If you thought the secret box and hidden message saga in the last Divergent movie was far-fetched then get ready for the latest outing in Veronica Roth's hit YA franchise to bamboozle you completely.

The story picks up following the faction system's collapse in Insurgent that unseated Kate Winslet's tyrannical Jeanine, and brings back the same characters from the previous endeavours to do more or less exactly what they did before. 

With Naomi Watts' power-driven Evelyn now in charge of Chicago, Tris (Woodley) and her pouty beau Four (James) plot their escape beyond the electrified walls. Accompanying them along the way is young freedom-fighting squad - Tris' brother Caleb (Elgort), the still-not-to-be-trusted Peter (Teller) and the loyal Christina (Kravitz).

After a bout of blood-coloured acid rain and a brief hike across the radioactive post-apocalyptic fringe, they make it to the digitally embellished Bureau of Genetic Welfare - a scientific outpost overseen by Jeff Daniels’ smirking David.

The big escape is the film’s most adrenaline-fuelled scene        

It is here that they watch the factional civil war unfold via a virtual-reality surveillance network, and learn that the Windy City is just a giant laboratory experiment under constant observation. 

The story heads in predictable directions and the half-baked script goes full throttle on the drama at the expense of logic and good sense (a machine that can see through walls and Tris' ability to fly a futuristic hovercraft without any training). The underlying message about the importance of individuality and diversity will go over the heads of teens, who will either end up being distracted by Tris' new highlights or Four's buff shower scene.

Four overshadows Tris in the latest instalment

Miles Teller is perfectly cast as the wisecracking brat who betrays his friends every chance he gets. His welcomed humour is quickly stomped upon by the serious undertone and poker faces of the rest the cast.

This time around, Woodley lacks charisma as Tris Prior and it's hard to not think about how much better Jennifer Lawrence is in The Hunger Games films.

Four spends the movie with his arms flexed and lips puckered and at times his performance is laughable. He comes to life when he is tasked with taking on some baddies in over-the-top fight scenes.

Returning director Robert Schwentke keeps the film afloat with mediocre set-pieces and special effects (the barren landscapes feel impressively real) and the use of drones will go down a treat with the tech-savvy Apple generation. 

The 'big escape' is the film’s most adrenaline-fuelled and worthwhile scene, but the rest of the action sequences are lacklustre. 

The penultimate episode of the teen fantasy brings nothing fresh to the franchise - unless, of course, you are counting Four's new tattoos.

Laura Delaney