, the third film in the Divergent Series, picks up directly after where Insurgent finished. It's key to remember that Insurgent was - unless you saw the first one and, most likely, read the book - horribly confusing. Allegiant, sadly, is no better.

Here's a rough idea of the plot. The walled, post-apocalyptic city of Chicago is beginning to tear itself apart after the faction system, which kept the populace in check, was torn down. The two leaders to emerge from this event, Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer, are dispensing their own kind of justice with mob trials. While all this is happening, Shailene Woodley and Theo James are trying to make it over the wall to the supposed 'founders' of the city and contact them. Eventually, of course, they do and the story kicks off into a complete direction. Simply put, the plot is needlessly complex. It tries to move several different threads along, but eventually becomes entangled in itself, primarily because there comes a point when you stop caring about the characters.

Shailene Woodley, much like the previous two films, was horribly miscast. We're supposed to believe that she's an action star and capable of great strength, but it just doesn't work. Meanwhile, Theo James has all the charisma and personality of a wooden plank with a physical similarity to James Franco about ten years ago. Miles Teller turns up as a sleazy turncoat, but clearly has moved far beyond the role and now just looks embarrassed to be associated with it at all. Likewise, Ansel Elgort, who is capable of acting in a decent role, just looks bored. Jeff Daniels, meanwhile, turns up at various points to deliver pages of exposition and keep a straight face while doing so.

It's hard to know who Allegiant appeals to, beyond hardcore fans of the series. There really is nothing for the average viewer because the story is so riddled with exposition and references to previous films that, eventually, you just give up on the whole thing. The driving force behind the whole story seems to be that you shouldn't trust anyone with grey hair. Really. Almost every character that's not a teenager or in their early twenties, with the exception of one or two, is either a villain or has less than savoury methods of doing things.

There are a few positives if you find yourself watching Allegiant, however. The production design is reasonably pretty to look at, calling to mind Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion and the soundtrack is interesting enough. However, that's really the size of it. The performances are generally flat and uninteresting, the story doesn't make a bit of sense and there's nothing here to keep anyone outside of the franchise's base of fans interested.