Saturday, March 22, 2014


Plot: In a post-apocylpsic Chicago, people are divided into five castes according to their personality. Keeping similar people together makes them easier for the Government to control. Tris (Shailene Woodley) doesn't fit into one of the castes, making her unpredictable, and "Divergent." She has to hide her divergent nature and try to fit in. Helping her fit in, is drill instructor Four (Drew Roy) who is to be too cute for Tris to resist. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Okay, that five caste system is dumb, and the technology is more magic-fantastic than science fiction, but besides all that, it is a pretty good story about a young woman, who doesn't fit and wants to. Screenwriters Daugherty and Taylor made a human story about teens who want need to hide their inner selves -- and everyone can relate to that.  Shailene Woody was up to the acting challenge, and seemed appropriately scared, tense and brave. Her performance made the movie entertaining with help from co-stars Drew Roy and Ashley Judd. I liked all the Ashley Judd scenes.

Highlights were the images of post-apocolypsic Chicago and some music. Weaknesses were the fight scenes and the military training camp which were cheap and amateur. The computer control center looked like a TV news room. 

Divergent would have been better movie with a few more quirky characters, and a more realistically imagined world.  This is a case where the movie was better than the book. 

Divergent is fun-to-watch, and what is the matter with that?

Cast: Shailene Woody, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Zoe Kravitz, Kate Winslet

Directed by: Neil Burger

Based on the novel by: Veronica Roth -- Link to Barnes & Noble

Rating: 2.5 stars:  Saddled with a weak story, director Burger and actress Woodley made a fun-to-watch movie by focusing on her character Tris. We cared about her, and her mom, brother and father too. It gets 2.5 stars because I recommend people see it despite its weaknesses. 

More: The story could have supported some examination of hiding our true nature and our inner secrets -- like Spiderman broods on; We don't get any of that. This was dumbed down, and that hurts the movie.