Let’s wave goodbye to 2015! Good times, bad times we’ve had them all – but you know what they say, as one door closes, another one opens. Over the coming month we’ll be bringing you a snapshot of everything 2016 has to offer – the good, the bad and the ugly. Hold on to your hats folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Allegiant, the third instalment in the Divergent film series, arrives in theatres on the 18th of March 2016. But will it be worth a watch? The saga started with a bang in the form of Divergent, but had a disappointing sequel in Insurgent. This appears to be a recurrence of one of the most dreaded trends in movie history – the sequel that can’t live-up to its original. Think Die Hard 2, Ocean’s Twelve, Spiderman 3 and every single Twilight film after the first one (you could probably include the first one too, if we’re being entirely honest).

The most obvious reason that Insurgent failed to match its predecessor is probably the plot setting. Akin to the contrast between the first two Hunger Games movies, the main difference between Divergent and Insurgent is that where the first takes place in an enclosed setting with a focused plot, whilst the second attempts to expand its horizons with new places, new characters, and an overall goal of defeating the all-conquering bad guys. However, it fails terribly. This is set to continue in Allegiant. Based on the most recent trailer, Allegiant is essentially Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials in a different world. Escape to a ‘safe place’ – discover that inhabitants of ‘safe place’ are in fact psychopaths – escape from ‘safe place’.

Based on the let-down of Insurgent, and the relatively stale plot that I predict Allegiant will have, there’s no reason to get particularly stoked about its release. This is a real shame, as Divergent had the potential to kick-start a really good film series within the genre. However, this potential appears to be passing-by unrealised, and yet again we may well have another poor movie adaptation of a book. No doubt the film will smack the box office, as with most teenage book adaptations, and especially with the carrot of a second ‘part’ (Ascendant) to be released in 2017. However, the bane of movies split into two parts is definitely a story for another time.

Shaun Brewster

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Images sourced from ‘Allegiant’, Summit Entertainment.

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