Divergent is generally seen as one of the new promising fantasy-sagas that will shake this world to its foundations, but the truth is a lot less spectacular. Not only is the trailer a combination of so-so moments, the movie itself mainly targets a younger audience, thus eliminating millions of potential older fans …
This doesn’t mean Divergent is bad, far from it!
The beginning is amusing to watch and the futuristic world begs for more. Secondary characters are presented with the right amount of flair, giving you a warm fuzzy feeling of solidarity and camaraderie in the group. This is a returning theme in the series, one that will pop up in each of the sequels too.
Besides the close friendship, there’s another theme that formulated the looks & feel of this movie. It’s the sense that our world is divided into 5 different categories, based on personal character flaws or personal choices, but once a person chooses a group to live in, it stays with you for the rest of your life.
Protagonist is the youthful Tris played by Shailene Woodley, an actress with as much depth as the average Mickey Mouse-club child star. She has a couple of special tricks up her sleeve which is why she doesn’t belong anywhere. Thus she’s considered a threat for the fascistic community which holds her prisoner.
All things considered, the story is quite ok though it suffers from a few measly moments. The first hour is great no matter how you look at it. There’s a cluster of neat action scenes. Unfortunately, the longer the movie takes to get to the end, the longer your patience is tested. The ending itself is as ‘divergent’ as the way a zombie movie ends. Even without binoculars, you can see the end coming towards you from far away.
Reason for it is simple.
Near the end, lousy characters are driven towards a cliché plot in which they all suddenly attack each other. At this point, you couldn’t care less who dies/survives. You know the bad guys will get their comeuppance. Result?
The movie takes off like a speeding train, but near the end becomes nothing more than a slow ride that you wanna jump out of … before it’s too late!
The biggest letdown is how a few familiar faces including Kate Winslet and Ashley Judd cannot change the outcome of the movie.
Kate Winslet‘s performance is about as stiff as the rotten corpse of her ex-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio at the bottom of the Titanic-ocean.
Ashey Judd doesn’t s do all that much better. She tries hard to flesh out her one-dimensional character, but fails to do so. It’s still a one-dimensional performance.
Finally there’s also Theo James as the tough guy with the Justin Bieber-face who serves as the screaming girls-magnet in the movie. As soon as he appears on screen, you will wonder if he was chosen for his looks or his limited acting abilities.
Fortunately for him he’s not the only one who drags his feet. Same goes for Jai Courtney and Miles Teller whose acting performance is as interesting as watching a dirty hobo undress himself …
In the long run, Divergent tries’ desperately to cash in on the success of the Harry Potter-saga, but the latter one is easily a thousand times better in acting, directing and virtually every other department.
Divergent is good enough for a single viewing, but you won’t stick around unless you’re still a teenager who only just started watching movies …
did you know?
Some of the violence from the book was toned down in order to ensure a PG-13 rating. There’s less visual rating (i.e. blood spatter) and more ’emotional violence’.
Give it to me straight:
Divergent is a neat little movie that should’ve become the next big thing after Harry Potter and the Hunger games. Instead it became ‘just another’ teenage summer movie.
For the seasoned film buff it’s a simple ‘been there-done that’ experience, a trivial attempt to translate a fantasy book to the big screen.
Director Neil Burger – who was behind the more-than-decent ‘Limitless’ with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro – does not succeed in maintaining the focus for the full 139 minutes.
The acting is often too shallow, including or especially the one from Kate Winslet. Most characters are one-dimensional figurines passing by. The original storyline however is great to look at, but something vital is missing.
Perhaps there’s too much attention on the actual training and too little hardcore action. Also, the end is feeble at best.
All things considered: Divergent is a nice attempt at escapism but there have been much better fantasy movies made in the past few years.