Not even the finale of ‘The Hunger Games’ series last year could see the end of the continuous onslaught of YA (young adult) films on our cinemas. Already 2016 has introduced us to a new adaptation in the shape of ‘The 5th Wave’ and now we’ve got the third, yes third, installment of the ‘Divergent’ series to enjoy/endure.
It seems that compared to many I’m quite partial to a YA film, I don’t have the same hate for them that others have. I quite enjoy the two films previous to ‘Allegiant’ in this series too. The film picks up pretty much just where ‘Insurgent’ ended. I quite liked the progression of the story here as the narrative takes a completely new direction meaning that the characters and audience don’t quite know what to expect. As a result of this ‘Allegiant’ almost felt like the start of a new YA series. However, this welcome freshness to the series doesn’t last. As we learn more and more about the new plot it only becomes more and more contrived. It takes far too long to explain the story and even when this is complete things aren’t fully clear. As well as this over-complicated plot the film can be quite predictable in parts. We’ve seen so many of these YA films now that I doubt anything will really surprise audiences. Alongside this new direction for the film came a lot more sci-fi elements and gadgetry. The inclusion of these elements has mixed results with some looking better than others but as a whole I think a little too much is used. Even with these elements set aside the effects used in ‘Allegiant’ weren’t always up to scratch with a few moments at the start of the film not looking great.
What the film does have going for it is some interesting character dynamics, these have been nicely set up over the previous films and they offer a more engaging watch. It’s a shame that often these dynamics usually resolve themselves too easily. Shailene Woodley is fine as ‘Tris’ but I just find her character to be so dull and lacking in emotion at times. I thought that Theo James who plays ‘Four’ completely stole the show from her. His storyline and all of his scenes were always far more entertaining than those featuring ‘Tris’. James was great at the action scenes, he brought a real furiosity to his character which added pace to the film as a whole, something that Woodley’s ‘Tris’ just couldn’t do. Once again I really enjoyed Miles Teller as the absolute weasel that is ‘Peter’ – Teller just looks like he’s having fun with this role and you’ll spend most of the film waiting for his next scene to arrive. There’s plenty of other big names in this cast but the only other one worth mentioning is probably Ansel Elgort who plays the brother of ‘Tris’, ‘Caleb’. He’s the only other actor who really gets more screen time than the others and I think he performed pretty well in the role, his best performance of the three films so far.
There are certainly issues with ‘Allegiant’ and if you don’t like YA films stay well clear of this one. For those of you who do enjoy films like these I think you’ll be able to find enjoyment with ‘Allegiant’, it’s not the greatest entry into its genre but it’s far above the worst. A lot of the flaws really don’t effect the viewing experience too much and with some good performances from some of the leads, interesting dynamics and a fresh take on the series I think the film does well to continue the story and to be honest the two hour running time flew by for me.
Rating – 7/10
Question: Who is your favourite YA character of all time?
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