I’ve run out of superlatives to describe my hatred for two part finales. Since Harry Potter started off the trend back in 2010 we’ve had a whole host of embarrassments that have littered cinema screens over the past 6 years, and the film gunning to be the cherry on top of this shoddy sundae is the third installment in the Divergent Series, memorably named Allegiant. If this franchise wasn’t already dead in the water, it sure is now.
With little plot to go on, Allegiant has all the familiar (and not so familiar) faces return as they attempt to flee Chicago and find answers about what goes on outside the gate. Shailene Woodley returns to the role of Tris but shares the audiences sympathy it seems and doesn’t bring her usual spark to the role. It’s evident early on she doesn’t appear to want to be there and that rubs off on the rest of us, leaving no distraction from the screenplay (or lack of) and plot (or lack of) to provide confidence in the character’s conviction. Theo James as Four and Miles Teller’s Peter fill their roles as much as possible to provide momentary fun, but in the end are still going down with the ship.
By the process of splitting up the final book they leave most of the action and detail in the second leg, as appears to be the custom, and that means having to provide filler material to make up the run time. Allegiant is no different and for the first half the cast seem to be doing a lot of travelling without really getting anywhere. Without much attempt at persuasion, Allegiant appears to be happy that you just bought the ticket, and in doing so makes me feel really shameful for abiding.
Early reports indicate Allegiant’s poor showing at the box office has the budget for the final slug severely depleted, and I’ll be amazed if that film breaks this declining trend. This is a slippery slope for this franchise and a lesson for all future young adult adaptations, one that I imagine will fall on deaf ears. Though I guess it’s safe to say scathing reviews won’t make them budge, but the sound of money leaving their pockets might finally get them to think twice about thinning out their material.