Thursday, March 20, 2014

Opens Friday, March 21, 2014 
2 hr 20 min
PG-13 | some sensuality, intense violence and action and thematic elements


Neil Burger

Shailene Woodley as Beatrice "Tris" Prior
Theo James as Tobias "Four" Eaton
Ansel Elgort as Caleb Prior
Ray Stevenson as Marcus Eaton
Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews
Zoë Kravitz as Christina
Maggie Q as Tori
Mekhi Phifer as Max
Jai Courtney as Eric
Miles Teller as Peter
Ben Lamb as Edward
Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Will
Christian Madsen as Al
Tony Goldwyn as Andrew Prior
Ashley Judd as Natalie Prior
Amy Newbold as Molly Atwood
Justine Wachsberger as Lauren

Review by Stephen M.

I've never read the book Divergent, but you can't help but draw similarities to Hunger Games.  From the factions (districts) to the social messages, to even the young female lead with chubby cheeks (Shailene Woodley), there's a sense that this was brought to the screen for the Hunger Games fans.  Of course all that was missing was kids killing kids, and they do try some of that in Divergent.

While Divergent is entertaining, parts of the movie does drag.  Especially when she finds out that she's special, or Divergent.  But just what does that mean?  Now if you have seen the trailers, from the way that they talk, you would figure there's a lot to being Divergent.  Like perhaps they have special powers.  Or at least that's what I thought.  And even during the film, there are several instances in which you would think, okay, here's the part where she does something special, only to be disappointed.  I won't explain exactly what it means to be Divergent, but let's just say, most of us not in the movie have it.

The movie centers around Beatrice (Shailene Woodley) who is a Divergent, whose parents are a member of the social workers faction (Abnegation) that runs the Government.  There are four other factions that include the Dauntless that is the police of the people, a lawyers type faction (Candor), a peaceful working class (Amity) and techies or book smart faction (Erudite).  While the movie is a coming of age movie for Beatrice as she joins Dauntless over her parents faction Abnegation.  Things come to a head when the leadership of the government held by Abnegation is challenged by another faction.

Overall, I would recommend watching this film, especially if you're a fan of the book just to see the characters come alive.  Maggie Q as Tori though a small role, is amazing.  I also love the lead Shailene even if she does remind me so much of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss.  I would have love to hear more back story to the world that they live in.  Like what war led to most of the world being devastated.  You can't help but think this could have been a prequel to the Hunger Games with the Districts early on before there was a Hunger Games.


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