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The Divergent Series: Allegiant **

A muddled story and flat acting fail to excite us for the end of this franchise.

Is it worth $10? No

Many young adult novels have made spectacular transitions to the big screen, including "Harry Potter" and "The Hunger Games." "The Divergent" series, through either a series of poor writing or directing miscues, has failed to make the same splash.

Tris (Shailene Woodley), our divergent heroine, escapes the walled city of Chicago for the first time after the end of Jeanine's tyrannical Erudite rule. Four (Theo James) and a small group accompany her to find the source of the message that explains their city was an experiment. What they find is an advanced group that may be their salvation, or a bigger threat than any they have faced. Meanwhile, the freed factions have not found peace and are on the brink of war within the city.



This is probably the best entry in "The Divergent" series, but regrettably it is not enough to help it stand apart as a great movie. The franchise has been weak with predictable storytelling, poor character development, and generally dull around every edge. Woodley is acceptable as the "every woman" lead. James seems more than anxious to finish this adventure and move on to better action roles. Miles Teller still has one of the most enjoyable characters as the weasley comic relief, Peter.

The special effects and action sequences are cranked up, but at times look incredibly cheap and ridiculous. The decisions of these characters seemingly make no sense. You still trust Peter, even though he betrays you at every turn? Four saves your life and professes his love, but you ignore his warnings? Do you not ask certain questions of the mysterious group that seemingly creates, monitors, and controls your city? Why did you all unite to stop the Erudite oppression, when you immediately start a war amongst the remaining factions? Is it poor writing from the novelist Veronica Roth, bad directing by Robert Schwentke, or a tragic combination of both?

This is part one of the finale, with "Ascendant" to be released next year. What started as a unique premise of a dystopian future set apart by factions has boiled into a melting pot of confusion and boredom.

Take a divergence in your course this weekend and avoid this film. Perhaps swear allegiance to a superior release…this is not it.

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