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*SPOILER* The following scenes are examples of why the plot was so obvious and boring:
We knew that Tris would not go into the same faction as her family, we knew which one she'd choose, we knew that she'd fall in love with Four, we knew that she wouldn't get kicked out of training, we knew that Four would find out that she was a Divergent but wouldn't tell anybody etc... Moreover, the scene where Tris and Four fight is so unrealistic and again, the fact that he started fighting on her side was way too PREDICTABLE.
*END OF SPOILER*
To me, Divergent looked like a bad version of the Hunger Games and I am really surprised that so many people liked it. Unless you are a teenage girl who finds Theo James hot and unless you have never read any books or watched any other movies in your life, I see no reason why you would want to waste 2 and a half hours of your life watching Divergent.
As I suspected, the tall and beautiful Shailene Woodley is definitely not the small and weak Tris we imagine while reading the book. A lot of the character profiles were 'off.' However, Shailene gave an excellent portrayal of how she developed from a shy dependent girl to a confident fearless warrior.
The opening to the movie indicates we are in 'Chicago,' and that we are separated into the five factions because of the war. There is no explanation of why the war happened, where and who with. Just that we have the huge fence to keep each other safe and we don't know what's out there.
Elements were definitely rushed and lacked intensity. The characters that were not featured in this movie are revolutionary figures in the second, making it impossible to have a movie without them. Key characters were left out or barely mentioned. Drew, Edward, Molly & Susan don't exist in the movie. There's no relationship at all with Susan and Caleb, as they left her out. Peter's entourage is completely removed. Edward has a couple brief mentions in the movie including the capture the flag game and on the leader board. Otherwise, the entire eye stabbing scene doesn't exit. We don't see Peter for who he really is. The intensity of taunting Tris and making it difficult for her at Dauntless headquarters is glossed over. We see Peter make a name for himself when he beats Tris in the fight. Molly has barely two lines in the movie. One of the lines Molly has complimented Tris. In the book she's part of Peter's entourage and they hate each other. I find that Peter is too soft in the movie and he isn't enough of a jerk. In the book he's way more nasty.
Elements of the Dauntless training were not victorious as they're supposed to be. There was no focus on how vital Dauntless training is and that they do it well. There was no desperation to survive the training like there was in the book. You saw the rankings change, but the intensity in the fights and the will to survive was never built up.
Members of the family have the choice to visit on visiting day. This scene was replaced with Tris' mother sneaking into the Dauntless compound to be updated about her progress in the Dauntless training. She warns her about doing too well and asks her to remain in the middle of the pack. It's not revealed that the mom isn't going to visit Caleb, nor does she ask Tris to visit Caleb and ask him to find out what's in the serum. Instead, Tris on a whim visits Caleb.
The movie was way too focused on the romance of Tris and Four. Four softens up to Tris way too easily. He's supposed to be edgy and guarded. Details about Four were supposed to be revealed in his fear landscape. Four seems unfazed by his fear landscape. This scene is so critical in the book, it's the first time we are supposed to see how vulnerable Four really is. Four never tells Tris to call him Tobias. In Tris' fear landscape, she sacrifices herself for her family. In the movie, she faces her family and the gun is aimed at them.
I can't even talk about the ending. It was completely changed. I might have appreciated the ending if I hadn't read the books. There were elements of the ending I quite enjoyed, but it's still very rushed. I understand that they needed to end the movie with no cliffhanger, but my sister who had not read the books still had questions about the ending.
Overall, I rate the movie as a C+. Other discrepancies include Tris taking credit with Christina after the win in the Capture the Flag scene, Will dying at the same scene as the mother (rather than in the Dauntless compound), Tris not showing her displeasure with Four and yelling at him, as well as Peter not begging for his life to be included with Tris, her dad, Caleb and Marcus. As well the initiate who jumps from the train and falls to her death, Al's crush on Tris, Four getting drunk, and overall many scenes that never showed the struggle of being that character. Near the end when the dad, Caleb, Marcus & Tris have to catch the train to the Dauntless compound, there's no struggle from any of the characters jumping on or off the train. Dad and the others jump like they have done it a million times and Caleb never complains. When they jump into the netting below, Tris asks each of them, 'you good?' 'you good?' There was a lot of odd phrases that Tris never used.
There were quite a few memorable scenes including the aptitude test, the fear landscapes, the simulations, the tense moments Tris and Four had that were very true to the book including the capture the flag scene, as well as the zip lining experience.
Before the credits are even over the story makes less than no sense. Having destroyed civilisation in a world war (ok) Chicago survives. The survivors had enough materials to build a massive wall around the city, 300ft high, but can barely feed themselves. Now they have split into 5 factions (actually 6 because they throw a lot of people out and call them 'factionless') and this somehow magically creates peace.
So none of that makes sense, and much like Hunger Games, having built a nonsensical premise we now follow a teenage girl as she turns into a super-soldier capable of jumping of buildings fighting off trained armies single-handed (using a cheap looking paint-ball gun). All the while with her buff and perfectly capable new boyfriend doing as little as possible to help her.
Oh and I forgot a quick detour while we ride a pointless zip wire through some buildings for absolutely no reason than to try and spend some of the left over special effects budget.
And occasionally Kate Winslet pops up, but is shot from funny angles all the time while they try to make her baby look less visible. Not that they need to as her bad blonde hair is distracting enough.
All in a total waste of 2 hours. Just go and watch Twilight or Hunger Games for the same movie done slightly (but not a lot) better.
I really have a problem with the voting, as according to it's current evaluation by over 48 thousand viewers it is 7.5 which essentially means that it should be better these movies which were rated less than 7.5: Man of Steel (2013); Captain America: The First Avenger (2011); X-Men; X-Men 2; X-Men 3; X-Men Wolverine; Iron Man 2; Iron Man 3; Oblivion; Superman Returns (2006); Independence Day (1996); Transformers (2007); and Stargate.
This movie is just awful; no substance, and worst of all it's set up to allow for the making of a sequel.
The only good thing about a sequel is that they won't have to do too much to make the sequel better than this.
"Divergent" is an adventure movie with a dull and lame story based in a stupid and senseless concept of society. The dystopia does not make any sense and everything is idiotic in the story: the society, the plot, the romance, the way the Dauntless jump from the train, the conclusion. If there is a faction formed for the most intelligent people, it seems to be obvious that they should rule this chaotic society. Tris kills many soldiers but she leaves Jeanine alive in the end. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Divergente" ("Divergent")
The story takes too long to get going, then the training goes on forever, only to have the ending feel rushed. Not once did I feel anyone's life was in danger. Not once did I perceive any credible romantic chemistry between Tris and Four. Not once did I laugh, cry, or feel anything but bored. And it goes on for two and a half hours! Ugh. Sure, the production values are high, but who cares if I can't relate to any of the characters or the story? It's just a dumb waste of time. I didn't hate it (only because I scored a free ticket), but have no desire to watch the sequels.
However, I'm glad Divergent made a bunch of money opening weekend to pave the way for other YA books to be adapted into films, but they need to do a better job. The reason all the recent YA adaptations tanked at the box office is because they sucked (Vampire Academy, Beautiful Creatures, City of Bones). The only decent one I can remember was Warm Bodies.
This movie just really disappointed me, I never really get disappointed with movies, but this just frustrated me too much.
The books and movie both had great potential but were just a little bit off.
Let's start with the poor writing. Obviously this movie would be more enjoyable if one had read the book. Well, I hadn't, and therefore I was confused because the back-up story was non-existent. The movie takes place in an dystopian society. However, nobody tells what really happened to the world. Without adding any spoilers, it is hard to specify why the quality of the writing is constantly so poor, but let's just say that the story is so full of holes it looks like an emmental cheese.
Poor directing. Good directing could have compensated for the ludicrous writing, but in Divergent they seem to form an unholy alliance. The scenes lack credibility - especially the action ones. Because of this, Divergent is a movie for the children at best.
There are three characters that look somewhat the same. It took constant effort to keep on track on who is who. The absurd changing of the scenes didn't help. However, the biggest mistake of the casting crew was hiring Shailene Woodley. Sure, it is cool to see a relatively new face in a big budget movie, but there is a reason why it is so rare - they cannot act.
The previous statement takes me to the final part, which rendered this movie close to unwatchable. The actors consist of young and inexperienced actors mostly. Because of the cheesy writing and directing, their acting seems even more horrible than it already is. Again, without including any spoilers, I won't go any deeper, but just watch the so-called "chemistry" between Tris and Four... Makes you feel awkward, huh?
Finally, I want to clarify that I usually like dystopian films. In this case, I was expecting a rating of 7 or 8, so I'm still quite shocked because the movie fell below my expectations so badly. It just makes me so disappointed that this kind of budget goes to absolute waste because of these flaws I mentioned above. All in all, I wouldn't recommend this movie unless you are a big fan of the books!
It IS a tween film, it's blatantly aimed at young girls and as a "twenty-something" youngish female, I'm not embarrassed to say that I really enjoyed this film. It's pure fantasy fodder of course but here's what I liked about it:
- the relationship between the two leads develops naturally i.e. they don't see each other and go 'you're my soulmate', in fact they don't really get on at first so this is believable and refreshing
- the lead actress (Shailene Woodley) playing Tris is extremely natural and one of a very few actors I've ever seen who has convinced me that they are grieving (usually grief in films is just 'oh, they're dead, I'm so upset' ... swiftly moves on with their day..) - Actually both of the leads (Theo James as well) play their roles really well
- I loved the point of view shots like when Tris looks at Four during the training and you see it from his perspective and then the camera cuts to his face to get his reaction to the look she gives him (there are other similar scenes) and it just adds to the effect of feeling like these are real people and I empathised with them more as a result
- Yeah the background story for the city is quite thin but who cares, stranger things have happened in the real world and what I like is that we're given a sense of 'this is what they've been told but is that what's really happened?'. I'm not sure if that's in the book or if the film makers wanted to add some realism for us grown-ups but when they question what's out there, I got the feeling this might be similar to The Island (2005) - that's not a spoiler it's just my opinion and probably totally off base
I have now watched this film about 4 or 5 times because I really liked so much of it: the fighting was believable for me because I think we've all gotten used to flashy choreography and sound effects but that's not what real fights look like or how they sound so for me, these fight scenes are really good. I liked the weapons because they kept it simple and for training, they're a good idea.
Probably the thing I liked the most is the fact that "it's not all about Tris". I mean, it IS all about Tris but it's not 'totally in your face, the world revolves around Tris and no-one else matters' all about Tris... What I mean is that there are some "films" out there which spend their entire running time having the supporting actors running around warning the lead actress not to have sex with her boyfriend lest he destroy her vagina but in this film, the lead actress often shares centre stage with her new best friend, there are a lot of scenes where she is in the background looking out as opposed to a lot of shots of her standing alone / in the centre and we see her friend fighting too; the focus is just not 'always' on her. Having said that, I do think that there could have been even 'more' focus on the people around her. First of all, had we gotten to know her friends better, we might have empathised with them more (trying not to include spoilers!) and also, this will sound harsh but it needs saying, I'm sick of seeing 'ethnic' people in minor or reduced roles: what a waste of Mekhi Phifer! I wish that Zoë Kravitz had been given more to do, yes she had a decent amount of screen time but I would have liked to maybe see her 'fearscape' and... that's about it for ethnic characters I think... yep.
I liked that Jai Courtney's character didn't go overboard as the villain but again, his character was a little one dimensional and I would have liked to have seen some more interaction and dialogue between him and Four just to flesh out their background story.
Kate Winslet honestly did the best she could with her part and it's a massive credit to her that she managed to make me severely dislike her and believe that she was evil with just a few odd lines here and there. Her role is to literally just pop into the film every now and then to be a bit menacing and give off a female-Hitler vibe (bright blonde hair). But she pulls it off in my opinion. There's no point in elaborating on why someone is pure evil, we know this exists, it's happened in the real world and it's still happening so her role didn't distract from the believability of the story.
Overall, I liked the subtlety of the story. There is no sex, no profanity, no overt 'I love yous' yet it didn't come across as 'after-school-specially' at all. Also, I never groaned out loud once or cringed or had to hide my face behind a pillow while someone professed their undying love for someone they just met a week ago. The dialogue was realistic with occasional over-rehearsed acting from some of the supporting cast but I really loved this film. Go into it knowing it's a tween film and that there won't be a lot of intelligent scientific explanations for things and you'll probably enjoy it as much as I did.
SPOILERS!!!!!!!!! For Soldiers knife throwing, jumping from trains and excessive hand-to-hand combat are the most important skills. As well as being complelty fearless...people throw knifes at you and you aren't allowed to be afraid? Yes, thats the stuff marines are made of. Being a soldier has nothing to do with endurence, guns, tactics and unimportant stuff like that real life soldiers train.
Being "divergent" not fitting into a faction is something rare...at least thats what the characters say...funny how the rarest thing turns out to be a majority.
The training officer sits at the same table as the rookies, but the rookies aren't allowed to talk to him? Yeah, makes sense.
A rookies says something stupid to a teacher...and they put in into the world wide newspaper...yeah, nothing else interesting happening.
Oh, I nearly forgot, the actual most important thing for a solider is house climbing. Know a soldier who hasn't climbed the empire state building? He's a noob.
These are just some of the terrible brain bleeding inducing logic errors in this movie. If you are a 8 year old girl you might be able to accept them, but for everybody else this movie isn't watchable.
Thanks to the mega-success of the Hunger Games and Harry Potter, Hollywood's scouring young adult books, like some pedophile in a playground, looking for new material to get their greasy hands on.
Divergent is one of those series. I've not read the books, but in the movie, you belong to one of 5 factions. Our heroine does not - she's divergent - and that apparently frightens the powers that be.
Why? Because individualism is seen as a threat. In much the way independent film makers are perceived a threat in Hollywood.
What follows is one inane, dumb, idiotic scene after another. I was rolling my eyes most of the time or laughing out loud at some of the nonsense I was watching. I almost got up to leave, but it was like watching a train wreck. That would be more entertaining.
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is one of those rare occasions that a movie based on a recent young-adult novel has been done right, so savor it for what it's worth. And, worth it is, quite a lot, going by the terrific 2 hour 10 minutes ride you get through the stark dystopian landscape of "Divergent". What's more, the movie is not just about bleak dystopian locations and the direct bearing they have on the daily lives of their characters, but it also shrewdly manages to raise some highly pertinent questions about our own existence and what sort of world we could be leaving for the coming generations. The most uplifting fact about "Divergent" is that it pulls off this unexpected act through astute direction and some incredibly nuanced performances we usually don't associate with summer blockbusters.
While, Kate Winslet is an old warhorse and has played practically every type of role with grace and confidence, Shailene Woodley is a revelation, and proves yet again why her name is being taken in the same breath these days with Jennifer Lawrence as one of Hollywood's brightest, upcoming female talents. She captures the desperation, confusion, grit, determination, vulnerability, and tenacity of her character with the kind of self-assured conviction and realism you'd associate with seasoned performers. Kate Winslet as usual just shows up and reminds us of her immense abilities in every frame she's in, playing the villain with menace and an uncompromising faith in her misguided beliefs. Ashley Judd lend great support in the few scenes she's in. Sadly, the rest of the cast offers nothing worth penning down.
Now we all are well aware that this film is based on the first of a series of best selling fiction novels by author Veronica Roth, but as alluded to earlier, it's an aberration that the core elements of a good novel are retained while making it viable for a cinematic audience within cinematic time-constraints. For this reason alone, due credit must be bestowed upon screen-writers Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor for brilliantly adapting a recently loved novel, fresh in readers' memory, and transforming into a crisp screenplay that the Director and producers could work with. But, a screenplay - adapted or original - no matter how good, needs proper guidance, and this is provided with assured measure through the watchful eyes of Director, Neil Burger (known for accomplished efforts such as "The Illusionist" (2006), "The Lucky Ones" (2008), and "Limitless" (2011)). Alwin H. Küchler's cinematography could have been engaging and Richard Francis-Bruce and Nancy Richardson's editing could have been crisper, but thankfully they do not steer too far away from the plot.
"Divergent" not only gives us a fantastically entertaining blockbuster to thrill and chill us for w hours plus, it also offers up a thought- provoking sci-fi tale, which begs us to reflect on some startling points it raises even while we're being enthralled by the proceeding on-screen - something of an oddity in modern cinema. Along with being faithful to Roth's book, it also builds a strong cinematic universe apt for the screen and successfully manages to engage both sections of viewers - those who've enjoyed Roth's novel and even those who have no prior knowledge of the happenings of her dystopian fiction series. "Divergent" is basically a must-see for all who enjoy a thoroughly gripping, judicious sci-fi tale.
Hundreds of years after a war devastated the planet, Chicago is reduced to a small community walled off from an unknown outside threat and hidden amongst dilapidated buildings. The founder of this surviving civilization has divided all inhabitants into five factions, each with different skills and jobs. At an undisclosed age (sixteen according to the book), each member must choose between the path of an intellect, a farmer, a public servant, a politician, or a soldier. Youths are expected to follow their heritage and are discouraged from selecting a role unaligned with their birthright. Nevertheless, an archaic choosing ceremony (involving the ridiculous ritualistic cutting of the hand and squeezing blood drops into a symbolic bowl) allows everyone to select publicly, after having taken a mental test that informs of personal skills and mindset.
Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) originates from the selfless "Abnegation" faction, but chooses to pursue a career with the brave "Dauntless" clan (a controversial move instigated by her rare multi-faction tendencies, dubbed "divergent"). She's separated from her family, seemingly permanently, for a 10-week training period that isn't as militaristic or educational as it is gladiatorial, anarchical, and naturally nurturing for bullies. Rules of combat and scoring points are made up along the way, with failure rewarded with a casting out to the homeless, filthy, starving "factionless" throng (its existence is obvious evidence that the intended peaceful societal system in place spawns inequality, greed, and dictatorial leaders). Beatrice becomes "Tris" as she sets about learning how to fight and quell her fears. She finds herself drawn toward instructor Four (Theo James) while learning about a plot by conspiring, power hungry politician Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) to violently overthrow a discordant sect.
This strange, totalistic world, full of peculiar traditions, is explained via bland voice-over narration, hindered further by rock beats, spontaneous running, and borderline parkour maneuvers conducted by the Dauntless pack (which serves as showy, daredevil guardians of the city). The premise, which has the unmistakable feel of "The Hunger Games," also borrows considerably from "Equilibrium," "1984," "City of Ember," and even "Bee Movie." The extended sequences of training, camaraderie, and simulated war games hints at "Starship Troopers," while a laughable introduction to coed showering facilities that is, of course, never alluded to or shown again, vaguely reminds of "Robocop" or "Aliens" – a desperation to compare with movies filled with mature characters that could actually cope with such an R-rated concept. There's absolutely nothing unique about "Divergent," though the action-packed finale desperately attempts to fix the staleness of lengthy exposition and unfamiliar environmental establishment.
Falling victim to the same problem of many science-fiction or fantasy epic startups, the story is 90% introduction. The majority of the movie is merely a first act. Resolutions aren't even attempted and many characters are clearly saved for subsequent chapters, which prevent the satisfaction of revenge or clarity for this mystifying society. "Let's just say they built the fence for a reason," insists Four. By the time the themes of free will, chemical brainwashing, and rebellion are put into action, it's too late. The plausibility of confronting an army, sneaking into a heavily defended command center, or conquering mind control drugs are at a low, especially when the lead hero is an unpersuasive, untoughened insurgent incapable of killing the villains that are in desperate need of dispatching.
- The Massie Twins
DIVERGENT was such a movie: entertaining, teen-oriented, post- apocalyptic fun. In the not so distant future we find out that there was a terrible war. Little is said who started it or what provoked such devastating war. What it is clear is that mankind survived and made strict rules for its new society in order to ensure the peace. This new society has been classified into different personality categories, or factions: abnegation, candor, dauntless, Amity and Erudite. Each strata of this new society complements the other factions so to keep a harmonious balance. The members of this society reach a certain age (18, I guess), they go through a series of tests that will define their definite personality, regardless if they come from a different faction. This new society's motto is "faction before blood", so one has to be more loyal to his or her faction than to their families. Those who do not fit in any faction are called (most obviously) faction less, but they do not pose a threat to society, simply an uncomfortable burden (they are the homeless, the tramps, the scum). As the movie moves along we find out that there is another profile of people who also don't fit in, but pose a supposedly "serious threat" to society. These are called "divergent" and are to be terminated as soon as they are spotted. Divergents possess qualities of all factions, they are like a "greatest hits" of factions.
As you might guess, the movie revolves around a girl named Beatrice "Tris" and her finding that she is a "divergent" and how she must survive in a society that has no room for her kind.
Shades of THE HUNGER GAMES are evident all over the place. THE MATRIX too, even FLASH GORDON (1980), but all done in very good taste. I found myself enjoying DIVERGENT significantly more than THE HUNGER GAMES (at least the 1st installment), which I'd like to remind all IMDb critics is a "light version" of BATTLE ROYALE. We get to see Kate Winslet (TITANIC) as the baddie. It was never clear to me if she was the President or what, but she seems to be in charge of this new society. Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn are in there too and that's about it as far as "names" in this picture. All other actors are basically teens or twenty somethings, so yes, there's a strong effort from the filmmakers to attract a young audience (like THE HUNGER GAMES).
Anybody who's worked for a big, multi-national corporation will quickly see the similarities between the dystopian society portrayed in this movie and the company they might work for. Companies ALWAYS want to label their employees, as if we could only be ONE type of personality, so I found this intriguing. I supposed most "Roger Eberts" in IMDb barely perceived this. Was it a predictable movie? Most movies are, in a way. All Disney movies have happy endings, don't they? Being predictable is not a sign of being a BAD movie. I found DIVERGENT getting more interesting and interesting as frames passed by. It has good special effects and the acting is quite bearable. Trust me, I've seen far, far worse movies that end up being praised as the ultimate in cinema.
If you didn't like the movie, that's OK, you're entitled to think and say whatever, just as I'm entitled to say that DIVERGENT was a truly entertaining, interesting and fast paced futuristic movie. If you ask me, I enjoyed it far more than the over-blown HUNGER GAME series.
They set up divergence as if it is a special ability but its not. Its just a tittle. The main character Trice never really comes off with anything that looks like a special ability. The fact that there are no contrasting examples of her special ability make her ability hard to see. She just a girl falling in love.
The movie is slow as molasses and until you get to say 45mins into the movie you want to fall asleep. The plots are all incomplete and at the end you have no summary of what just happened.
The society they set up in the movie is not realistic in anyway. The Dauntlets are basically a group of wild side party teens and they act like they are tough when none of then really show a capacity to fight or defend. Though the story sets them up as the defender or police of this world.
There are pointless scenes like a zip-line scene that seems to come out of no where and have no relevance to the plot or the development of their NON-hero Hero.
The movie is like a mesh of other films like, they use the color look of Twilight and try to set the 2 main character up in the same romantic way. The world reminds you much of The Hunger Games but has much much less action and much less relevance. There is even has a touch of Matrix to it accept with all that technology they had no gun that could fire in rapid succession. Everyone in the movie pulled guns and most of the time they did not shoot.
Nothing is cohesive in this movie and I would rather you go see a re-airing of Spanglish, Tremors or Judge Dred if you want to see a much better movie.
I am a guy so maybe this movie was made for ladies more than men but I really did not like this fragmented, inconclusive, cheesy movie. Any 4 year film student could have made it.
i even couldn't force myself to watch it all. Maybe im too old for it, bu then last week i watched "the last mimzy" (children movie) and found it pretty good. No, if something is good you'll find it's quality even if you're not a lover of a specific movie type.
Some details: - acting - it's as artificial as the whole script itself so i cannot blame the actors - script- look above - the whole concept of society being divided to factions, im fine with that, but excluding/killing people who e.g. feel compassion and declared themselves to be soldiers, thats just ridiculous. - oo, and that hand combat technique of holding your front-to-oponent elbow high- try that in real life and it wont be a long one.
To summarize, i agree with critics on this one.
Adapted from Veronica Roth's book, it imagines a dystopia where society is organised into five distinct factions based on personality types, each understanding and playing its role in order to keep the peace. These are Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite, the names rather self-explanatory in describing what they represent. Youths are tested at the age of 16, given two likeliest factions from the results of a hallucinatory test, and then at a Choosing Day ceremony made to pick one of the two in which they choose to belong.
As narrated by our lead character Beatrice Prior (The Descendants' Shailene Woodley), there are those fit into more than two categories which are labelled 'divergents' and cast out to live as homeless vagabonds on the pretense that they do not belong. Needless to say, Beatrice is a titular 'divergent', and warned by her testor (Maggie Q) that she must keep this information secret lest she be the subject of a witchhunt led by the leader of the snobbish Erudite faction Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet). So at her ceremony, unlike all the others, she exercises her free will to join the Dauntless, who train to be soldiers keeping the peace.
Even with the task of laying franchise groundwork, it is both surprising and disappointing how much time the movie spends inside the subterranean Pit where Tris and the rest of her initiates train under the tough yet tender Instructor Four (Theo James) and the harsh and controlling leader Eric (Jai Courtney). From sparring to knife throwing to shooting, screen writers Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor spend about an hour laying out Tris' Dauntless boot-camp training and the dynamics between the trainees, in particular with two Candors - one a snide competitor played by Miles Teller and the other a loyal friend played by Zoe Kravitz.
There is of course the budding romance between Tris and Instructor Four, the latter of which turns out to be a 'divergent' himself and who ends up teaching her how to overcome the final 'fear test' of her training. At no point however does director Neil Burger inject a sense of urgency into the proceedings, which unfold relatively unhurried and without consequence until the final half-hour. It is at best a drag, at worst a bore, and while parallels have been drawn between Tris' training and Katniss Everdeen's in 'The Hunger Games', you'll find the former here oddly devoid of danger or purpose.
Only in the last segment is there some measure of thrill as a power struggle between the Erudites and the Abnegations build up into real conflict unfolding on the streets of an already war-ravaged Chicago. Burger assumes that his audience's patience will eventually pay off in a rushed final act that throws everything it can into the mix - including some heavy urban warfare, exposition, shifts in character - but it is a peculiar case of 'too much too late' that ends up making you frustrated more than anything else. There is little poignancy even with two key supporting characters meeting their demises within the short span of ten minutes, and that is also a result of the film's flawed construct, which diminishes the familial bonds illustrated in the novel between Tris and her parents (Tony Goldwyn and Ashley Judd) and twin brother (Ansel Elgort).
With little chance to flex her acting muscles, Woodley is hardly any match for Jennifer Lawrence, and indeed doesn't quite grasp her character well enough to put forth a consistent and compelling portrait of Beatrice. At least she does share some screen chemistry with Underworld: Awakening's Theo James, the bond that builds slowly between them rather winning to say the least. Other thespians like Winslet and Judd give solid supporting turns, though they are yet again hemmed in by a ham-fisted script that hews too closely to the book's straightforward prose.
On his part, Burger tries his best to build a convincing vision of a futuristic Chicago, but fails to convey the extent of a hyper- militarized and technologically advanced society on the verge of factional conflict. The postwar cityscape hardly leaves much of an impression, though the drug-induced mind trips that Beatrice takes boasts some degree of visual ingenuity that recalls Burger's far superior work in 'The Illusionist' and 'Limitless'. Worthy of special mention though is the score by Junkie XL (with Hans Zimmer listed as executive music producer), which hits the right notes more than you would expect in certain scenes.
Still, it's hard to imagine 'Divergent' being the kickstarter the way the first 'Hunger Games' movie was; though both share similar narrative blueprints, this adaptation feels inert where the latter is lively, failing to engage its audience with its female teenage protagonist's rite of passage. Unless you're a fan of the books, you'll probably be lukewarm about the next instalment 'Insurgent' whose production is already underway; indeed, true to its title, there is something off about 'Divergent' that never quite reconciles even till the end of the movie.
Where authors(sic) get these unbelievably lame ideas? A world divided into 5 factions? This is ridiculous.
This is another politically correct tripe. The plot is based on countless Hollywoodian stereotypes. Actors all look like they came out of catwalk fashion show. They have as much substance and personality as bobble head dolls. The film is tedious, move at a snail's pace and do not even fall into the category "so bad it is good"
It is embarrassing to know that there are those who classify this sophomoric attempt at literature as a dystopian science fiction novel.
Pure waste of time, money.