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Allegiant: Follower of formula

Rating: **

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THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT
** (out of four)
DIRECTED BY Robert Schwentke
STARS Shailene Woodley, Theo James

Theo James and Shailene Woodley in The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Photo: Lionsgate)
  • Theo James and Shailene Woodley in The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Photo: Lionsgate)

Say this for The Divergent Series: Allegiant: It's a marginal improvement over that endurance test known as The Divergent Series: Insurgent. Otherwise, this latest YA offering is likely to do little more than inspire WGAF memes.

Never fully breaking away from the perception that it's basically a "B" version of The Hunger Games, the Divergent franchise has largely suffered due to its dull-as-dirt characters and its recycled vision of yet another dystopian future, the sort of American wasteland we can expect if Trump gets elected president and subsequently pisses off any country with nuclear capabilities.

This one sparks a bit more interest than its immediate predecessor mainly because it never stands still for too long, with two plot threads running concurrently throughout much of the film. One finds Tris (Shailene Woodley) buddying up to a CEO type (boring Jeff Daniels) who promises a brighter tomorrow, while the other focuses on Four (Theo James) trying to save Chicago from the machinations of his mother Evelyn (Naomi Watts), who's set to wage war against her opponents if she doesn't get her way. The other kids are also back, including Tris' wimpy brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort), the opportunistic Peter (Miles Teller) and the utterly-devoid-of-characterization Christina (Zoe Kravitz).

There's still one more entry left in the four-film series, alternately being called The Divergent Series: Allegiant — Part 2 and The Divergent Series: Ascendant. But based on the derivative nature exhibited thus far, how about we just dub it The Divergent Series: Regurgitant and call it a day?

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