Saturday, 12 March 2016

REVIEW - ALLEGIANT (ROBERT SCHWENTKE)


So this is what we've come to. I count 19 Young Adult films to date, with Allegiant the 19th, and the third in this franchise. I see one opportunity for progression after another, and a select few films that have even attempted to capitalise upon those opportunities. I see nothing but dwindling despondency in these Divergent Series films, dying sparks not of life but of some strained sense of it, as though a dystopian future holds as little hope for its lifestyle as it does for the present day's depictions of it. And so Allegiant blunders on, seemingly determined to scrape by on the bare minimum, not just resigned to its mediocrity but somehow dedicated to it. This is a brave, if not bright, new world - where's the invention? Where's the imagination? The innovative elements are humdrum, while the humdrum elements are notably more notable - films like Allegiant would be so much more quotable (for the wrong reasons, naturally) were they not so numerous. For all that franchises like this may strive for futuristic flair and faux-revolutionary political portent, they're remarkably unconcerned with the process of courting these qualities. Allegiant is yet another YA film to expend far more effort on emulating not only the worst of its own sub-genre but the worst of just about every other: action, drama, sci-fi, romance, comedy - all mauled by the heinousness of the joint creative approach behind these risible films. Indeed, this one may be more indebted to its obvious inspirations than its own predecessors, utterly failing to build upon their narrative groundwork (as scant as it was) in any meaningful manner. The third of a planned four films in the Divergent Series, and the third to finish on a curious note of completion - may it be the first (and final) to capitalise on that.