Flash Movie Review: Divergent

There is a certain comfort in eating the same thing for lunch each business day. Working in a chaotic environment, I find stability in having a meal that is both dependable and made up with comforting foods that I can count on. Growing up in a neighborhood where the majority of people came from the same political, socioeconomic and religious background provided a built-in shorthand to everyone’s conversations. A single word could explain everything without having to go into details. I do not find fault with people being similar, but what about the person who appears not to fit in with the majority? In my own observations it seems there is less conformity but also less tolerance; or maybe it is the less tolerant are louder. Personally, I am comfortable with variety in my life; even with my lunch I change it up on the weekends. The way I describe it is by saying life is like a massive mansion where each person provides a different window that lets me see something new from its vantage point. By now you have probably guessed I was tuned in with the plot in this action adventure film. Set in the future, society was broken down into 5 factions based on virtues. Once a child reached a certain age they were tested to determine which faction would be most suitable for them. Shailene Woodley (The Descendants, The Spectacular Now) played Beatrice “Tris” Prior who did not fit into one convenient category. According to the policies in place and enforced by Jeanine, played by Kate Winslet (Titanic, Revolutionary Road); people like Tris would be considered a threat to society. If Tris was going to survive she would have to pretend to fit in with her faction. From what I have heard, moviegoers who have read Veronica Roth’s book which this film was based on were disappointed. Since I have not read the trilogy my comments are strictly based on the entertainment value of this movie. The best part of this picture comes down to two people: Shailene Woodley and Theo James (The Inbetweeners Movie, Underworld: Awakening) as her group leader named Four. I thought they worked well together and his acting was almost as good as Shailene’s. Filmed in Chicago, the outdoor scenes and sets constantly kept my attention. Extra points go to the 2 actors for actually climbing up the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. I found the beginning of the movie was slow and dry. Maybe if I had read the book I would have had a better understanding of Tris’ relationships with her fellow inductees. The last hour of the movie was more exciting to me. Based on my personality I would be honored to be considered a Divergent, but then again I like being different.


2 3/4 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on March 24, 2014, in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Good review. These YA movies are starting to get on my nerves now, which is why I think it may be time to put them away for now. Then again though, they still do relatively well at the box office, so clearly no one in Hollywood will listen and spare us.

  2. Great review! I am hoping to check this out as soon as it comes, I really enjoyed the books!

  3. Interesting review. Thanks.

  4. Adaptations can be really hard, even though so many of them are coming out these days. The challenge comes when eliciting emotion. Doing so books is easy but because movies have to have their own texture, structure, mood and style, eliciting emotion on screen, therefore becomes harder. Of course the reality of the fact that movies are to have at least 90mins in length which of course means omitting plenty of parts from the book. This is why one of the main reasons why adaptations don’t get much popularity in general. This includes Twilight, Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings. Their entertainment value makes them popular.

    Divergent, X-Men Days of Future Past, Amazing Spiderman 2, Robo cop, Captain America: Winter Soldier and maybe Hercules are must-sees for me. I heard a lot disappointment with Hercules though. Many said that it did not follow the Greek Mythology pattern of the previous versions, so the authenticity of the character and maybe the setting gets jeopardized. In any case I’d like to see it for myself.

    Excellent review. I love the plot and the production design too. I recognize Shailene Woodley from a TV Show: Secret Life Of An American Teenager. I look forward to her performance here and how it differs from the TV Show.

  5. I watched this movie tonight “on demand” for free since our cable company left us without service for an entire day during a football game. Anyways, I have not read any of the books, and I found your review solid. The beginning was a bit “dry” but after I got sucked in with the mind altering stuff, I really enjoyed it!

    • Glad you were able to discover a silver lining to a sour cable company day. Now that you have seen this film, may I suggest The Fault in our Stars to see how the actors who played brother and sister here to their characters in the Stars. Thanks for letting me about seeing Divergent.

      • Oh my goodness, my daughter had me take her to The Fault in Our Stars at the movie theater when it first came out. There was not a dry eye in the house, I tell you, me included! And she even had me read the book before seeing it! I was all prepared, but… I wasn’t.

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