Review of 'Divergent'

divergent.jpeg In a dystopian future society has formed itself into five factions representing various virtues: Erudite (for the thinkers), Amity (for the kind) the farmers, Candor (for the honest), Abnegation (for the selfless) who provide the world's leaders, and Dauntless (for the fearless) the protectors. Each faction live apart from one another with children coming of age freely deciding which faction they wish to join after first undergoing an aptitude test that provides a recommendation. When “Tris” (Shailene Woodley) is tested the examiner is startled to discover she is “Divergent”, someone who does not fall within any of the five factions despite her family being from Abnegation. After choosing one of the factions she is surprised to learn the tests continue before she is a full member. During this she discovers a plot to seize control from the Abnegation faction…So with the help of her unlikely ally Four (Theo James) it is up to her to save the day.

Based on the best selling young adult novels by Veronica Roth, “Divergent” is the first of three movies (followed by “Insurgent” and “Allegiant”, which were also originally novels) set in a troubling, but simply defined, future Earth. Not a lot of thinking here once you understand the setting with loads of action and typical teenage angst. Yes, it is another “coming of age” story, what would we do without them? See the naive and uncomfortable young woman come to terms with what she needs to be and kick some butt. Perhaps I am being too hard on it: There is some great action (with a surprising amount of brutality - think “Starship Troupers”), the settings is reasonably interesting, and there are enough plot twists to keep us guessing. The acting, well, best say not too much about it – It is adequate.

A cut above other teenage action flicks, “Divergent” is worth a peak but try not to be too disappointed at opportunities lost that could have model this a much deeper exploration of humanity. One for less demanding film goers.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2018-12-22

Directed by: Neil Burger

Studio: Summit Entertainment

Year: 2014

Length: 139 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure