“The Divergent Series: Allegiant” is the most muddled entry yet in the “Divergent” franchise.

The series, which began promisingly enough with 2014’s “Divergent,” has devolved into stiff, nearly impossible-to-follow claptrap (with crummy special effects to boot).

And thanks to the same greedy forces that split the final “Harry Potter” and “Hunger Games” books into two parts, there is one more of these movies in the pipeline. Joy.

After spending the first two films inside the crumbling ruins of Chicago, Triss (Shailene Woodley) and her gang (including Theo James’ Four, Ansel Elgort’s Caleb and Miles Teller’s snarky, backstabbing Peter) venture beyond the Donald Trump-style wall that encloses the city. (It’s worth noting that in the film’s vision of future Chicago, the only building that remains preserved is the one currently bearing Trump’s name.)

Once outside, Triss meets up with David (Jeff Daniels, new to the series), the leader of something called the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. He seems like a decent dude, until it’s revealed he plans to erase the memories of everyone using an orange dust that looks like residue from the bottom of a Cheetos bag. Oh no!

“Allegiant” suffers badly from third-part-in-a-series syndrome; it doesn’t work as a standalone film, since there’s no beginning (this movie could seriously use a “previously on ‘Divergent’” refresher) and a false cliffhanger ending. Meanwhile, a centerpiece speech on individuality sounds like something from an elementary school commencement address.

With this hapless entry, even fans of the series will have their allegiance tested.

‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant’


Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity

Running time: 121 minutes

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