Review: Divergent (2014)


The current obsession with YA franchises continues with Divergent, an adaptation of the first instalment in Veronica Roth’s best-selling trilogy that’s less Hunger Games and more Twilight. Set in what’s left of a post-apocalyptic Chicago where people are divided into factions – Abnegation (the selfless), Erudite (the smart), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Candor (the honest) – based on human virtues, Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley) discovers she’s Divergent, and so doesn’t fit into one set faction. When she catches wind of a plan to eradicate all those like her, Tris must act quick before it’s too late. You’d be easily mistaken for thinking that Divergent spends much of its unnecessarily drawn out 139 minute run time focused on Tris’ plight to stop the city’s higher powers from wiping out her kind. Instead, screenwriters Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor devote almost the entire film to exposition – dull, thinly interpreted exposition at that – and repetitive scenes of Tris training to be accepted into her newfound “family”, which includes hunky Tobias “Four” Eaton (Theo James). It’s only towards the final act that there’s a blip of action, and even then it’s so without significance – not to mention awfully executed by Neil Burger – that the film is left to fade to black with a sad whimper, soon to vanish entirely from memory. If it weren’t for the tireless efforts of Woodley and Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews, a wolfish representative of Erudite hellbent on revenge for some reason or another, then Divergent would be a complete waste of time – and even with their involvement it’s hardly a film to rush out and see, let alone worth bothering with at all.

3 thoughts on “Review: Divergent (2014)”

  1. Before seeing this, my friends and I plan on going out for drinks so that we can basically make fun of it together. Did the same thing with the last twilight movie, and it was really the only way to somewhat enjoy the ridiculousness.


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